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CA Launches Warranty for Consumer Security Products

CA Inc. is so confident in its products, it is offering up to $1,500 for computer repairs should users of its anti-virus software get infected.

Security vendor CA Inc. is so confident in its products, it is offering up to $1,500 for computer repairs should users of its anti-virus software get infected.

Warranty coverage applies to home buyers of CA Internet Security Suite 2007 and CA Anti-Virus 2007 and includes costs for technical support, repairs and hardware replacement. The guarantee, however, does not extend to data loss or damage to software other than the Windows operating system.

Using a personal laptop to log onto a network domain at work also voids the warranty, as does turning off settings for automatically downloading updates to detect newer viruses.

George Kafkarkou, CA's senior vice president for worldwide sales, said the company wanted to help reassure consumers in an increasingly complex world of computer security.

"They hear about phishing scams, spyware capturing credit cards," he said. "All of these elements build fear and confusion and uncertainty into consumers."

The warranty does not cover computer troubles stemming from spyware or adware, software that is often installed without a user's full knowledge. But CA is offering $5,000 in identity theft protection, joining a pledge by Time Warner Inc.'s AOL to offer up to $10,000 to help restore users' identity and credit should their personal information get compromised. (New York residents are ineligible for the ID theft insurance because of state laws.)

Offering warranties is among the measures security vendors such as CA are taking to set their products apart from rivals, many of which are offering versions of their products for free. The CA security suite lists for $50 and the anti-virus software for $40 for a single user.

David Luft, CA's senior vice president for development, said he did not know how much the program's administrator, Warranty Corporation of America, would have to pay out. He said many infections can be reversed with a software fix, so the warranty wouldn't apply every time.

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