Sainsbury's Finace has joined forces with internet security company Prevx to offer its online-banking customers free protection from internet fraud.

Any of CIO 100 listed Sainsbury's 1.4 million online-banking customers can download Prevx’s SafeOnline software for free. The software, which is designed to complement existing antivirus installed on a PC, ensures personal information such as log-in details and credit card numbers are protected whenever they are transmitted via the internet from a PC.

Users will be protected when visiting the Sainsbury’s Finance website, as well as any other websites they select, whether its social networking sites such as Facebook, or webmail services including Hotmail.

Prevx also said it will offer web users information on the importance of staying safe and secure when online.

"As a leading supermarket bank serving the needs of consumers up and down the country, we feel we have a duty to ensure people know how to stay safe when servicing their credit card and savings accounts online," said Stuart McKeggie, head of credit cards at Sainsbury’s Finance.

"Maintaining the trust and confidence of our customers is critical; so providing the best possible security we can, at no extra charge, is very important to us."

Mel Morris, CEO at Prevx added that in an age where many PCs are connected to the internet 24 hours a day, it's critical to ensure web browsers are protected.

"To truly combat online fraud, PCs must be protected on all websites at all times. There is no reason why the internet should be synonymous with online fraud – consumers should be able to browse safe in the knowledge that their personal information is still private."