The Job

Windows computers require protection from a wide variety of common viruses and spyware programs, not too mention unwanted intrusions. Novice users are particularly vulnerable to system infections and identity theft. A single software suite is required that can address all these issues.

The Tool

Norton Internet Security 2008 delivers effective tools, a simple interface and the default settings novice computer users require to secure their systems and protect personal data. In addition to boasting improved performance, the new 2008 iteration of the popular software suite also includes thorough firewall support and rootkit detection as well as trusted antivirus and antispyware engines.

Norton Internet Security 2008 possesses several advantages for novice computer users:

  • Simple installation
  • Improved performance
  • Simple-to-navigate menus
  • Windows Vista compatibility
  • Internet Worm protection
  • Email and instant messaging security
  • Award-winning virus and spyware protection
  • Rootkit detection
  • Vastly customizable settings
  • Comprehensive reporting

There are some disadvantages, however:

  • More advanced users typically don’t require many of the features bundled with Norton Internet Security 2008, including phishing detection, identity protection and the Security Inspector that helps audit a system’s security settings.
  • Price; users requiring only antivirus and antispyware protection can save 25 percent or more by purchasing an antivirus/antispyware only product. Novice users with multiple PCs, however, will benefit, as Norton Internet Security 2008 can be installed on up to three different PCs per household.
  • Phishing and identity theft protection commands system resources; more savvy users will enjoy improved system performance by running applications that seek only to block viruses and spyware versus having to maintain firewalls, phishing controls, identity theft processes and other background services. Novice users, however, may well find the price of trading available system resources for protection worthwhile.

The Right Tool for the Job?

Norton Internet Security 2008 delivers powerful antivirus and antispyware protection, along with identity safeguards and effective third-party firewall services, in a single package. While more advanced users will find many of the features unnecessary (as more sophisticated users generally implement hardware-based firewalls and are more educated as to common Web threats, phishing vulnerabilities and identity theft practices), novice computer users will be well served by the security suite.

Read my comprehensive screenshot review of Norton Internet Security 2008.