Computer virus, years
ago it could have sounded like a joke, a computer with a cold. The term these
days depending on the severity and depending on how many systems it causes
damage to it can make the news world wide, the types of viruses out there are
staggering. Having some kind of software to help combat any possible infections
to your system and its files is a must.
That is where Norton Internet Security
2004 comes in. This valuable software suite includes Antivirus 2004 with its
expanded threat detection. It actually uses a new technology that can identify
non virus threats such as spyware and adware as well as keystroke logging
programs. These are just some of the applications that can compromise a computer
by getting into users confidential data and track users online habits on where
they go on the web. Norton software helps put a stop to this.
Norton AntiVirus 2004 also helps protect a
user from file exchange services like peer to peer networks. It scans for
viruses in all compressed file archives, all incoming and outgoing email is
checked and it can even automatically remove viruses, Trojans and Worms and
block the ones that can be hidden in email and instant message attachments.
There is also something new that Norton implements, it’s a Worm and script
blocking technology. This feature defends users against not only the known
threats, but unknown ones as well.
Norton Internet Security 2004 further includes the new Norton AntiSpam 2004,
which automatically detects and filters out unwanted commercial email, or spam,
at the desktop. Let’s face it, Spam is the number one time consumer and hurts
your work production, even if you don’t sit there and open every one to check
it. Hitting that delete button over and over again eats up your valuable time.
The AntiSpam part of the suite does its job almost with out any effort from the
user. It meshes with Outlook, Eudora and Outlook Express by adding a simple menu
and toolbar for tagging messages. It moves all tagged messages to the AntiSpam
folder within the email client giving the user to just double check to see if
the email is in fact spam. Or it can be set to just delete the Spam from the
server. In the end users are able to get the emails they want while effectively
filtering out any unwanted messages.
Norton Internet Security 2004 includes
Norton Personal Firewall 2004 as well. A good Firewall is the first line of
defense against hackers. Norton Personal Firewall 2004 is a real boon to the
user, even more so to laptop users. Regardless of the network a laptop user
connects to the program adjusts its settings. Even if a user connects to
multiple networks on and off they get the same degree of protection. If there
are any problems the software also has Firewall controls that can be adjusted.
This is some serious software that I went ahead and tested out by going to other
sites that sell different Firewall and security software. On these sites they
have a security test section that when used it tries to check your computer to
see how well what ever you’re using, is actually protecting your computer. Each
time Norton seemed to work just fine. Of course these sites give a sales pitch
for their own products with the security check, but none of them out right said
that the system was unsecured. This was checked by turning the Firewall off on
occasion and checking the results. The firewall tests gave the appropriate
response when the Firewall was turned off.
On top of all of this Norton Internet
Security 2004 includes privacy protection. This feature prevents confidential
information from being sent without user authorization to unsecured Web sites or
through email, Microsoft Office attachments, and instant messaging services.
Additionally there is a tamper proof password protection feature that prevents
the security settings from being turned off manually or by a Trojan horse virus.
Norton is also family friendly; it gives parents the ability to keep their
children away from inappropriate material. It does this by blocking access to
newsgroups and web sites that may have subjects that are not suited for
children. There are several degrees of flexibility in the program enabling
parents to set up different access privileges. It does have default settings for
children but it can also be set for access levels suited for teens and adults.
The price of protection comes with a slow loading filter list of sites, the
categories range from tobacco and alcohol, travel, gambling, drugs and
What’s the use of such
software if you cannot stay up to date? As is the norm these days Symantec’s
automatic Live Update makes sure that the products stay current with all the
recent protection updates and technology. A user gets one free year of updates
with purchase and at the end of that can purchase further updates on a year to
The suite also
incorporates a product activation component. This component helps prevent use of
pirated software or counterfeit activation or license keys. Product Activation
is a technology designed to protect users from pirated or counterfeit software
by limiting use of a product to those users who have acquired a license to the
The activation process
requires a unique product key upon installing the software on your system. Users
who own a packaged product are required to enter the Product Key during
installation. This is a key of either numbers, letter or often mixed and can be
located on the back of the CD sleeve. If you downloaded direct from the Symantec
store online, you won’t need to manually enter the key at all. The key is stored
on the user’s computer as part of the download.
An activation wizard
that is built into the software walks a user through the whole activation
process. Now here is where the fun begins, you have a certain amount of time to
use your activation key, 15 days to be exact and if you do not activate within
that time the program will cease working. Once you activate it, the program will
start to function again. When the wizard is running it also gives the user the
chance to register the product. If you do not have an internet connection, (one
would ask why even have the suites if you are not on the net. But bringing home
files from a friend’s computer or the office would still merit some kind of
virus protection.) Product activation can even be carried out over the phone.
If that fails for what ever reason a user can contact the Symantec’s customer
support center to complete the activation.
There is also a
professional version of this suite and it gives a few extra perks. The
professional version comes with Norton Personal FireWall 2004. This suite has
all the components of Norton Internet Security 2004 but also includes some
advanced features geared towards small offices or home office users and
professionals. Including data recovery technology that can protect and restore
applications and files from a deletion or virus damage. Data cleaning technology
also eliminates all traces of unneeded confidential files. There are ghosts of
images on the computers hard drive even after a deletion so this tool itself can
come in real handy.
There are also advanced
Web tools that can delete unwanted files left over from an internet session and
can also prevent dial up internet sessions from being interrupted. Norton
Internet Security 2004 Professional also has tools for an administrator to
create multiple user profiles and limit internet access to certain types of web
sites. For the small office the professional version is available as a single
license or a 5 and 10 user pack license.
Now as we tested this on both a WIN XP
system and an older Win 98 and 2000 system only one had some issues. The system
for WIN 98 was the hardest installation we ever ran across. Support will in a
typical suggestion advice for a clean reinstall. After doing so it ran fine.
Depending on what operating system you’re
running there are different minimum requirements.
Windows XP 300mhz or higher processor, 128
megs of RAM, Windows 2000 133 MHz or higher processor and 96 MB of RAM,
Windows ME needs 150mhz or higher processor and 96 MB of RAM, WINDOWS 98 needs
133 MHz or higher and at least 64 MB of RAM. The Requirements for all
installations are 200 MB of available hard drive space, DVD or CD-ROM drive,
Internet Explorer (minimum version 5.01 SP2 required),
Email scanning supported for
standard POP3 and SMTP compatible email clients.
Supported instant messaging
clients for virus scanning
AOL® Instant Messenger (minimum version
4.7 required), Yahoo® Instant Messenger (minimum version 5.0 required), MSN®
Messenger (versions 4.6, 4.7), Windows® Messenger (minimum version 4.6 required)
Supported instant messaging clients for
private information blocking
AOL Instant Messenger (minimum version 4.3
required), Yahoo Instant Messenger (minimum version 5.0 required), MSN Messenger
and Windows Messenger (minimum version 3.6 required)
For a good install there are some basic
steps that should be done of course. Download all Microsoft critical updates,
Scan hard drives for spyware and remove them,
If you’re running Windows XP FireWall
switch this off. This built in FireWall is called Internet Connection FireWall.
To shut it off, click Start, Control Panel, Network Connections and Internet
Connections. Highlight the connection and click change settings of this
connection under the network tasks menu on the left (or right click the
connection and click properties.) In the properties window, click the Advanced
tab and uncheck mark the Protect My Computer And Network checkbox. Click OK and
Empty the recycle bin, Uninstall the older
version of Norton OR other Virus Software you had, because if you have two virus
soft wares running there is a chance they will cancel each other out and just
leave the door open for any virus to decimate your computer.
Now begin the install and run a
pre-install virus scan before installing the software, after that just register
online and allow LiveUpdate to check for and download any updates and that’s it.
For those that do not have a Spyware
software to get rid of those pesky information gathering softwares… To
scan/remove spyware I downloaded the excellent Adware 6 utility which is free
for home users. Check on the internet using the keyword Adware.
The Norton Internet Security 2004 suites
are both powerful tools, but like any tool if you don’t use it right it just
won’t do the job for you. Learn about the software and your needs to best
configure it for ease of use and protection. Sometimes full protection can get
annoying to a user but just think of the trade off. Security and internet safety
as opposed to a virus destroying your system from the inside out.
The Norton Internet Security 2004 and
Professional are both Top Ace.
After all with out your system how can you
Have fun, play games.