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Symantec Takes On Hackers

The growing threat posed by the Internet to home PCs has prompted Symantec to introduce the Norton Internet Security software suite.

The title, expected in stores by late November at a $59 suggested retail price, protects a home PC from privacy infringement, hackers, and computer viruses. It features an updated version of Norton’s AntiVirus software and provides a parental control feature that stops children from accessing Web sites containing inappropriate material. It also can block ads from Web pages, en-abling increased download speeds, said Symantec product manager Laura Garcia.

“There are more hackers targeting home PCs now because so many people are doing banking and trading stocks from home,” she said, adding Symantec will supply purchasers with a free year’s supply of upgrades so consumers are protected against the latest viruses and hacker technology.

The application allows a family to set up several accounts, with each allotted a specific level of Internet access. Children’s access to both the Web and the PC itself may be heavily restricted, Garcia said, which not only protects the children, but also ensures they cannot alter their parents’ programs.

The software accomplishes these tasks by setting up personal firewalls and giving the end user the ability to block the placement of cookies. In addition, the application compiles data on the action it has taken — including noting when someone tried to access a blocked Web site, when another computer tried to download sensitive information, or when someone attempted to send private data out over the Internet.