Security vendor F-Secure is ringing in the holiday season with a limited time Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition offer. Up through January 31, 2014, you can snag an F-Secure Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition license for $80, which remains valid for the life of your PC or 7 years, whichever comes first. Even better, F-Secure has an exclusive offer for Maximum PC readers -- two licenses for the price of one!
Security on the Internet is terrible. That’s always been true, but it’s wildly obvious these days. Right and left, people are losing their passwords, ending up in botnets, and some days it seems like you might as well post your bank details onPastebin, just to get it over with.
Malware sucks. In the best-case scenario, it craps up your system with unwanted files and occasionally makes itself known in the form of a persistent pop-up window or annoying browser-based toolbar. In the worst-case scenario, malware completely takes over your desktop or laptop and ruins your life.
So what’s a computer enthusiast to do? Our four step process starts with Step zero: Read this guide, because we’re going to walk you through all the key details you need to know to both rid your computer of this junk and keep it free of downloaded nasties forevermore.
Another day, another hacking story. If you thought the recent disbanding of LulzSec meant an end to the daily exploit updates, you thought wrong; plenty of other groups are wrangling for Lulzsec's crown as king of the headache-causing chuckleheads. Today's facepalm-inducing report involves a group called Inj3ct0r Team, who claim to have sneaked into a backup NATO server while waving the flag of Operation AntiSec, an anti-security movement popularized by LulzSec and Anonymous.
A part of us wishes Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 came bundled with its own aluminum foil deflector beanie, because it’s the only thing missing from what’s otherwise the ultimate package for paranoid PC users. Put another way, running Kaspersky is like sitting in a panic room behind a three-inch steel-frame door with multiple deadlocks, and toting a sawed-off shotgun just for good measure. Do you see where we’re going?
Out of the box, Kaspersky comes ready to throw down with any malware feeling froggy enough to jump. Almost as if trying to prove a point, Kaspersky wouldn’t even allow us to visit our synthetic spyware site (www.spycar.org) until we configured the web module to chilax and let us poke our head into suspicious web portals. Not that it mattered, because Kaspersky was unfazed by each of Spycar’s attempts to hijack our browser and simulate other malicious behavior.
It’s been almost two years since we last looked at a security product from PC Tools—PC Tools Antivirus Free Edition—and the experience left such a bad taste in our mouths that we knew exactly how Will Ferrell felt when he was forced to lick a pile of white dog doo-doo in the movie Step Brothers. Yes, it was that bad.
This time around, the experience was measurably more palatable, which is to say it was a lot less like eating dung and more like ordering from the value menu. At $50 for a one-year license, PC Tools will protect up to three PCs and ranks as one of the more affordably priced security suites we’ve dined on this year. If your Google-fu is up to snuff, coupon codes abound, knocking the price down by as much as 30 percent. That comes out to only $35, folks, making this the poor man’s security suite. As such, PC Tools stuffs a comparatively meager feature-set into the box, consisting of an antivirus scanner, spyware module, anti-spam controls, and a firewall. Noticeably absent are some of the side entrees other security vendors embellish their AV suites with, including parental controls, file shredders, identity safeguards, cloud storage, and various other garnishes.
When we ran our annual antivirus roundup in the May 2010 issue, many of you wrote in asking why we didn’t include Product X or Product Y. Fair question, so here’s the deal: We could have filled an entire issue reviewing just AV products, but that would have grown old by about page 32. Rather than do that, we’re devoting space each month to cover apps that didn’t make the cut, and CA Internet Security Suite is first up to bat.
After we installed CA ISS, it quickly became apparent that power users are not the target demographic. CA took a wrecking ball to last year’s version and completely redesigned the UI in an attempt to “eliminate the technobabble that makes PC security difficult to understand and control,” but in doing so, it made it needlessly tedious to poke around under the hood. The main interface consists of four index card–shaped menus that you can cycle through like a tie rack. Sounds easy enough, but if you want to set up a scan schedule, for example, you’ll need to bring up the My Computer card, click the Update Settings link, highlight the Threat Settings tab, and then scroll to the bottom. You’ll fumble around like this until you get accustomed to the interface, and when you do, you’ll discover there’s not a whole lot to play with. Strike one.
We just wrapped up our annual antivirus roundup and already Symantec is looking ahead to next year's release. You can too, now that the security outfit has released public betas for its consumer-based Norton Antivirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security 2011.
"With the Norton 2011 release, we’re determined to continue delivering the fastest and most effective security suite on the market,” said Jens Meggers, vice president of engineering, for Norton products. “Further to this, our customers are looking for value beyond ‘core security’ and the free new tools we’re bringing to market will keep the Norton community and the community-at-large safer from the cybercriminals who find new ways everyday to target people’s identity for a profit."
So what's new in the 2011 versions? Symantec says the latest release introduces Download Insight 2.0, which now applies reputation protection to "virtually every download regardless of client." You'll also find a handful of new tools, such as the Norton Safe Web for Facebook, Norton Power Eraser (targets malicious programs masquerading as legitimate apps), and Norton Bootable Recovery Tool.
Hit one of the download links below to give them a spin:
There remains a legion of XP users who regard Redmond’s nearly decade-old OS as the holy grail of operating systems. And before Windows 7 emerged, we would have agreed, but what XP loyalists seem to forget is just how susceptible to Internet threats their beloved OS was in the early days. Sure, it came with a built-in firewall, but before the second Service Pack, it wasn’t turned on by default, and it was never able to monitor outbound traffic.
Enter Comodo, a company that built a following among enthusiasts for its excellent firewall. A lot has changed since then (including much better firewall integration in Windows), and it would be a mistake to peg Comodo as a one-trick pony. Comodo’s full-fledged security suite is more of an anti-malware stallion, and if overall scan speed were the Kentucky Derby, this would be the thoroughbred to bet on.