On Wednesday morning, Microsoft's MSN division began offering two new add-ins for the MSN Search Toolbar. The first, a beta version of Microsoft's Phishing Filter add-in, helps protect users against Web-based scams. The second, the Games add-in, helps connect consumers with online gaming services at MSN Games. When the MSN Search Toolbar was first released earlier this year, Microsoft promised that it would be extending the product with a number of add-ins. These two are among the most full-featured released thus far.

"Our on-going mission for MSN Search is to help people find precisely what they want and seamlessly access the information they care about." Says Dane Glasgow, the product unit manager for MSN. "These latest add-ins provide people with unparalleled opportunity to add value to their MSN Search Toolbar for one of the most popular online activities---online games--while protecting their browsing experience."

The beta Phishing Filter add-in is, perhaps, the more important of the two. Originally announced as a feature of Internet Explorer (IE) 7.0, the Phishing Filter helps protects users against phishing Web sites, which seek to impersonate banks, eCommerce site, and other trusted entities. If the filter determines that a Web site is suspicious, it will flash a warning. Known bad sites are simply blocked.

If you're using IE, the Phishing Filter is reason enough to get the MSN Search Toolbar. You can download add-ons for the Search Toolbar, including the Phishing Filter, from the MSN Web site.
http://addins.msn.com/