Barclays gives customers free security software

Barclays Bank will offer free security software to all of its two million online customers.

It is the latest move by a high street bank to improve customer security that has seen banks issuing savers with security tokens and introducing multi-stage logins to online banking sites.

Barclays will be offering Kaspersky's Internet Security Suite, which normally costs 51 for an annual subscription, as a free download from its online banking website. The suite features anti-virus software as well as spyware, adware, a firewall, parental controls and spam filters.

Barclays has signed a two year deal with Kaspersky. Customers will be able to install the software on three separate computers with each licence.

Barclays deployed a two-factor authentication system called PINsentry in 2007 which was aimed at protecting against phishing and fraudsters. One million PINsentry readers have already been sent out to customers according to the bank.

"For the last two years we have offered customers free anti-virus software, but as internet fraudsters become more sophisticated it is important that customers protect their computers from all threats and not just viruses," said Sean Glichrist, director of digital banking at Barclays.