Symantec is inviting you to assess your PC's vulnerability to hackers, viruses, and privacy leaks by running an online checkup at a new portion of its site, launching this week.
According to a spokeswoman for the company there is currently a link on http://www.symantec.co.uk, which will take visitors to the tools at http://www.symantec.com. As of Friday the complete set of tools will be available from the UK site.
Symantec Security Check analyses PCs for their exposure and proposes remedies for systems that don't pass the test (often, not surprisingly, recommending Symantec security products).
The Hacker Protection portion of the site scans for openings that hackers can exploit.
Its Virus Protection checks for a current virus protection program, and its Privacy Protection component determines whether your browser is transmitting your Web-surfing history to other sites.
To take advantage of all of Symantec's services, you must run Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or a later version.
Also, you must accept a tracking file called a session cookie (which is deleted after the test) and download an ActiveX program that performs part of the analysis.
Symantec's Hacker Protection utility, like Shields Up, scans your PC for open ports - electronic gateways into a computer - that hackers can exploit to access a system and files.
Finally, the Privacy Protection component of Symantec Security Check determines whether a browser is transmitting your Web-surfing history to other sites.