Symantec on Wednesday announced the release of
for Mac, a new security packaage designed to keep Mac users on the Internet safe while banking or shopping online. It costs $49.99.
Norton Confidential is designed to protect Mac users against fradulent Web sites that are “phishing” for user data; the software installs a plug-in for the Firefox Web browser that shows a Norton Confidential toolbar that displays a simple green indicator and the words “Site Verified” when it’s safe to use. The software will block phishing sites from collecting sensitive information. Symantec is working with Apple on a Safari plug-in that it hopes to release shortly.
The software uses a combination of looking for known threats (using a blacklist that’s maintained similarly to how Symantec’s Norton Anti-Virus software stays abreast of new virus threats) and checking for suspicious behavior.
The software also protects personal information like social security numbers and credit card numbers by checking with users before such details are transmitted. And it will lock down important files on your Mac, preventing them from being deleted or tampered with, either accidentally by friends and family who are using your computer or by hackers with a more malicious intent.
Norton Confidential also helps fill in the gaps by protecting Macs against newly-discovered application and operating system security vulnerabilities, until Apple or the software application developers patch the problems.
The $49.99 fee includes a one-year subscription to Symantec’s LiveUpdate protection service, which provides updates to blacklists, whitelists and other content used by Norton Confidential; after the year is over, users have the option of paying $19.99 to continue their subscription. If they don’t, the software will continue to operate, but it won’t be updated with new profile information.