Symantec has released Norton AntiVirus 2012 and Norton Internet Security 2012, the latest versions of the security software.

According to the security firm, the updated software offers improved protection and usability for web surfers.

The Norton Identity Safe in the Cloud feature, which protects personal and financial information from cyber-criminals and keeps users safe from fraudulent websites, benefits from a new streamlined interface and simplified login experience, along with the ability to store passwords in the cloud.

Symantec has also introduced Norton Management that lets users of the security software manage their security settings, add new products and even update subscriptions, from any device with an internet connection.

The main user interface has also been streamlined and now offers quick access to other Norton security products including Norton Mobile Security Lite, website ratings service Norton Safe Web and the firm's parental control program, Norton Online Family.

Symantec's reputation-based security technology that automatically identifies and blocks malicious software has been improved along with its Download Insight function that checks every downloaded file before installation. The function now provides web users with additional data about the predicted stability of the application. Furthermore, the SONAR technology that monitors running applications for suspicious behaviour has also been updated.

Symantec said its own internal testing revealed the new security software offers 30 percent faster scans, a 17 percent faster boot time and 24 percent faster file copying compared to the 2011 versions of the programs.

Symantec also revealed it will be launching security software designed for tablet PCs in mid-October. Norton Tablet Security is designed to protect mobile devices against data loss, theft and viruses and offers function such as lock and locate.

The security firm also said the Norton Online Family app for iPhones and devices running Google Android, that allows parents using Norton Online Family parental controls to view their children's online activities, is now out of Beta.

"For the past few years we have witnessed an explosion of devices, platforms and applications for consumers to enjoy. However, with these exciting changes come new digital dangers and an even greater need for consumers to be protected from cybercrime," said Janice Chaffin from Symantec.

"As the world leader in security, Norton will continue striving to ensure that our customers are safe wherever they go, whatever digital experience they choose to have."

Norton Internet Security 2012 is priced at £49.99 for a one year, three PC licence, while Norton AntiVirus 2012 costs £29.99. Both programs are available to download now. Norton Tablet Security will be priced at £34.99 for a one year licence.