We’re excited to tell you about the new and improved version of Norton Safe Search, now available as part of the Norton Internet Security 2010 public beta. Norton Safe Search takes the site ratings provided by Norton Safe Web a step further by delivering a fully customized search results page with built-in security features such as filtering out unsafe sites, an interstitial warning page, Privacy Safeguard, and other options such as allowing users to display only safe shopping sites.
Norton Safe Search is completely optional and provides users more control over their search experience. By partnering with a search provider, Ask.com, we were able to co-develop a new safe search destination that goes beyond Norton Safe Web’s site ratings, quickly implement and iterate new safety features, and provide search data that can be used to enhance our site ratings.
We originally rolled out Norton Safe Search in March as an update to Norton Internet Security 2009 and Norton 360v3. We quickly learned that users wanted to be given the choice to add the Norton Safe Search feature or not. We took immediate action to respond to these concerns by turning off the feature by default.
Over the past months, we’ve conducted extensive user research and surveyed hundreds of our customers for input. Based on user feedback, we made several major changes to the Norton Safe Search experience including:
1) Obtaining consent prior to enabling Norton Safe Search and adding the search box to the Norton toolbar.
2) Removing partner branding on the Norton toolbar to minimize confusion that we are installing a third-party search toolbar (all the search box code on the Norton toolbar is Symantec’s – not third-party).
3) Addressing data privacy concerns by working with Ask.com to make Privacy Safeguard easily accessible and simple to turn on/off. If you do decide to turn off Norton Safe Search, you’ll still get the full benefits of Norton Safe Web, which provides site ratings for search results on Google, Yahoo! and bing.com.
4) Enhancing the Norton Safe Search results page to include additional security features making it easier to identify and avoid unsafe sites as well as embedding useful shopping safety information directly into the search results page.
We encourage you to download the 2010 beta here and give the new Norton Safe Search a try. We want to hear your feedback. Did you find these changes helpful? Do you find Norton Safe Search useful?