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Internet Security Norton Security Review
Norton Security provides all-in-one computer and internet security protection. These products are made by Symantec, a publicly-traded Fortune 500 company founded in 1982, based in California, USA.
Symantec products include Norton Security: Standard, Deluxe, and Premium, and several others. These products help protect your computers, tablets and smartphones from viruses, spyware and malware. Other features include identity protection while surfing the web, PC optimization and tune-up, file backup and restore, as well as parental control options.
I've used Norton products for many years now and currently use Norton Security on my laptops and smartphone. In this fast-paced digital world, where online fraud is rampant, protecting your personal and sensitive data is of significant importance and should be taken seriously. Especially if you use the internet for online shopping, banking, researching, social networking, online gaming, and other online activities.
On this web page, I will review Norton Security and give you a virtual tour of what you can expect from this top-notch digital security suite. We will review various aspects of this internet security application as well as see how the competition stacks up.
Poll: Internet Security Software - Virus Protection and Internet Security Software Usage
Norton Security All-in-One Security Review
Virus Protection, Internet Security, Backup and PC Tune-up
Norton 360 was replaced by Norton Security in 2016 as mentioned earlier, is a computer and internet security protection software which helps keep your PC running smoothly, secures your important data, and keeps you safe from potential online threats and intrusions. Below, we will review some of the key features of Norton Security, so you can understand the level of protection you will get with this security product:
PC Security: allows you to securely use the internet by protecting your computer from virus attacks, spyware and malware. The Smart Firewall protects your PC from online intrusions and hacker attacks in real-time. It scans incoming and outgoing mail for viruses, spyware and malware, and blocks spam email.
With Norton Insight you can check to see what processes are running on your computer and if they are slowing it down. It also warns you if download files are potentially harmful. And finally, the application runs daily updates to deal with new threats.
Identity Protection: Cybercriminals use fake, but authentic-looking websites, to lure victims in order to steal their identify. The anti-phishing technology protects you when surfing the internet by giving you advance warnings of potentially suspicious websites when you search the web on browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google Chrome.
Refer to the Norton Security Safe Web section below to see screenshots of examples. The Identity Safe feature remembers and secures your passwords, so you can safely use them when you need to. Basically, you can create a password vault which saves your passwords for future use in encrypted format.
File Backup: the Automatic Backup feature allows you to schedule backup sets to secure your important files including pictures and music to external drives or online. In case your computer crashes, you can use this backup to restore your data. This PC security package includes 2 GB of free online backup space. However, you can purchase additional online backup storage space, if required.
PC Tune Up: runs Disk Optimization and File Clean-up programs to fine tune your computer's settings in order to help keep it running smoothly. It manages and frees up memory which enables applications to run efficiently. It purges unnecessary files which helps improve the overall performance of your PC. Also, you can run a Norton Diagnostic Report to get a summary of various aspects of your computers performance and problem areas that need to be fixed.
Video Review of Norton Internet and PC Security
Norton Security: Standard, Deluxe, and Premium
Symantec has several Norton Security products: Standard, Deluxe, and Premium. Norton 360 has been replaced by Norton Security in 2016. Here is a Comparison of Norton Products along with various features available on the respective security products. I've used all these three products featured below in the past, and am currently using Norton Security as it provides comprehensive protection.
Types of Norton Security Scans
Norton Computer Scan, Reputation Scan, Facebook Wall Scan
Norton Security automatically scans your computer when it is idle. However, you can run preset or custom scans at anytime. The above screenshot shows various types of Norton security scans that are available for you to scan your computer.
Quick Scans consume less time as they focus on critical areas rather than the whole computer. Full System Scans take much longer as they do a thorough check of the full computer for viruses including running LiveUpdate, disk optimization, and file backup.
Custom Scans allow you to scan a specific file or folder as well as a particular drive. On the other hand, Custom Tasks allow you to run specific tasks like LiveUpdate, Disk Optimization, and Backup. You can run these scans one-time or scheduled.
The Scan Facebook Wall feature allows you to scan website links posted on your Facebook Wall to ensure they are not phishing or malicious links. This is a very handy tool because the popularity of social media has become a haven for cybercriminals.
Safely Surfing the Internet with Norton Safe Web
Norton Safe Web is a useful feature when searching the web. For example, when you visit Google to look for information or to shop online, it scrutinizes websites that appear in your search results and accordingly reports if these websites are safe or not.
It identifies websites that could potentially contain viruses, spyware, or other security threats which could be harmful. Once the application analyzes the websites, it provides a safe rating for all the websites that appear in the search results.
You can see the screenshot above showing examples of Norton Safe Web at work. You will notice on each search result, Norton provides a rating as follows:
- "Norton Secured" sign indicates VeriSign trusted;
- Green "OK" icon indicating safe website;
- Red cross ("X") icon indicating unsafe website;
- Grey question mark ("?") icon indicating untested;
- Yellow exclamation mark ("!") icon indicating caution.
I've seen all of the above ratings, except the last one which Symantec classifies as "Annoyance Factors". These websites don't necessarily pose security threats, rather may attempt to install unwanted applications on your PC without your permission. To check the details of the Norton Safe Web report, you can click the "Full Report" button. You will then be redirected to a Norton website providing details.
My advice is that you stick with the first two ratings when clicking on website search results. However, use good judgment even when visiting sites that are rated "safe", especially if you're shopping or banking online. Bottom line is that I find this feature very useful because I use the Google Search a lot.
Protecting your Kids Online with Norton Online Family
Norton Security Parental Controls Management enables blocking access to certain website and tracking of your children's online activities via Norton Online Family to help protect them from dangers online. It also helps track your children's online activities on social networks including online chatting.
Norton Online Family encourages open discussion between parents and their kids by helping set rules, including time limits, and communicating them to their kids. You can also get real-time updates by logging online or get daily/weekly email updates. It is free to use, but there is are premium feature which can be purchased at a cost (only available in the US).
Diagnostic Report to Detect, Fix Hardware and Software Issues
The Norton Diagnostic Report is an another useful feature that I use regularly, especially if I make any changes to my computer, to check if there are any issues with my computer hardware and software applications. Once you run the Diagnostic Report, it checks your entire computer system for any issues and accordingly lists down all the components along with a status on each one.
If the component is ok, you will see a green check mark displayed. If you wish to check what diagnostic tests were run on a specific component, you click the "Show Details" link in the report and it provides the details. Similarly, if Norton has found an issue with a specific component, it will display an orange exclamation mark with a "Fix Now" red button to help you fix the issue.
If you notice the screenshot above, you will see that the Norton Diagnostic Report that I ran detected an issue with my Startup Programs which I was able to fix so I could enhance the performance of my laptop, including faster boot time.
Some of the components that the Diagnostic Report checks for issues are the operating system, memory utilization, Startup programs, other installed programs, hardware devices, wireless network connectivity, as well as any processes running at the time you run the diagnostic report. You can run the the Diagnostic Report under your Tasks tab in the "PC Tuneup Tasks" section.
Detailed Report on Monthly Norton Security Activities
The Norton Monthly Report provides a summary of the security activities Norton 360 completed in the last 30 days. The summary lists down the number of viruses and security threats that were detected and blocked, phishing sites that were detected while searching the web, as well as details on backup and tune up.
In the monthly report, you can click the appropriate links to get more details. There is also a section on the latest cybercrime news and tips of the month. You can check the Norton Monthly Report under your Account tab, in the "My Account" section.
Norton Internet Security vs Competition
The comparative data used in the chart above is based on several independent tests run by Dennis Technology Labs, Passmark Software, and AV-Test GmbH. These comparative tests were performed on some of the top internet security software applications available in the market in 2011 and 2012.
The ones I decided to include for this review were popular security applications like Kaspersky, AVG, Panda Global, and BitDefender. The tests included key aspects of security software under two main sections, namely, Protection and Performance.
Protection metrics included accuracy of blocking virus, malware, and spyware attacks; protection against exe downloads, drive-by-downloads, malicious email attachments, P2P attacks, as well as false positives; and effectiveness of remediation or remedying security threats that were detected.
Performance metrics included scan speeds to determine time required to scan files for viruses and other malware; memory utilization to measure the amount of RAM memory utilized; and installation time to evaluate the speed and ease when installing the security software on your computer.
As you will notice from the above results, Norton Internet Security scored better or equal to other competitor security software in all the above categories. Like I said earlier, in the past few years, I've used several Norton products including the Anti-Virus, Norton Utilities, Internet Security, and now Norton 360.
I've had an overall positive experience with these PC security products, including their 24/7 customer service. In fact, since I've been a long-time customer of Norton products, I contacted the company to get a better price and I now pay half the original retail price.
Not everyone has had the same experience with Norton products as I've had, however, what I would suggest is take the time to install the software correctly and contact Symantec if you have any issues. In fact, they have a 30-day Free Trial which allows you enough time to try and test the software.
Norton Comparative Data 2012 (used with permission)
Other Internet Security Software
BitDefender, Kaspersky, Panda, AVG Internet Security 2014
There are many other internet security software in the market. Some of the top ones are listed below. Some of these software applications are BitDefender, Kaspersky, Panda, and AVG Internet Security.
Each of these applications offer different levels of internet security. Among the ones listed below, I've personally tried AVG and Kaspersky. My favourite still remains Norton Security products which I've used for over a decade now.
Information research, stats, comparative data from Norton website (used with permission).
Norton Security screenshots were taken by the author of this web page (used with permission).
Updated: March 28, 2016
Share your thoughts on internet security
Guestbook: Norton Security Review
anonymous on March 26, 2013:
We have used Norton 360 on our home PCs for years with no issues. I do keep a copy of Avast on a usb flashdrive to help scan and cleanup friends/families PCs when they get into trouble. Spouse and I are both CompTIA A+ certified.
Anthony Godinho (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 14, 2013:
@TransplantedSoul: I've used Norton products for years now and they've worked very well for me. I think it's important to take a look at any conflicting programs and accordingly adjust the settings. Though I agree that it's best to have enough memory on your system when using Norton products.
TransplantedSoul on February 05, 2013:
I stay away from Norton - I find that they slow the computer and generally are quite intrusive. I use Avast.
adriveco on January 05, 2013:
You should always buy a commercial product. Norton 360 is at the top of the list.
anonymous on October 14, 2012:
You covered every possible person who uses the internet in your intro...security has to be a top priority and Norton 360 has the goods we need to feel safe and secure on line. An excellent and every stone turned review by you!
anonymous on October 06, 2012:
Really norton is best antivirus forever. It is effective, fast and protect any pc from virus, trojans and worms. I also write a post about
norton 360 all in one security earlier.
anonymous on October 01, 2012:
one of the best antivirus, better than the bitdefender which almost killed my computer , norton saved my comp.
Ruthi on September 24, 2012:
A friend put Norton on my old computer in 2002 and I have not been without it since and I have not had any computer virus or negative issues since. I highly recommend Norton 360 for internet security and computer safety.
VspaBotanicals on July 27, 2012:
We bought this yesterday, and we love, love love it!