Norton SafeWeb - increasing online comfort and confidence
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 impostor, and if it’s an impostor it’s a clear decision to prevent the user from visiting the page at all.
While most security products have been focused on blocking the clear and obvious threats, not all important security considerations are as straight-forward. There are a wide range of risks online. This means that some websites are more risky than others. These risks range from careless merchants who don’t carefully store your personal information to clever scam artists - and everything in between. Any interaction with a web page can expose the user to a multitude of possible risks and outcomes, and in many instances a simple the site is not clearly “bad” or “good”.
What is called for is a new security approach, one that doesn’t simply block, but one that advises, warns, or even provides assurance. While browsing the web can sometimes be hazardous, Norton can become a guide and advisor to take the fear and confusion out of the experience. This means that users can take advantage of a large amount of contextual information that Norton provides to make good decisions about visiting or interacting with any given web page.
For example, did you know that BlueNile.com is one of the world’s largest Internet retailers with an excellent reputation as online merchant? What if that information was visible in your browser when you visited Blue Nile’s webpage, and what if you had additional assurance that you that you were looking at the actual Blue Nile site and not a clever imitator? It’s likely that this additional information would make you feel much more confident in a decision to transact with that website.
This information is not a traditional service associated with a security products, but may have more direct relevance for a user and their assets on a day-to-day basis than all of the blocking security that we can supply.
Integration of Norton Safe Web
To provide this new service, Norton has developed Safe Web, a large database which includes a wide variety of information for many millions of webpages. This database is continually updated by several techniques. Safe Web utilizes web crawlers, data feeds and community information to ensure that the information is always up to date and comprehensive. Web crawlers continually scan the pages and file downloads of various sites, looking for viruses, dangerous code, or anything else that might be dangerous or suspicious. Data feeds come from information providers like BuySafe to construct a more complete picture of each website. A community forum allows users to add their own experiences.
You can reference this information directly, without any Norton software, through the web interface:
With the integration of Safe Web to Norton 360 v3, Norton Internet Security 2010 and Norton Antivirus 2010, all this information available automatically as the user browses.
Today, search engines are the “portal” to the Internet for most people for sites or specific URLs that they have not visited in the past. With Safe Web, we help users every day, not only when they visit a page, but also by annotating search results from major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Live, and Ask) with a clear green, yellow, or red icon, so that the user can make an informed decision about which search result to click on. These icons can also be clicked on to see a more detailed popup describing the reasons for the ranking. From the detailed popup, you can launch the full Safe Web page about the site in question to get a complete breakdown, as well as see what the Norton community’s experience of the safety and reliability of the site is.
The information included is:
• A site wide analysis of possible computer threats from Trojans, Viruses, and Spyware
• The use of nuisance-ware or browsing irritants
• Membership in a consumer advocacy group, or official reseller status
• Ecommerce reputation including the use of privacy policies and proper SSL certificates
• Warning of sites that are known to sell counterfeit or recalled goods
For those users that are concerned with search privacy, our Norton Safe Search option even offers a “Privacy Safeguard” feature which includes the assurance that no search engine company will track a user’s searches.
Everyone wants a PC that is free of dangerous malware, but today, that’s not enough. Spending time in the online world has become much like the physical world – places are rarely 100% good or 100% bad. Some places are more risky than others. When you live in a small town, you can rely on what you know and what your neighbors know to help assess these risks. On the other hand, the online world is vast and search engines give you the ability to take you to any corner of the web in just an instant. Even the savviest Internet user can’t always assess the risk just by looking at a link. With Safe Web, this task becomes much easier. Users can now take advantage of all this information to help educate themselves on any potential risks when browsing and transacting on the web. Our goal is to reduce negative experiences and to increase online comfort and confidence. Safe Web is a big step in that direction.