Norton’s plans to make public Wi-Fi and new Windows 8 systems secure

20 Jun 2012

As public Wi-Fi hotspots see increasing popularity, Norton by Symantec has introduced a new product to ensure mobile users’ security online, while also expanding its services to suit Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8.

Norton Hotspot Privacy will let users connect to Wi-Fi networks securely by creating a virtual private network (VPN) on any public hotspot.

Today, Wi-Fi network operator Bitbuzz announced it had seen more than 100,000 logins per week for the first time since its foundation in 2003. “So far, 2012 has been our busiest year yet,” said Shane Deasy, managing director. “We attribute this growing demand for the continued rise in smartphone use and the emerging tablet market.”

Need for safe Wi-Fi

Bitbuzz has also seen a significant increase in the number of Wi-Fi spots available throughout Ireland, but it is important that users maintain security when accessing these public networks. Research by Norton shows that safe Wi-Fi is the biggest consumer need for any mobile security offering, explaining the rationale behind its latest product, which will be available for iOS later this year.

Through Hotspot Privacy, users can keep their identities, web accounts and transactions safe, without having to login every time. When a device detects and connects to a Wi-Fi network, Hotspot Privacy will automatically configure and start for the user.

Windows 8-ready

While making efforts for increased mobile security, Norton is also Windows 8-ready and will be compatible with the new Microsoft OS upon its release, expected in autumn. Security concerns come to the fore with the launch of any new operating system, and the latest from Microsoft will be no exception.

Norton is developing specialised apps for the Metro environment, which will include Norton Studio, a new touch-based UI for Norton security products, as well as a Norton-branded browser and cloud scanner. The browser will ensure users’ security when conducting transactions online while also providing Identity Safe password management, and the lightweight scanning app finds malicious links posted on Facebook walls, for example.

Online security image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.