Sunday, March 08, 2009

Recommendation: Replace Norton!

I can no longer find any forgiveness for Symantec. Nor can I recommend any Symantec products. Continue reading to discover what led me to recommend replacing Norton with another security vendor's product.

Generally, an update to a security product is considered a good thing. In this case, it is just the opposite. As evidenced by a thread at, the Symantec announcement reproduced below regarding the latest update of Norton Internet Security and Norton Antivirus to version 16.5 indicates that Symantec has proceeded with their IAC relationship and incorporated Ask in their Norton products.
"An update has been released for Norton Internet Security 2009 and Norton AntiVirus 2009. Just like the last patch, we're using new technology. Because of this, we are distributing this patch in a more controlled manner. Some of you may not receive the update as quickly as others. We will post another announcement with more detailed information shortly when deployment is more widespread. In the meanwhile, your patience is appreciated while the patch continues to be distributed.
Tim Lopez
Norton Forums Administrator
Symantec Corporation"
If you are not familiar with the issues regarding IAC/Ask there are numerous references in this recent article.

Including Ask is not the full reason why I am so adamantly against Symantec. The other reason is their apparent disregard for the terms of service of Malwarebytes' Anti-malware (MBAM). MBAM is an outstanding anti-malware application that is free for personal use. There is also a full version which unlocks realtime protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating. For consumers and personal use, MBAM is a one-time fee of $24.95.

As seen in the PCMagazine slide presentation included with the article Symantec Support Gone Rogue by Neil J. Rubenking, Symantec has totally disregarded the licensing terms of MBAM, completely ignoring that MBAM is not free for corporate use. Mr. Rubenking reported that
After finishing the scan, the agent offered to run "a scan from the Norton security." He also called it "a deep scan just from a online Norton program."
Low and behold, it was not a Norton program but the free for personal use version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware that the Norton representative presented:

Screen capture excerpt copied from the slide Hey, That's Not Norton!

"The "Norton program" turned out to be a free non-Symantec product called MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware. I watched the whole process – no Symantec product was involved. Symantec says this should not have happened and won't happen in the future."
Symantec charges $79.99 (USD) for their Norton 360 product and $59.99 for Norton Internet Security 2009. Yet, their products are apparently not good enough to clean a computer and their support resorts to using another vendor's product.

Do you trust Norton products now? I certainly do not. There are many trusted vendors that provide an excellent solution to your computer security needs. Free for personal use antivirus software vendors include Avast! and Avira AntiVir. Both also have subscription versions. Additional solutions include the following:
If you are replacing Norton, you may find that the Norton Removal Tool is needed to remove the remnants.

Hat Tip: Donna's Security Flash


Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

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