A new suite from AVG called Premium Security introduces one new feature that AVG Antivirus Free and AVG Internet Security lack: identity protection. AVG Premium Security 2011, available only to people in the United States and United Kingdom, includes a new personal data protection feature called Identity Alert.
The feature is a direct response to the interests of AVG customers, said the company's ambassador of free products, Tony Anscombe. "Identity on the PlayStation Network highlights it perfectly," he said. "Ninety-four million people were affected by the hacks, and the information was hosted on servers in Japan. This is a global problem."
Once registered for the service, it will warn you when your personal data such as e-mail address, telephone number, Social Security or National Insurance number, and credit card numbers are revealed on the Internet. It also includes a service that advises you on how to restore anonymity to your personal data, should it become compromised.
The feature is provided by what Anscombe called "a recognized service," although he would not reveal which company had licensed their technology to AVG, only that they were based out of either the U.S. or the U.K. Users familiar with either of AVG's security products might have to look twice at the revised interface, which simply inserts the "Identity Alert" option as one extra choice among many.
AVG Premium Security 2011 retails for $69.99 and does not come with a trial version. As a point of comparison, AVG Internet Security 2011 retails for $54.99, although it's currently $43.99 from CNET Download.com. However, the peace of mind an identity tracker provides is probably worth the annual cost to those who've had personal data theft problems.