When the monthly phone bill arrives with some surprisingly high charges for long distance calls, don’t be too quick to blame the kids; you may be the victim of a dial-up scam. Known also as modem hijacking, your computer is tricked into connecting to some long-distance or high-fee phone number. The occurrence of this type of fraud has significantly increased in America and Europe over the past two years, prompting government institutions to take a closer look.

With ISPs and phone companies doing little to prevent dial-up scams, it is up to consumers to find a way to block these costly attacks. The all-new Kerio Personal Firewall has the ability to identify and stop rogue programs from dialing unauthorized phone numbers.

Kerio Personal Firewall 4 is the latest version of the popular Windows security software that has received praise for its ease-of-use and configurability. Successful in defending against Internet threats, such as the Blaster worm, it has won several accolades, including PC World’s download of the month.

“Frankly, personal firewalls are just too complicated for most home users,” says Dusan Vitek, director of marketing for Kerio Technologies Inc. “That’s why we added an automated intrusion detection system that blocks hacker attacks without requiring user intervention. This combined with other useful tools, such as a pop-up blocker, gives users the same level of security that professionals enjoy.”

Kerio Personal Firewall 4 is available for download from Kerio’s website www.kerio.com and the full version, which costs $45 and includes web filtering, can be evaluated for 30 days. After that, it reverts to the limited version, which is free for home use.