Updated: Symantec launches free security software

Symantec has released free security software, suggesting that the company is feeling the heat of Microsoft’s antivirus giveaway.

Updated: Symantec launches free security software

Norton Safe Web Lite is a free version of the link-checking software that’s built into Symantec’s paid-for software, providing visual warnings before users click on potentially risky links in search engines. The software works with Google, Yahoo and Bing.

While it’s not a full antivirus checker in the mould of Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG Anti-Virus Free 9, it’s an indication that Symantec is feeling the heat from rival freebies.

Web Safe Lite isn’t the only freebie Symantec has in the pipeline, either; the company is also working on a web-based version of its parental control software.

Symantec denies it’s been spurred into action by Microsoft. “We really believe this generation of Norton software is really fantastic stuff,” said Con Mallon, product marketing director at Symantec. “These are little tasters we’re putting out there. Obviously, we’d like to move you to the subscription suite.”

Norton Safe Web Lite is available for download from the Norton Beta Center. No licence key is required to use the software, although Symantec warns that the beta software will expire in three to six months, although it’s likely it will continue to be a free product after that. “In terms of of being [permanently] free, we can’t commit to that, but that’s the view we’ve taken at the moment,” Mallon said.

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