Protection from malicious attacks against instant message systems is one of the promises of Symantec's latest security software releases.
Called Norton Internet Security 2003, the suite includes a version of Norton AntiVirus that is claimed to work with most popular instant message clients. They include Yahoo Instant Messenger, AOL and MSN/Windows Messenger, but not ICQ. An ICQ version is expected next year.
Symantec New Zealand manager Richard Batchelar says instant messaging is expected to double in use by 2004, surpassing use of email.
The new releases also include Norton Intrusion Detection, enhanced privacy control, and Norton Spam Alert, to filter junk email. Improved blocking of both pop-up and pop-under ads is also claimed.
As well as the internet suite, Symantec has released Norton SystemWorks 2003, aimed at small businesses, which includes antvirus and website optimisation tools.
According to researcher IDC, Symantec leads the $US6 billion internet security market with 12% share, from CheckPoint with about 9%.