Oakland, CA and Cupertino, CA – Feb. 03, 2009 – Leading search engine Ask.com, an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) with 76 million monthly unique users, and Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC), whose Norton brand is the world’s security market share leader for consumer software and services, today announced a multi-year, strategic partnership to deliver the best answers and even safer search results on the Web.
Together, Ask.com and Symantec developed Safe Search, a new offering that makes searching the Web safer by providing users with ratings before they visit a site that could damage or infect their PC. Safe Search delivers site ratings embedded directly into the search experience, so that users can conduct searches directly from their Norton toolbar and see site ratings presented on a customized search results page. Safe Search, with search powered by Ask.com, is now available with Norton Safe Web as part of the Norton 360 version 3.0 public beta. Norton Safe Web is a Web site rating service introduced in beta by Symantec in August 2008.
On the customized search results page, each of the Ask-generated search results will be safety-rated by Symantec using a color-coded icon to help the consumer decide whether to visit or avoid sites or sections of sites that may be potentially malicious or harmful. Searchers will also be able to ‘mouse’ over the rating icon to receive more detail about the Safe Search rating.
Symantec and Ask.com are committed to working on features and functionality that further extend protection for search, which underlies most online activities. In addition to the integration of Safe Search into the Norton toolbar, Ask.com plans to continue to work with Symantec to create offerings that improve search safety.
For security innovator Symantec, this partnership will provide Norton users with additional protection while searching the Web and an enhanced online experience, matched with a leading search innovator in Ask.com.
For search pioneer Ask.com, this partnership will introduce customers of the industry’s leading security products to the Ask brand and Ask’s differentiated search experience, provide Safe Search protection to a broad audience of active users, and expand the reach of the Ask Partner Network.
The growing, global Ask Partner Network has an audience reach - across Ask.com and partner sites – of 118 million domestic consumers (62% of all U.S. Internet users) and 312 million worldwide consumers (31% of all global internet users). The APN network of worldwide partners includes best-in-class marketplace leaders across a diverse and growing spectrum of industries, including consumer software, online and social media, OEMs and ISPs and mobile companies.
“At Ask.com, safety, security and privacy are front-and-center priorities in the search experience that we provide to millions of families - whether at Ask.com or AskKids.com,” said Ask.com Chief Executive Officer Jim Safka. “This move is part of Ask.com’s ongoing focus on families to provide them with safe search features and the best content anywhere on the Web. Our customers will continue to see Ask.com innovate with technology that serves consumers with a series of compelling verticals across major search categories in 2009, and beyond.”
“Search is a fundamental part of consumers’ everyday lives, and Symantec is continually looking at ways to help consumers extend protection into activities such as shopping, social networking and online banking,” said Janice Chaffin, group president of Symantec’s Consumer Business Unit. “Ask.com has demonstrated a commitment to making the Web a safer place, and can bring Norton Safe Web technology to more consumers through Ask.com’s 76 million unique monthly users.”
Safe Search is currently available in English only, and is included with Norton Safe Web as part of the Norton 360 version 3.0 public beta, which can be downloaded at www.norton.com/360v3beta. Additional details regarding the availability of Safe Search with other Norton offerings will be announced at a later date.
About Norton from Symantec
Symantec’s Norton products protect consumers from traditional threats with antivirus, anti-spam and spyware protection, as well as bots, drive-by downloads and identity theft-- while also being light on system resources. The company also provides services such as PC help from NortonLive™ and online backup, and is a trusted source for family online safety.
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
Ask.com is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI). The Ask Network of sites has more than 164 million worldwide unique monthly users, according to December 2008 comScore data. Ask.com syndicates its search technology and advertising solutions to a network of affiliate partners.
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Forward-looking Statements: Any forward-looking indication of plans for products is preliminary and all future release dates are tentative and are subject to change. Any future release of the product or planned modifications to product capability, functionality or feature are subject to ongoing evaluation by Symantec, and may or may not be implemented and should not be considered firm commitments by Symantec and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.