Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Consumers are constantly threatened by harmful Internet agents, online scams, identity theft and other detrimental computer agents that can make one’s information unsecured.

To combat these problems, Symantec announced Nov. 22 that it has launched the public beta version of its new consumer security service, Norton 360.

Norton 360 integrates Symantec’s PC security and tune-up technologies with new automated backup and online transaction security capabilities designed to protect a user from various computer threats ranging from Internet threats to identity theft as well as protecting a user’s documents, photos and music.

Symantec’s newest security service will also protect a consumer’s confidential information while banking and shopping, as Norton 360 provides users with online identity theft protection.

“Today’s consumers want to be able to work and play in the connected world with confidence that their information and activities are secure,” Enrique Salem, group president of the Consumer Business Unit for Symantec, said in a release.

The new security service also offers protection from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, hackers and other Internet threats and risks while also providing consumers with free 24×7 support through an implanted e-mail and online chat service, which users will be able to test out during the beta period.

Click here to read more about Symantec’s Norton rootkit controversy.

“Norton 360 was created to provide computer users and their families a full range of protection that is automatic, powerful, and easy to understand and use,” Salem said.

Norton 360 is supported by the company’s Global Intelligence Network, which consists of Symantec DeepSight Threat Management System and Symantec Managed Security Services as well as Symantec’s Phish Report Network, which lets users contribute and receive fraudulent Web site addresses to protect consumers from fraudulent Web sites.

“We’re eager to receive customer feedback on the beta, as we make final adjustments for the formal launch of the product,” Salem said.

The Norton 360 beta version is now available for download. The final version of Norton 360 is expected to be available by March 2007.

Check out’s Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Ryan Naraine’s eWEEK Security Watch blog.