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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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Symantec Comments on PIFTS.exe

 Symantec released a diagnostic patch "PIFTS.exe" targeting Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2006 & 2007 users on March 9, 2009. This patch was released for approximately 3 hours (4:30 - 7:40 PM March 9, 2009 Pacific Time). In a case of human error, the patch was released by Symantec "unsigned", which caused the firewall user prompt for this file to access the Internet. The firewall alert for the patch caused understandable concern for users and began to be reported back to Symantec. Releasing a patch unsigned is an extremely rare occurrence that does not pose any security ...
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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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Norton Online Family and Fatherhood

I haven't made a post on here in a while, and there's a good reason.  I've been keeping my head down, working hard with my teammates on Norton Online Family.  Now that the beta has been released you can see the fruits of our labor for yourselves.   I am really excited about this product.  I'm not a parent yet, but my wife is expecting our first child at the end of July so I have spent a lot of time over the last year or so thinking about what type of father I aspire to be as well as thinking broadly about the unique problems related to keeping your family safe online.  I'm no parentin...
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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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New Trojan Attacks Pirates

  We all know that software piracy is bad--it hurts the people who write software for a living--but it can also be dangerous. Case in point: the recent OSX.Iservice Trojan horse discovered today (January 22nd). Apparently, someone has uploaded Apple’s popular iWork 09 suite and added a Trojan horse to the installer.Some background: When software developers create an installer for the Mac, it's often several mini-installers, or packages, that are run in a particular sequence. Each package (.pkg file) contains specific code and a script makes sure that the code is placed in the right part of...
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Macworld 2009

As Alec Baldwin remarked in State and Main, "Well, that happened." Pretty much sums up this year's MacWorld Expo, which ended this week in San Francisco.  As I have done for several years (my first ad was in 1985), I made the annual pilgrimage to Moscone Center to meet up with my fellow Mac-heads, eager to see what was happening with Apple and other software and hardware makers and just enjoy what the world might be like if everyone used a Mac, if only for a few days.MacWorld's an interesting phenomenon. In the early days of the Macintosh (as we called it back then), it truly was the best ...
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Twitter Users Attacked by Phishing Efforts

Email, cell phones, Facebook and now Twitter all have something in common: they are being used by fraudsters for phishing attacks. If you are a Twitter subscriber you should be aware of these recent phishing efforts and how to protect yourself. You may even have received a warning from Twitter in the past few days. Here's the short and sweet (if I were really good at Twittering, I'd write this entry in 140 character segments but I'll spare you in the interest of getting you the facts): Chris Pirillo broke the story on January 3rd: "Phishing Scam Spreading on Twitter" just a few moments aft...
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Anybody need PC help?

It seems like having a computer equates to having PC problems.  We've all been there.  You are sitting at your desk and your computer's speed is crawling while you are trying to get something done.  Very frustrating.  It's not clear what the problem is exactly, but it is clear that your computer isn't running as fast as it use to.  You think maybe it's all of the music and photos you've downloaded?  Or maybe it's just the fact that your computer is a couple of years old?  It's time to put an end to slow computers and PC frustrations.  There's a free new application from NortonLive that wil...
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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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A "How-To" on Manually Updating the Norton Recovery Tool

If you've recently purchased one of the 2009 Norton products, you may have noticed that this year, it came with something new - the Norton Recovery Tool. To avoid confusion between the Norton Removal Tool (NRT) and the Norton Recovery Tool, I will instead refer to the solution as the Norton Recovery Disc (NRD). For many of our users, this tool will never play a part in their security software experience, but for those who need it, it can be a life saver. So what is the Norton Recovery Disc, and when would you ever need to use it? The NRD is a bootable CD that can run scans and remove threa...
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Faster, Lighter NortonSystemWorks 12.0 Handles Today’s Top PC Performance Problems

Whether it’s defragging, cleaning and repairing the hard drive, maintaining your PC with a one-click checkup tool, or getting rid of unwanted Internet clutter, Norton SystemWorks delivers a comprehensive toolkit for faster, up-to-the-minute performance boosting utility tools.   One of the most significant improvements in Norton SystemWorks is that it delivers the enhanced performance of Norton AntiVirus 2009. You may have read about how we reengineered our 2009 products to make them the fastest and most up-to-the-minute security solutions. Norton SystemWorks 12.0 customers now save time w...
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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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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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AMTSO: Reviewing the Reviews

In January of this year, Symantec became a founding member of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO). Symantec and about 40 of the leading academics, reviewers, testers and vendors in the security industry joined forces to form the organization dedicated to helping improve the objectivity, quality and relevance of anti-malware technology testing. Since then, we’ve met several times and shared numerous spirited debates, but something we have agreed upon since our inception is the charter of the organization: ·         Providing a forum for discussions related to the testing...
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Norton Safe Search – New and Improved

We’re excited to tell you about the new and improved version of Norton Safe Search, now available as part of the Norton Internet Security 2010 public beta.  Norton Safe Search takes the site ratings provided by Norton Safe Web a step further by delivering a fully customized search results page with built-in security features such as filtering out unsafe sites, an interstitial warning page, Privacy Safeguard, and other options such as allowing users to display only safe shopping sites.  Norton Safe Search is completely optional and provides users more control over their search experience. ...
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Yo Joe!

It’s G.I. Joe week here at Norton, and to celebrate the upcoming movie , we want to give you stuff! Okay, maybe we’re going to make you work for it. Just a little, though. Here’s the deal: follow us on Twitter (@nortononline) this week. The first 50 new people to follow us after this message is posted will receive (2) free Fandango movie passes. Just for showing up. Really, it’s that easy. Throughout the week, pay attention! We’re going to be asking you some trivia questions about G.I. Joe and if you’re the first one to answer the question correctly, you might get one...
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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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TwitViewer.net - Or How Something That Sounds Too Good to Be True Usually Is

The message might have come in early yesterday on your Twitter feed, "Want to know whos stalking you on twitter!?: http://twitviewer.net/" You might have clicked the link to visit the website. It all happened so fast, the fabulous offer (heck yeah, I want to know who the last 200 people are to look at my Twitter profile!) and the large scale distribution of the "tweet". Even seasoned journalists who should always wear their cynical and world-weary thinking caps fell for it. Yes, Virginia, it was a phishing scam that required people to cough up their Twitter username and password. It's true...
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Cybercrime News: Conficker is Spamming, Weak Economy Drives Crime, Why We Click on Spam and More

There's evidence that the Conficker botnet (oh, did you really think they distributed those millions of bots without a plan to monetize them?) is now being used on a "for hire" basis. A story from the UK referencing a new report from Cisco, states that malware called Waledec is being distributed via Conficker's millions of infected computers. Waledec uses your system to send out spam and spread itself to other computers. Before you pull your hair out in frustration, just make sure you've got an up-to-date copy of Norton Internet Security or another comprehensive security product on your co...
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SONAR 2

SONAR is a behavioral security engine that is at the heart of our antimalware defenses. With the unprecedented growth in malware that has been observed over the last few years, an effective security product has to able to distinguish a bad piece of new binary/software from a good one without the need for a fingerprint.  SONAR, first introduced a couple years ago into the Norton products, has been re-written for the 2010 products to keep pace with today’s threat landscape and take advantage of other new capabilities, such as our Quorum reputation services. Why do we need behavioral security...
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Microsoft Internet Explorer Unpatched Vulnerability is Here… Norton Users Never Fear!

Microsoft Internet Explorer Unpatched Vulnerability is Here… Norton Users Never Fear! You might have heard a few things about a vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer this week.  This is otherwise known as a “zero day” because it was found and hasn’t been patched by Microsoft at the time of discovery.  You can read more about the actual vulnerability here in the Microsoft Security Advisory for CVE-2008-0015.  This bug in Internet Explorer can lead to users having malware installed on your system silently just by visiting any Web site that might be hosting malicious code designe...
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Live from WWDC 2009

Symantec's Mac product manager, Mike Romo is attending the Apple WW Developer Conference in San Francisco this week and shares some thoughts from this morning's keynote address in this video...Message Edited by Sondra_Magness on 06-08-2009 05:41 PM
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Phishing attacks on Facebook users point to efforts to mine login data for profit

A new wave of phishing attacks on Facebook users is underway. You'll remember the story from several months back of someone whose login credentials were stolen and then the crook used that Facebook access to swindle the victim's friends out of thousands of dollars. The current effort resembles that one, in that a compromised account sends a malicious link to friends. The friends click on the link and are taken to a site that looks just like a Facebook login page. Providing the criminals with their login and password can sometimes injure the victim beyond the damage to their social net...
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Get in the know about Conficker

Symantec's Internet Safety Advocate Marian Merritt gives the lowdown on the Conficker worm and how you can stay protected.For more information on the Conficker worm, visit the Conficker Working Group page at:http://www.confickerworkinggroup.org/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=ANY.RepairToolsorwww.norton.com/conficker
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Social engineering: meh or muh-oh?

Social engineering: meh or muh-oh? There’s been a lot of news lately about the CanSec security conference where all the major Web browsers were “hacked”. The attack for the Safari Web browser required the user to click on a link, after which complete control of the machine was given to the attacker. Is that a real attack since it required somebody to click on a link? Aren’t viruses all about hacking into somebody’s machine without them doing anything? Not really. The Internet landscape has changed a lot recently. Not too long ago, a virus or worm could infect your computer while it just sa...
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The Latest in the Threat Landscape - Web Based Attacks: February 2009

As we talk to consumer and enterprise customers, we are finding many don’t understand the risks of the Internet today, why their computers have been compromised or how the threat landscape has really changed.  The fact that just visiting your favorite Web site can either lead to malware silently being installed on your computer WITHOUT ever clicking on anything, or being plagued by misleading applications, such as fake antivirus software, seems to be a surprise to many users and IT managers.     With the increase in Web based attacks that users are being subjected to every day, we w...
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Norton SafeWeb - increasing online comfort and confidence

(view in My Videos)Sometimes you need a bodyguard, sometimes you need an advisor  Most often, users are concerned about dangerous, active threats against their computer. If malware is detected on the PC, users generally prefer that it is simply and quietly blocked. Similarly, when users are online, they expect to be protected from pages that contain malicious content or that are part of phishing scams. Phishing sites are an obvious, immediate and direct threat on a user’s most valuable information. This is a simple security decision. A webpage is either the correct webpage or it’s an imp...
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New Feature for Norton Internet Security 2010 - Download Insight

Why Download Insight?Downloading malicious software, typically when tricked into doing so, is becoming the primary way malware infects people’s computers. Nearly every threat today is unique in some way and is designed to evade detection putting tremendous pressure on the traditional signature-based approach. By the time a signature is written for a particular malware variant,  it has already changed itself and as far as the signature is concerned it is an “unknown” file. Whether the signatures are on the disk or in the cloud, they are usually not fast enough to keep pace with modern threa...
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Norton Internet Security 2010 Beta

Norton Internet Security 2010 BetaWelcome to the Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton AntiVirus 2010 Public Beta! We’re really excited about his year’s version of Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton AntiVirus 2010. We’ve made significant improvements to our existing features, as well as added a few new ones. We’ve also included support for Windows 7, the new upcoming version of Microsoft’s popular operating system. To access the Public Beta build, simply navigate to Norton Beta Center and select Norton Internet Security 2010 or Norton AntiVirus 2010. After you complete registrat...
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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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Myth-Busting Windows 8 Security: Part Four

In this four-part blog series, I have briefly reviewed some of the myths we’ve heard about Windows 8 security improvements and point out where deficiencies lie. We believe security should still very much be a concern for anyone running the new Windows 8 OS. Visit this earlier post to learn more about the series. In today's post, I'll address Myth #4: SmartScreen will keep users out of trouble. First introduced as a security add-on feature for Internet Explorer v8.0, the SmartScreen Filter (SSF) checks the sites a user visits and the files they download and compares them against lists of ...
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Myth-Busting Windows 8 Security: Part Three

In this four-part blog series, I briefly review some of the myths we’ve heard about Windows 8 security improvements and point out where deficiencies lie. We believe security should still very much be a concern for anyone running the new Windows 8 OS. Visit this earlier post to learn more about the series. Myth #3: Changes to the Windows 8 boot sequence make it secure. In previous releases of Windows, the boot sequence has been an area ripe for sophisticated attacks against the operating system.  During the early phases of loading the Windows OS, there were a number of holes that could b...
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Myth-Busting Windows 8 Security: Part Two

In part two of this four-part blog series, I'll continue to review some of the myths we’ve heard about Windows 8 security improvements and point out where deficiencies lie. We believe security should still very much be a concern for anyone running the new Windows 8 OS. Visit this earlier post to learn more about the series. Myth #2: Windows 8 is safer because all apps are sandboxed from the rest of the system. As you likely know if you’ve been following the news around Windows 8, it will introduce a new style of application called the Windows Store app.  These apps leverage a new set of...
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Myth-Busting Windows 8 Security: Part One

Leading up to Microsoft’s launch of the new Windows 8 operating system, there has been a lot of media chatter about what the new operating system means for security. Specifically, folks want to know whether users will be more secure on this new platform. Let’s examine more closely a few of the claims we’re hearing. In response to an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape, Windows 8, like its predecessors (Windows 7, Vista, XP, and on) raises the bar in terms of new defenses to help defend against increasingly more cunning and devious malware variants. But does this mean that systems ...
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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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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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Thank you, Steve

When Steve Jobs died this week, I found out via my Twitter feed. I was working on my Mac and putting together a presentation discussing our plans to continue innovating on the Apple platforms - I had just dropped in a graphic of Apple's new iPhone 4S. When I read the news, I gasped. I sat for a second and, almost by reflex, just typed "Steve Jobs is dead," sharing the news with my online community. Within seconds, my Twitter feed was an avalanche of disbelief, and for hours, people from around the world shared their grief, the vast majority of them sharing their words on Apple devices. I...
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Preventing Agony

It has always been in the interest of malware authors to hide their malware on an infected machine.  They don’t want to make it easy for security vendors to find and remove their files.  Rootkits are one of the most sophisticated methods malware authors use to stay undiscovered.  A rootkit is a tool that allows an attacker to hide a threat on a computer.  Rootkits almost never work alone. Instead, an attacker will deliver both a malicious program (e.g., spyware) and an accompanying rootkit when they infect a new computer. The job of the rootkit is to hide telltale signs of both itself and...
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Introducing Norton Anti-Theft Beta

Hi, I’m Joe Keehnast, product manager for Norton Anti-Theft, a new Beta service from Norton.  Norton Anti-Theft is a new service that gives you a way to track the devices you have, protect the data they house, and get them back in the event that they are ever lost or stolen. Protecting users from the threat of physical device loss and theft is somewhat of a new area for us and we believe this new service is a great addition to our Norton Everywhere vision of protecting you and your data on any device. So what can Norton Anti-Theft do for you?   Let’s say you have lost a computer or it has...
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Introducing Norton Internet Security 5 and Norton AntiVirus 12 for Mac Public Beta!

Hi!  I'm Mike Romo and I am the product manager for Norton AntiVirus 12 for Mac and Norton Internet Security 5 for Mac. I am really excited to get this opportunity to welcome you to our beta program and want to be the first to thank you for your interest in our latest products. Long time Norton users might have noticed that it has been a long time since we have been able to deliver Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security for Mac at the same time. There are a few reasons for this: - First, these products are specifically designed for MacOS X 10.7, "Lion".  We have re-engineered the...
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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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What's New in Norton Internet Security 2012

We at Norton are very excited to share the Beta release for Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus 2012 products with you. Below are descriptions of the new features and great enhancements provided with this release. Protection 2012 introduces several new technologies to combat emerging threats. Fake AV is one of the most visible and wide-spread threats that Internet users face today. Fake AV pretends to be security software and tempts the user to pay for it. Even worse, it can install additional malware on the system and claim the system is clean. New for 2012, we’ve included...
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Faster, Safer Internet with Free Norton DNS

Today we’re sharing the exciting update that we’re taking Norton DNS for PC users out of beta. As you may recall, Norton DNS was launched in May as part of our Norton Everywhere announcement, which aims to take our consumer business beyond the PC. Since that launch, Norton DNS has gained more than 250,000 beta users from 112 different countries. These users have enjoyed a safer internet experience from the more than 1.4 million malware block pages per month that have been displayed when users encountered harmful websites. Many people don’t know that they can change their DNS settings or w...
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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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Norton Identity Safe Beta

We are excited to announce the Beta launch of Norton Identity Safe Standalone. Norton Identity Safe takes away the pain of having to remember multiple passwords and securely stores important information such as credit cards numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. Please visit https://identitysafe-beta.norton.com/ to try the Beta. Overview Passwords have become a way of life for every computer user. They are one of the most popular methods of user authentication on the Internet. They are used to check emails, access bank accounts, watch movies, play games, and a lot more. The world would be...
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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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Norton DNS 1.5 beta now has web filtering

We’re excited to share with you that we have reached another major milestone with Norton DNS. As mentioned in a recent press release update on our Norton Everywhere initiative, we’ve just opened BETA testing of our new Web Content Filtering service within Norton DNS!    This new functionality means that we have extended Norton DNS protection beyond malicious and phishing sites to provide content filtering capability for over 55 million sites, in more than 23 different languages. Users of this new Norton DNS 1.5 beta with Web Content Filtering (BETA) service will be able to create their ow...
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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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