AVG has launched a new version of its Internet Security software that comes with features designed to protect web users from ID theft.

Premium Security is an enhanced version of AVG Internet Security that comes with Identity Alert, a service that automatically trawls the web, in particular locations were personal data is available for sale, and checks to see if data registered by the user is appearing in these locations. AVG aims to alert the user to the fact the details are on the web, before they have been used, so the appropriate action can be taken, such as cancelling a credit card.

As well as allowing users to register core elements of personal data, such as an email address, passport number or credit card number, which AVG then scours the web for and alerts the user if they're found in unsecure locations, the service also offers a Restoration kit for users that have unfortunately had their details fall into the hands of cyber criminals. The kit includes advice on who to contact if an ID has been compromised, as well as sample letters that can be sent to banks etc.

Finally, there's also the Identity Theft Risk Score that will evaluate a web user's potential to becoming a victim of ID theft based on their actions on the web, such as allowing website to remember credit cards details.

"Identity can be compromised at anytime and any location" said Tony Anscombe from the security firm, when explaining why it had developed the product.

Meanwhile, J.R Smith, CEO, AVG Technologies, revealed that based on the recent security lapses by high-profile and respected brands such as Sony, Epsilon and Citigroup in the past few months with the liability shift toward consumers, "it is clear that identity theft protection tools are no longer a nice to have".

"Banks and corporations are at an important tipping point, showing strong indications that they will no longer simply cover losses,- expecting the online users to share equal responsibility in taking appropriate security measures that ultimately protect each other from malicious attacks," he said.

"Our identity-theft tools offer consumers access to the kind of timely intelligence they need to more effectively monitor and protect their personal information. Credit report-driven tools are much slower and therefore give thieves a massive head start, making clean-up and recovery of identity theft under those circumstances very difficult for the average consumer."

AVG Premium Security is available now and priced at £49.99 for a single user one-year licence. The security firm said it will also offer existing Internet Security users the chance to upgrade to Premium Security.