Symantec and Yahoo partner on security

Symantec gets chance to offer client security products to Yahoo's users - and could also help it gain leverage against Microsoft.

In an effort to bring basic security protection to as many Internet users as possible, Symantec has announced a partnership with Yahoo through which the two companies will jointly distribute several of Symantec's security products.

Under the umbrella name of 'Norton Internet Security provided by Yahoo', the offering will include protection against spyware, viruses, phishing scams and spam. The package will be available for download starting today, the companies said.

The partnership is an important one for Symantec at a time when the company is fighting for antivirus subscribers with not only its traditional rivals, such as McAfee Inc. and Trend Micro Inc., but also Microsoft. The Redmond, Wash., software giant is rolling out its own security suite, dubbed Windows Live OneCare, sold as an on-demand service, and also will be integrating antivirus and antispyware technologies into Windows Vista.

Microsoft's presence in the market has redrawn the competitive landscape and has caused more than a little hand-wringing and frustration among antivirus vendors, most of whom have been longtime Microsoft partners.

Windows Live OneCare, like the Yahoo-Symantec collaboration, is aimed mainly at consumers, many of whom are still surfing the Internet without sufficient security precautions, Symantec officials said.

"It is still a problem. We have data that shows that up to a third of consumers are still unprotected," said Rowan Trollope, vice president of consumer products and solutions at Symantec, based in Cupertino, Calif. "They either don't renew [the trial subscriptions they get with new PCs] or don't have full protection. Antivirus isn't enough anymore. You have to have a full Internet security suite."

Yahoo and Symantec also are collaborating on several other initiatives, including Norton Spyware Scan for Yahoo Toolbar, which enables users of Yahoo's popular browser toolbar to scan for and remove malicious programs from their machines. That integration should be finished within a few weeks, Symantec officials said. Symantec also provides virus-scanning services on the backend for Yahoo Mail and the Yahoo HotJobs site.

Consumers who download the new Norton Internet Security provided by Yahoo suite will get a free 30-day trial, and can then buy a one-year subscription fee of $49.95.

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