Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2004

By Patricia Fusco | Posted September 10, 2003

Symantec is preparing to unleash an updated version of its online security and privacy suite for home and small office PC users next week. Norton Internet Security 2004 is designed to provide comprehensive protection against today's most prevalent Internet threats, offering expanded protection against spyware and spam. The security software suite includes Symantec's best-of-breed anti-virus, firewall, intrusion detection and privacy protection, as well as spam and content filtering systems.

"Users are at risk from an increasing number of Internet threats such as the recent Blaster and SoBig worms. This increase in attacks is driven in part by the growing use of always-on broadband services and laptop computers," said Steve Cullen, senior vice president of Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec. "With the release of our simple-to-use Internet security suite, Symantec is making it easier for all users — from novices to professionals — to secure their systems."

Dodging Viruses and Spyware
Norton Internet Security 2004 includes Norton AntiVirus 2004, which introduces expanded threat detection. This new technology identifies certain emerging non-virus threats such as spyware, adware, and keystroke logging programs. These rogue applications can compromise system security, pry into confidential data, and track online behavior.

Norton AntiVirus 2004 will also proactively protect users of file-exchange services such as peer-to-peer networks by scanning for viruses in compressed file archives. Norton AntiVirus scans both incoming and outgoing e-mail and automatically removes viruses, worms, and Trojans as well as viruses hidden in e-mail and instant message attachments. In addition, worm- and script-blocking technologies automatically defend users against known and unknown threats without the need for virus definitions. Consequently, Norton AntiVirus effectively protects users against an expansive range of malicious codes.

Cleaning E-mail Messages
Norton Internet Security 2004 also includes new Norton AntiSpam 2004 technologies that automatically detect and filter out unwanted commercial e-mail at the desktop. Spam is a growing threat both to employee productivity and PC security. It can clog e-mail systems and proliferate online scams. Norton AntiSpam 2004 immediately starts to filter e-mail once it is installed and turned on. It automatically intercepts and analyzes e-mail in standard POP3 connections and marking spam as it comes into the user's in-box.

Norton AntiSpam 2004 integrates tightly with the latest versions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express and Eudora, automatically creating a spam folder and using it to collect all e-mail identified as spam. It will even filter spam from Hotmail and MSN Mail when messages are retrieved through Microsoft Outlook. Norton AntiSpam 2004 also keeps banner ads, pop-up windows, and other Web distractions at bay.

Norton AntiSpam 2004 provides multiple layers of filters to reduce false positives that typically rob users of desirable e-mail messages. An "Allowed List" capability protects friendly e-mail messaged from being accidentally tagged as spam. A configuration wizard makes it relatively easy to import the user's address book into their "Allowed List." A "Trusted Mode" feature further enables users to set up to receive e-mail only from approved senders, while a "Blocked List" deftly blackballs e-mail addresses sent from known spammers.

Unlike many other spam filters, the trainable filtering engine in Norton AntiSpam 2004 learns what is and isn't spam by analyzing a user's outgoing e-mail messages. An intuitive user interface, automatic setup and updating, and effective ad-blocking technology ensures that users are protected from unwanted e-mail and invasive ads — right out of the box.

"Spam already accounts for the bulk of e-mail messages many people receive today, and it continues to proliferate. Symantec has brought its broad expertise to bear on this serious problem by developing a new solution to help users regain control of their e-mail in-box," said Steve Cullen, senior vice president, Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec.

Securing Wanderers
Norton Internet Security 2004 also includes Norton Personal Firewall 2004. This new version of firewall software introduces innovative technology to help laptop users connect to different networks. When a laptop connects to a new or previously saved network, Norton Personal Firewall 2004 adjusts its settings accordingly. This technology ensures that users who connect to multiple networks in different locations will still have adequate online protection wherever they go. Users can control their firewall settings from their Internet Explorer Web browser, which provides the flexibility required to connect to more than one network.

Norton Personal Firewall 2004 features robust intrusion detection technology designed to thwart serious threats from worms and viruses, such as Bugbear, Nimda and Code Red. This system adds another full layer of security to the perimeter protection of the firewall. The intrusion detection system inspects the actual content of the Internet traffic — automatically blocking Internet attacks.

Norton Internet Security 2004 also includes powerful privacy protection technology. This feature prevents confidential information from being sent without user authorization to unsecured websites or through e-mail, Microsoft Office attachments and instant messaging services. For additional security, Norton Internet Security provides tamper-proof password protection that prevents security settings from being turned off manually or being overridden by malicious code.

Site Blocking
Norton Internet Security 2004 also keeps employees out of inappropriate material while online. Of course, the same technology helps parents keep kiddies out of pornography sites and other content they deem detrimental to the eyes of youth. For increased flexibility, Norton "Parental Control" enables users to set up different Internet access privileges for individuals using a single PC.

Symantec's automatic "LiveUpdate" ensures that all products in the suite are kept current with new protection updates to guard against currently unknown Internet threats. In addition, to protect users from pirated or counterfeit software, Norton Internet Security 2004 includes a product activation component. This thwarts software pirates from forging Norton Internet Security products and trapping unwitting users in a Web of wide-open access to their PCs.

Pricing and Availability
Norton Internet Security 2004, Norton Internet Security 2004 Professional, and Norton Personal Firewall 2004 are available now for preorders for about $70, $100 and $50, respectively. Norton Internet Security 2004 Professional 5- and 10-user packs are priced just under $450 and $800, respectively.

Norton AntiSpam 2004 is also available as a standalone product. The software comes with 12 months of protection updates and is also available now for pre-orders for about $40. Five- and 10-user packs of Norton AntiSpam 2004 are just under $180 and $320, respectively.

All products will be available in mid-September at various retail locations as well as other online retailers. Pre-orders are available through SymantecStore.com.

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