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Norton Internet Security 2008
By Erik Eckel
Norton Internet Security 2008 features Norton AntiVirus, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton Antispyware, Norton Antiphishing and Norton Identity Safe.
Before discarding (based on prior experiences, personal discrimination or personal distaste for Symantec products) any new Norton application as troublesome or unworthy, note the new edition boasts improved performance and earned PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice award in September 2007.
Norton Internet Security Installation
When inserting the Norton CD in a PC, this menu greets users. New computer users, particularly, will appreciate the simple interface that requires selecting the first option (Install Norton Internet Security) to begin setup.
Norton License Agreement
Computer users, and many IT professionals (judging from oft-common recommendations that businesses install free versions of other antivirus products in violation of license agreements and, thereby, the law) would be well served to read through software applications’ license agreements before blindly clicking I Agree.
Norton Internet Security 2008 Installation Options
By default, Norton signs users up for Norton Community Watch. The program is designed to send feedback to Norton to better enable the application’s manufacturer (Symantec) to monitor and respond to issues, errors and new virus threats.
In addition, as part of the default setup package, Norton Internet Security is set to perform a system scan before the product is installed.
No antivirus application is very effective if not kept current. Most Norton products, including Norton Internet Security 2008, include a one-year subscription to the latest antivirus signatures and product updates.
Norton manages user subscriptions via a Norton account. While more troublesome than simply entering a name and address, creating a Norton Account makes it easier for Norton users to renew their subscriptions. Thus, novice computer users and those wishing not to have to re-install security software annually from scratch will find the feature well-suited to their needs.
The Norton Internet Security Tab
Clicking the Norton Internet Security displays a menu boasting three critical sections.
Users can perform or schedule scans, manage items in quarantine, run the Security Inspector wizard (seemingly tailor made for novice computer users) and manage Indentity Safe (identity protection) tools and settings.
Users can also tweak settings for the suite’s antivirus software using the Settings section. Most new users will do best leaving the settings unchanged, however.
Report and statistical information, meanwhile, is available from within the Reports & Statistics section.
One of Norton Internet Security 2008’s most important features is its LiveUpdate component. Using LiveUpdate, the Norton application regularly downloads and installs the latest virus, spyware and worm signatures to help keep user systems protected.
Norton Internet Security Quick Scan
Norton Internet Security 2008 possesses the ability to run simple or comprehensive scans. Here you can see a Quick Scan in progress.
Norton Results Summary
Norton’s scans track the status of active scans within the Results Summary window, shown here.
Norton Scan Results
When infections are found, the Attention Required tab turns red to draw users attention.
Norton Scan Results
Norton Internet Security 2008 users can choose appropriate options for responding to each threat that’s found. In the case of a simple tracking cookie, users can choose to fix or ignore the threat.
To help users make sense of infections that are found, Norton ranks each threat.
Norton Scan Results
Once user actions are applied, the security application lists the outcome within the Detailed Results tab.
Norton Internet Security Options
While most novice users will be best served sticking with Norton Internet Security’s default settings, clicking through to the Internet Security Options menu presents opportunities to heavily customize the application. Everything from general and LiveUpdate options to real-time protection options and exclusions can be set from this menu.
Norton Internet Security Settings
Whereas Norton’s AntiVirus 2008 with Antispyware program provides antivirus, antispyware, Web browsing and email and messaging protection, Norton Internet Security adds several Transaction Security protections.
In addition to providing phishing protection, Norton Internet Security adds crimeware protection and Identity Safe. The phishing and crimeware protections help protect users (particularly those new to computing who don’t know to be skeptical of email solicitations and other phishing threats aimed at obtaining their sensitive personal information) against identity theft and the dangers of fake and fraudulent Web sites.
Identity Safe features, meanwhile, help safeguard online banking activities and Web-based purchases.
Norton Security Inspector
From the Norton Internet Security main tab, users can run the Norton Security Inspector. The wizard-based tool is designed to help users identify potential security issues with their PCs.
While IT professionals and other savvy technical users will likely already know and practice basic best-security tenets, novice users are often unsure how to secure their systems. Norton’s Security Inspector helps draw attention to areas of potential concern.
Norton Security Inspector Vulnerabilities
When the Security Inspector identifies vulnerabilities, it lists them within this results window.
Users can fix issues by clicking the Fix button. Alternatively, users can skip any concerns by clicking Cancel. More information, meanwhile, on vulnerabilities is available from the Details link.
Norton Security Inspector
When choosing to fix issues the Norton Security Inspector identifies, users are presented with several options.
In the case of a weak or missing password, as found on this test system, no action can be taken, or, the user can choose to ignore this vulnerability the next time the scan is run.
Clicking the Help button, meanwhile, presents tips and recommendations for eliminating the vulnerability.
Norton Internet Explorer Toolbar
By default, Norton Internet Security 2008 adds an identity and phishing protection toolbar, as shown here.
The Norton toolbar makes it very easy for users to log in and out of their Norton-based Identity Safe accounts, securely manage log ins for different Web sites and track suspected Phishing Web sites.
Norton Web Site Account Security
Norton Internet Security 2008’s Identity Safe feature helps users maintain safe Web-based logins by tracking and protecting account information within Norton Internet Security, as opposed to within a separate browser or unprotected cookie.
Just as Norton Internet Security 2008 possesses the ability to deeply customize and adjust the program’s security controls, so too does it provide comprehensive reporting capabilities. Here you can see the Security History, which tracks changes to the software and network settings.
Norton Internet Security 2008 Log Viewer
Norton’s Log Viewer provides additional reporting and logging information. From tracking information on specific alerts to tracking risks impacting a number of the product’s different features, users intent on looking beneath the Norton Internet Security 2008 hood will find plenty of diagnostic information.