McAfee has jazzed up its website with an online portal designed to help users research a wide range of security problems. Called the McAfee Threat Center, the portal was launched yesterday as part of a redesign of the website.

In addition to virus information, the portal contains information from the company's Avert Labs division on spam, phishing, and spyware as well as free tools and articles from McAfee security experts. A security blog is expected to be started within the next few weeks, McAfee said.

The portal extends the scope of McAfee's web resources, according to David Marcus, security research and communications manager at McAfee Avert. "The focus of the site previously was viruses and malware," he said. "Now it's much more representative of all the areas we do in security research."

McAfee is redesigning its website in order to make it easier for consumers and businesses to find relevant security information, free of charge, the company said. Eventually the design is expected to be incorporated into McAfee's regional websites around the world.

Security researchers have no shortage of free information sources these days. The US government maintains a comprehensive information portal on security vulnerabilities and security research company The Sans Institute runs its own community-based security information portal.

Increasingly, companies are also using blogs as a way to share security information with their customers. Last month, for example, Oracle chief security officer Mary Ann Davidson launched her own blog, which can be found here.

The McAfee Threat Center can be found here.