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What’s new in Norton 2011

We are very excited to release Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus 2011. After undergoing months of Beta testing, getting feedback from our enthusiastic Norton community and incorporating much of that feedback, we are finally releasing what we think are our best products to date. While this post is somewhat similar to the 2011 Beta post, it has some important additions that warrant an update. 2011 Security Features Reputation Scan In our 2009 products, we introduced Norton Insight which dramatically improved performance by not scanning known good files. In 2010 products, we w...
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What’s new in Norton Internet Security 2011

The new Norton AntiVirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security 2011 beta products include several new and improved features which I'm going to detail here. Security Features Reputation Scan In our 2009 products, we introduced Norton Insight which dramatically improved performance by not scanning known good files. In 2010 products, we went one step further by using reputation data to mark files as good, bad or unknown. With 2011, we are enhancing this even more by providing fine-grained reputation information about files and by allowing users to perform a Reputation Scan of their files. You...
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Ransomware and the Importance of Backup

There has been a lot of coverage in the tech-related blogosphere lately regarding a specific threat called (among other things) Trojan.Gpcoder.F.  Once this malware has infected your machine it searches for files on your system that could potentially be important to you (based on the extension of the file) and then encrypts the data using a 1024 bit key (technically it creates an encrypted copy of the file and deletes the original.)  Once your data has been encrypted, the malware informs you that your files are being held for ransom along with details on how to buy the decryptor program to...
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You thought typos were harmless?

A recent PCMag.com blog post points out that the fake White House website whitehouse.org (no, I won't link you to it) has been hacked and is serving up malware.  Part of the issue here is that many people attempting to go to the government website www.whitehouse.gov will accidentally mistype it as whitehouse.org.  This is a specific case of a very real threat. If you look at the list of the top 500 most popular websites according to Alexa.com.  How many of these domain names are easily misspelled or mistyped?  There is nothing stopping bad people from registering common typos of popular do...
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How Easy is it to Steal an Identity?

I was surfing the web tonight and I came across an article on Scientific American.  The author asked some friends for permission to break into their bank accounts and then went to work trying to steal their identity.  The ease at which he was able to do so is startling. He first used a variety of techniques to gather information including reading the target's blog and googling them and then he used that information to break into the user's email accounts via password resets.    Once he had access to the target's email he would be able to receive password reset emails from their bank accoun...
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Who are you on the Web?

The Boston Globe had an article recently on how difficult it is to be anonymous in the internet age.  Reading the article compelled me to perform my every-once-in-a-while "googling" of myself.  What I found was pretty interesting. First of all, I'm not keeping a very low profile.  There were approximately 23,000 responses to the search query on my name (541 if you put my name in quotations.)  Most of the front page stuff was computer related.   A post on an old blog of mine about a web programming framework; several links to my posts on the Norton Protection Blog; a patch I submitted to an...
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Reinforcing Secure Behavior

There was a great article in the most recent issue of the Communications of the ACM entitled "The Psychology of Security: Why do good users make bad decisions?" The main thrust of the article is to shed some light on the psychological process for decision making and how the process manifests itself when users are asked to make security decisions. Armed with this knowledge security software developers can make better decisions regarding what to present to a user and how these choices should be ultimately represented. I took away three key observations from the article: First, the article po...
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Cybercrime is big, troubling business

I was surfing through some security news this weekend and ran into an interesting article on SecurityFocus. The article references a report that states that the reported damages from cybercrime and fraud rose by more then 20% from 2006 to 2007. One interesting piece of information turned up by the report is that while identity theft is the most commonly cited example of cybercrime, other criminal activities like auction fraud are causing greater monetary damage. This is alarming to me both as a consumer and as a developer of security software. As a consumer if I want to buy something on eB...
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Norton Online Family and Fatherhood

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Head in the Clouds

I've been doing a lot of thinking about Cloud Computing lately.  This was sparked, in large part, by Symantec's internal engineering conference, Cutting Edge, as well as a number of things I've been reading.  Cloud Computing is shaping up to be one of the "next big things" that we are all going to be hearing a lot about over the next couple of years.  In fact, Microsoft just announced "Azure," their cloud computing services platform. Microsoft Azure is positioned to bring cloud computing to the development masses.  Anyone will be able to write cloud-aware applications and run them hosted i...
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What are the changes to the Norton Toolbar?

Now that the latest version of Norton Internet Security and Norton 360 are released, you may have noticed some improvements to the Norton Toolbar - the Share button and the Online Vault. Below is an explanation of the changes, and why we wanted them in the product. Why Online Vaults?   The Online Vault is Convenient. - It provides access to your most sensitive data from any iOS, Android, PC, or Mac device and from *any* device with a web browser. - It automatically synchronizes data across devices. The Online Vault is Secure. - Norton uses 256bit AES encryption to encrypt the data. Thi...
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Beyond the Headlines: Don’t be fooled by misleading security tests

By Alejandro Borgia, senior director, product management, Symantec Corporation   For customers looking for the best security technology for their needs, it’s critical to have access to reliable and meaningful information so they can make smart decisions to stay protected in today’s complex threat landscape.  As an industry, we face a challenge in that testing security products is a highly technical and time-consuming process, and there are shortcomings in the approach of some tests that result in data that is misleading at best.  Last week, PC Magazine published an article titled “Microso...
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Data Breach - The Best Defense is Vigilance

There have been several high-profile data breaches impacting millions of consumers in the past year. And along with the details come the constant reminder to be vigilant. Consumer security expert Gerry Egan says awareness is key, but so is understanding what the thieves are after, so you can make it harder for them to win. Egan answers some commonly asked questions about shopping and credit card safety: So what is being stolen and how is it being used? In point of sale (POS) breaches, thieves are stealing your 16-digit credit card numbers. Those numbers are most useful to thieves (and ...
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Norton Browser Protection: Protecting you from web attacks

Norton Browser Protection        One of the lesser known capabilities in our Norton protection products is a feature that protects you from attack when you surf the web. We call this feature Norton Browser Protection and I thought I’d spend a few minutes sharing with you what it does and why we believe it has become a critical part of protecting you from attack as you surf the web.   What’s the problem that Browser Protection addresses?  Well think about how much time you spend surfing the web every day. I bet it’s a lot more that it was five years ago. As more and more of our activities ...
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Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): Your first line of defense against malware

What is IPS? Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is a proactive protection technology that provides security at the network level. It is the first line of defense against malware. There is sometimes confusion between an IPS and a firewall. Personal firewalls are more basic, making allow/deny decisions to ensure that only “selected” programs are allowed to interact over the internet. Firewalls also block network communication on non-standard ports, which are generally not used by legitimate programs and services. On the other hand, an IPS goes one step further, and examines all network traff...
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The Identity Safe Portal is here!

If you’ve been keeping up with Norton products, you probably already know that Norton Internet Security (NIS) 2012 included new capabilities that gave you the option to store your Identity Safe Vault (passwords, credit card numbers, and other data) in the Norton cloud and share it between all your computers with Norton Internet Security 2012. Up until now, however, your Vault could only be accessed from a computer with Norton Internet Security 2012 installed. Today we’re launching identitysafe.norton.com, a web portal which allows you to access your Identity Safe Vault from any web browse...
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Got an Idea? Tell us!

Got an Idea? Tell us! Have you ever used a product and thought “if only it had this feature…” or “if I could just do that easier” wishing you could spend a few minutes with the developers to hear you out?  Well, today we’re excited to introduce a new section of the Norton Community called Norton Ideas which will allow you to do just that.  Norton Ideas is a site that will allow you to submit your product feature suggestions directly to the Norton product development team.  The Norton product team is here to listen to your suggestions, discuss them amongst the community and put the best id...
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The New Model of Consumer Protection: Reputation-based security technology

(view in My Videos) In just the past few years, the threat landscape has significantly changed – and traditional antivirus technologies can’t keep up. Attackers generate literally tens of thousands of new malware variants every day, often distributing each variant to just a handful of users. That means that each time a new victim visits an attacker’s web site, a slightly different piece of malware is served up. How can a security vendor ever hope to discover each of these thousands of variants?   We call this problem “server side polymorphism” and we’ve seen it grow over several years. Yo...
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Norton, In-Depth - Part 1

Everyone here at Norton is extremely excited about this new release of the Norton security products! This is the first time we are launching all three products at once: Norton AntiVirus, Norton Internet Security, and Norton 360. In this two-part blog post, I plan on going through some of the new features and improvements we have made. The first part will cover some of the things we’ve done on the protection side, while the second part will cover the performance and experience side of things. Hopefully this will explain how some of these technologies will make your computing life safer and ...
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Norton Management

One of the great new features we’re adding to the Norton 2012 product line is the ability to manage your installed Norton products from one central website.  Have you ever received a call from your remote family member that their Norton product is out of date or their Norton subscription needs a renewal?  Before the management feature, you’d have to physically be present to address these issues.  Now, once you have installed Norton Management on a device, you can handle these things (and more) from the Management website! The site gives an overview of all your managed machines and you can...
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The 5 Stages of Phone Loss Grief

It’s happened to most of us. That urge to look at your phone has become a part of everyday life. Maybe you are expecting a phone call, or perhaps you want to know how many ‘likes’ that picture of your cat has earned. Maybe it’s just that fix your life needs at that moment that only a smartphone can give you. You rummage through your pocket to find it with no luck. Perhaps it’s in the other one. Nope. You try your bag. Nope, again. You break into a sweat. After what seems like an eternity, you come to the crushing realization that you have lost one of the most valuable material possessions...
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7 Dos and Don’ts of Secure Online Tax Filing

Online fraud is one of fastest growing crimes of our time. The ability to be anonymous, and the fact that it can be performed anywhere in the world makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement to curb it. As online fraud continues to grow, an unfortunate number of American citizens might face this scenario: It’s tax season, and you are getting your paperwork together in order to file your taxes. During the process you receive an email from the IRS stating “Congratulations on filing your tax return.” This is a normal email you would expect after you file taxes, however, ...
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Data Privacy Day 2016: Ten Ways to Keep Your Data Private

The Internet has blurred the lines between real world and the virtual one. Technology is barreling into our hands through smartphones at an unbelievable pace. While this is good for productivity and progress, it makes it easy for thieves to do their job. The anonymity and location independence that comes with the Internet muddles the moral character of even the most ethical person. One can’t assume your phone and the information it stores is safe from the malicious intentions of the human mind. Data Privacy Day (DPD), is an international effort held annually on January 28 in order to hel...
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Netiquette For Parents

No one said parenting is easy. Especially when your children are doing things in the cyber world that you as a child never imagined. With the wealth of information and non-traditional methods of making friends and hanging out, our children are no doubt having a good time, thanks to the advancements in technology. But that still doesn’t mean they have the liberty to do as they please at the expense of others. One of the most important aspects of parenting is setting a good example. Your kids will closely watch your online manners and etiquette. You need to be aware and educated about net...
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Cyber Safety for Women

An unfortunate number of women are becoming victims of cyber crimes. According to a recent study more women are known to use the Internet to enrich their relationships compared to men. Young women, those 18-24, experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels: 26% of these young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment. The growing reach of the Internet and the rapid spread of information through mobile devices has presented new opportunities that could put some women at risk, so it’s important to be mindful of the...
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What is Cyberbullying?

Online socializing has both good and bad sides to it. While it has opened a whole new dimension of ways to communicate and has added convenience to our lifestyles, it unfortunately has some unpleasant effects too.

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How to Use Your New PC or Mobile Device Safely Online

There are more mobile devices on our planet than there are people. It is no surprise that our daily and digital lives have become a seamless unit of existence. Just like your real life, your digital life comes with its own ups and downs. The upside of your digital life is that you can start fresh with a new device and clean up any old hang-ups that can compromise you. We, at Norton know everything there is to know about the safety of your digital life. We are determined to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals and keep our customers safe. If you have a new device or PC do not miss our g...
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How To Talk to Your Kids About Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is not very different from the ill reputed bullying that happens in the school yard. It has the same psychological and social implication that leaves the formative minds of children insecure. What makes cyberbullying a little more intense than bullying is it not limited to the school yard. According to a 2015 survey 34.4% of students between the ages of 11 and 15 have been cyberbullied. This includes children who have been threatened online to be hurt, had rumors spread about them, or had mean and hurtful comments or pictures of them online. This onslaught of hateful messag...
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Keep Your Home Wi-Fi Safe in 7 Simple Steps

It is beginning to feel like the Internet is a basic necessity for existence in the 21st century. With all our devices connected to the Internet, we have an indescribable physical mobility that leads to increased productivity. It is safe to say that the Internet is for everyone and does not limit itself to the tech savvy. Unfortunately, when not safeguarded, the Internet can be a playground for nefarious activities caused by people with malicious intent.   Take a home wireless network as an example. Almost every member of the family accesses it through laptops, PCs, cell phones and tablet...
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Data Breaches That Made Headlines in 2016

980 data breaches occurred in 2016. That left an approximate 35,233,317 known records exposed. Over the years, data breaches have become more sophisticated, and cybercriminals target both large corporations and small businesses. 2016 saw a string of data breaches that left sensitive information of millions of people at the mercy of cybercriminals. In addition to financial consequences, these data breaches ruined customer trust and the reputation of the companies in question. As we look back at 2016 here are some of the most impactful data breaches that shook the world. 117 Million Lin...
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The Personal Impact of Cybercrime

Fifty-one percent of people think that over the past five years it’s become harder to stay safe and secure online than in the real world. Yet, 689 million people in 21 countries experienced cybercrime within the last year alone. The reason for this staggering number is simple. Most people don’t take the right precautions to protect their digital lives. While some are unaware of online dangers others think it can be dealt with after it happens. The truth remains that cybercrime is evolving rapidly and impacting the daily and digital lives of people. Revealed in a survey conducted last ye...
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Is Paying For Antivirus Software Worth It?

Our daily and digital lives overlap each other. Since our personal safety takes precedence over everything, it’s safe to say that our digital security is a close second. The price of digital safety It’s hard to put a price tag on digital safety. Take malware for example. These sneaky little codes find their way into your devices and transmit your personal information to computers far away that are operated by fraudsters. The end result could translate into anything from cybercriminals draining your bank account to holding all your information hostage by freezing your device and asking ...
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Love, lies and online dating

It’s the age of modern romance. The approach of finding a partner has changed over a period of time. Busy lives and innovative technology have given rise to apps and websites that has increased the probability of finding a suitable companion. As in finding love the traditional way, online dating too also has its pros and cons. A recent survey by Norton among men and women in Australia and New Zealand revealed that almost a quarter of the people who have tried online dating and no longer have a profile have found their partner online. The survey* conducted among New Zealanders and Austra...
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The Norton Pulse Updates Feature

The Norton Pulse Updates Feature   Summary It’s a simple truth: The faster virus definitions are received, the better the protection is for the computer. Norton 2009 has added a new technology, called Norton Pulse Updates, which downloads new virus definitions almost as soon as they are created, without sacrificing reliability or performance.   When new virus definitions are created, they are posted right away as small Pulse Updates. Every five minutes, Norton LiveUpdate downloads the latest Pulse Updates and they are incorporated into the customer’s PC virus protection immediately.   Puls...
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Is It Doing Anything?

I recently explained how the Smart Scheduler feature in Norton 360 works to stay out of your way in deciding when to run tasks. The scheduler is so effective that it's common for users to wonder if we're ever performing scans. Neil Rubenking even noted in his PC Magazine review of Norton 360 that "It's so quiet you might begin to wonder if it's doing anything at all." We want to shed some light on this for anyone (myself included) who can't resist the urge to dig into how things work. We've created a small widget that shows you everything going on behind the scenes: You can download it he...
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Norton 360’s Smart Scheduler

While building the first release of Norton 360 in 2006, we decided we didn't want to use the typical task scheduler so many other products use to run weekly antivirus scans. Remembering to keep your computer on "every Wednesday night at 2am" is a pain, so we set out to build a better wheel. Norton 360 introduced Symantec's smart task scheduler. The new scheduler doesn't rely on a fixed schedule - instead it works around yours. Basically, Norton 360 is always looking for times that you're away from your desk and uses those opportunities to perform the routine maintenance tasks it needs to k...
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Recall Needed: Consumer Reports Security Suites Review

In recent years, Consumer Reports (CR) decided to take on reviewing security software in addition to the scores of energy drinks, vacuum cleaners and toasters they put through the paces annually. Consumer Reports has faced some challenges in this new endeavor; you might remember they generated a fair bit of industry discussion based on their security testing practices. Well-known organizations like McAfee, Sunbelt and others voiced concerns at test methodology that fell well outside the industry norm. Last year, we were – to put it mildly – shocked by the information and results published ...
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The Hunt is On

Our team team hit a big milestone this week by reaching beta of our 2009 Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus products. As many of you know, beta is a pre-release version of a Symantec product that is available for public testing before the final version is released. We rely on the valuable feedback of our community to evaluate how the product performs in "real world" environments. Additionally, it is an opportunity to be among the first to experience our latest products before they are finalized and released. We monitor the beta feedback closely and it is an important source of f...
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Chocolate-Covered PIFTS, X-Files & Mea Culpas

Ever had one of those days? You really intended for things to go right, but they didn’t. And they didn’t simply whimper out of existence, but left large, smoking holes in the living room carpet. That was this Tuesday. In truth, it began on Monday evening around 4:30 p.m. Pacific when we released a patch, the infamously named “pifts.exe,” which left the building before we signed it. This is a process that has worked like clockwork for many years, but due to a simple mistake, the patch wasn’t signed and was instead sent out to Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security customers using th...
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Cloud AntiVirus Forecast: Foggy, with a Chance of Irrelevance

We’ve been hearing a lot about cloud computing lately. Seems like just about anything you can tuck away into the clouds gets better, or so the story goes, since it allows everyone to access it from anywhere and harness the power of humongous databases full of useful information, among other benefits. Sure enough, the recent RSA conference had its fair share of hype on cloud computing and it has been mentioned to do everything from change security as we know it to solving the imminent swine flu pandemic. On the heels of RSA, a new “cloud antivirus” (AV) solution has been introduced which ha...
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All of the recent changes in Identity Safe

In our 2013 products, many changes/enhancements were added to the Norton IdentitySafe Toolbar. They are summarized as: Feature New/Existing/Change Remarks Targeted Products Changes with Local Vault Feature New Local Vault feature is removed for our new users of 2013 product, users migrating from 2012 or older versions will still have local vault NIS, N360 Home Page(button on toolbar) New Clicking on this button will enable the users to access the online vault content in single view NIS, N360 Scam Insight Protection New Scam Insight is a new feature wh...
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Gamer Gets Pwned by His AntiVirus (Episode 3): The Nightmare

Our gamers get set up as the main course in an all-you-can-eat human buffet...
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Gamer Gets Pwned by His Antivirus (Episode 2): The Celebration

A N00b MMORPG guild celebrates a great victory and experiences an unexpected defeat. This is the second episode of our "Gamer Gets Pwned by His Antivirus" series.
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Gamer Gets Pwned by his Antivirus (Episode One)

Here is episode one of our "Don't Get Pwned by Your AntiVirus" series...(enjoy)
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Are game accounts getting stolen? Really?

How crazy is it that cybercriminals are designing malware to steal log-ins for our online game accounts? Are they really that valuable? I can understand wanting to steal my credit card or bank account number. I can understand wanting to steal my identity so they can open new credit accounts in my name and stick me with the bill.   But, my game account? Really?   Over the last few years, various security companies (including Symantec) and several independent security agencies have published reports about the growing prevalence of Trojans aimed at stealing online game account log-ins. Rece...
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Pwned: The John4356783 Story

A year ago we reached out to the gamer community at DreamHack in Sweden to find out what they wanted from their anti virus software and more specifically what they didn’t want. Their biggest request was for anti virus that didn’t use up precious PC resources.  They also asked for security software that wouldn’t interrupt them when they were gaming. Some of them even asked for anti virus that would automatically change its mode of operation to accommodate them appropriately when they were gaming versus when they were surfing. Of course we could have just walked down the hall and talked to s...
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Norton 2009: A message from the performance team

To our Norton Customers:   Symantec is pleased to announce the official release of our Norton 2009 products. This year, we’ve made performance improvement the key focus of the 2009 Norton product line. Virtually everyone in the company - including executive management, product engineering, Quality Assurance, design, and development - knew that this was our main mission ever since our first 2009 engineering planning sessions. Since then, we’ve questioned, agreed, and disagreed to many of the ideas and concepts that came up, but we were consistently guided by our shared vision and dedicatio...
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The Performance Strategy Behind Norton 2011

A few years ago we threw down the gauntlet, challenging the idea that performance must be traded away in favor of security. To accomplish our mission, we changed ourselves and in the process, changed the entire conversation, shifting the focus to include not only effectiveness and accuracy but minimum performance impact felt by the customer. But we’re an industry leader, so rehashing the previous cutting-edge methods won’t do. In 2011, we’ve picked up our own challenge and turned in a new direction, pushing ourselves to go even farther for the betterment of our customers. In order to do...
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It’s a New World, It’s a New Norton

The headlines are all too familiar: “Retail Giant Reports Massive Data Breach,” “Russian Gang Amasses Billions of Web Credentials.” Despite the increase in threats, we are moving more and more of our lives on line: from sensitive health and financial data, to precious photos and daily shopping. To complicate matters, our digital lives don’t just reside on a desktop but on multiple devices and platforms. Too many of us remain vulnerable to advanced threats. If we want to free ourselves to take full advantage of our amazing digital, interconnected world, we need to secure ourselves. With th...
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Norton business announcement. Norton continues to Go Boldly

Fran Rosch shares perspective on the decision to separate Symantec into two companies: the Information Management business, and the Information Security business, which includes Norton. "I also strongly believe that we can best capture the opportunity by operating as two companies, enabling each company to better focus on addressing customer needs to deliver more impactful customer experiences." Read more...

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