Protection is the priority for Symantec this year, in the annual roll-out of updates for its Norton range of security software. (See: Symantec Norton Internet Security 2010 review.)
While last year's Norton AntiVirus 2009 and Norton Internet Security 2009 were designed to address the long-running problem of performance - that is the slowdown of a Windows PC after Norton was installed - Symantec is now focusing on catching the remainder of online threats that still bypass all anti-malware software products.
Symantec believes that most of the well-known vendors of security software have products that will find 90% or more of assorted Windows malware, so it now wants to enlist the help of its installed user base to help reduce the chance of the remainder breaking through to your PC.
Quorum is the codename for additional services that check any new file that is presented to a PC, whether downloaded through a web browser, IM client or other means.
An incoming file is uniquely identified by its attributes, and this file hash is sent to Symantec's online server to see if it is already recognised by other users as being suspect. A pop-up window labelled Download Insight will be presented to the Norton 2010 user, and this provides information such as the age of the file and how many people have used this file before. The user can then decide whether to remove the file from the system, or run it anyway if it is an executable program.
Symantec is proud of its 30 million registered users, who are called upon to help find malicious websites, for example those often presented in any routine search engine query. While other web safety checks - such as the blacklist function in Firefox, Chrome, IE, McAfee and NetCraft - will all flag dangerous websites within 24 hours of discovery, Symantec claims it can provide its users higher detection rates within one hour.
Other new features include System Insight, a graphing performance monitor which shows the load on the PC system of its security software, and a new anti-spam engine based on its Brightmail product for business users.
Norton AntiVirus 2010 is priced at £39.99, and Norton Internet Security 2010 at £49.99, for a one-year subscription for up to three Windows PCs.
A Netbook Edition of its 2010 internet security suite is also offered at £39.99, promising the lightest protection available for netbook PCs.