Guide to Norton Antivirus 2007

Norton Antivirus 2007, or shortly NAV 2k7, is the latest product to come from Symantec, the industry leader in the field of security software. Norton Antivirus is well known to pc users around the world and it’s designed to protect computers against spyware, adware, worms, viruses and other related risks. According to Symantec, there are two major improvements in their latest development which include security technology and performance.

Stats show that there are about 53,000 computer viruses in existence and a new is being created on every 18 seconds! A virus can do anything from showing ads, deleting system files to stealing your personal and credit card information. Most users get infected by an email attachment or by downloading a pirated software, or any other type of software that has a virus attached to it. There are some facts that one must be aware of, but at the end of the day, having an anti-virus installed is an absolute must. First of all, you shouldn’t open any attachments send from a person that you don’t know or you are not sure about. That’s how the majority of computers get infected. And even if you do have a virus scanner, keep your eyes open all the time.

According to the definition given by Wikipedia.org, a computer virus is a ‘program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user.’ This self-reproduction is now made even easier with the popularity of the Internet, because a virus can spread easily across the network – by email or file sharing. Some viruses can damage programs that you already have installed, delete files or even format your entire hard drive. Regardless the type of virus, it will slow down your system and cause system crashes and data loss.

1. Installing Norton Antivirus

The system requirements that your computer must meet to support Norton Antivirus 2007 are:

-Windows® XP Home Edition/Professional

-300 MHz or higher processor

-256MB RAM

-150MB of available hard disk space

Although the installation is quite straight forward, there are some facts that you should have in mind. Symantec strongly advices that you don’t have any other anti-virus applications installed. If you do, go into the Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs and Uninstall them. During the installation process itself, it’s also a good idea to close as many programs as you can, in order to keep the system load at minimum.

Installing Norton Antivirus 2007 can be done from a CD or by downloading it from the Internet.

A pre-install scan will be performed, which only takes a few minutes, cause it’s not that thorough. When you start NAV for the first time, LiveUpdate will start and after your confirmation, it will check for the latest virus definitions and software updates available at official website.

If you can’t install NAV 2007 and not even the Pre-Install scan, but you have a present Internet Connection, then you can use the Web-based Symantec Security Check, at uses the most current protection updates, including updates that were released after you purchased your product, located at http://security.symantec.com.

2. Activating Norton Antivirus

Activation of the product is required so that you can prove to Symantec you are a legitimate customer. It only takes a few minutes and can be done during the installation or after it. There is a time period in which you are obligated to activate NAV. If you don’t do it at the time of the installation, then click on the Activate Your Product alert and select Activate Now. In case you ran into some problems, use the ‘Activate by Phone’ feature.

3. Navigating through the interface

The whole program interface has been redesigned and simplified. Double click the Norton Antivirus icon and the main window of the application opens up. On the left side are the links, options are in the center, providing access to all Norton AntiVirus features, options, Help, and Support.

The Quick Links on the left side are:

-Norton Account-managing all your Norton product information

-Help-opens up the online help

-Run LiveUpdate-connects to the Symantec server to check for program updates

-Scan Now-immediately scan the pc for threats

-View History-review of the details of your lates scans
The following options are available at the center of the screen:

-Tasks & Scans-invokes functions that are specific for your version

-Settings-to customize the options

-Reports & Statistics-to check the Activity Log and the Online Virus Encyclopedia

-Support-let’s you get in touch with live support, security and account info.

4. Getting Support

Sometimes you will need assistance for using Norton Antivirus and you can’t find the information in the Help files or at Symantec Website. In such cases, you turn to the Support personnel. To contact technical support, go to http://service.symantec.com/techsupp/.

There is also the option for free-based phone support available for all registered users. Since the support solutions vary from one country to another, check out http://service.symantec.com for a list of the addresses of the Symantec’s International Partner locations outside of USA.

You can contact the free online chat (http://www.symantec.com/home_homeoffice/support/index.jsp), which requires about 15 minutes waiting time, considering how popular this product is, this shouldn’t be surprising.

5. The technology behind Norton Antivirus

The detection mechanism has been improved drastically for this version. At Symantec, the developers know that most attacks are aimed at financial gains, instead of notoriety and that the majority of virus writers are mostly modifying existing malicious code rather than developing entirely new threats. NAV 2007 addresses this trend with its new technology designed to detect these viruses and worm families. The product is stronger than ever before and will even located new types of viruses that use rootkits to hide themselves from security software. This is a brand new, patented technology that recognizes all those threats camouflaged as system processes. The scanning capabilities are also improved, you can run it in the background, with low priority requiring less CPU power.

6. New features in Norton Antivirus 2007

There are plenty of new features available in Norton Antivirus 2007. The computer security market is really intense, but there are few other programs quite as robust as this one. In addition to anti-virus capabilities, NAV is packed with some great spyware and adware detection tools and it will automatically detect and block high-risk spyware and adware before they are installed on your system, by scanning your emails and all files being downloaded.

The Rootkit Protection is a tool designed to detect and delete hidden threats in Windows OS. The Norton Protection Center provides a central place to easily check overall security settings.

7. Improvements

The improvements in Norton Antivirus 2007 include protection during file-sharing and instant messaging along with the active system scanning. The application automatically updates itself and detects viruses, spyware and adware. Scan times and the interface are also improved. Basically, Symantec has rewritten most of the source code, instead of modifying or adding to the old one. NAV automatically fixes most viruses instead of confusing the user with series of technical questions.

8. Performance

Symantec have done their best to improve performance compared to prior versions. The Full System Scan is now faster than ever before and there is also the ability to let NAV run in background mode, taking minimum system resources.

In terms of memory usage, scan speed, user interface launch speed and HTTP download speed, there major improvements. Stats show that NAV 2007 runs a full scan on a 1GB file set in 2:15 minutes, which is by 30% faster than the competition. The user interface in Norton Antivirus 2007 launches in under 1 second. Individual file scans are also drastically improved as they take only 117 seconds compared to the 320 seconds last year.

9.Cons

There some disadvantages and potential problems related to the use of NAV 2007. It takes up too much hard drive space – 180MB compared to 75MB by McAfee VirusScan Plus. But this shouldn’t much of a problem for the standard computer configuration, which features at least a 100GB HDD. Uninstalling the program is not as straightforward as it should be. Perhaps the developers made everything possible to make life difficult for users trying to remove their product. When you remove NAV, there is a chance that you will loose some or all of your remaining subscriptions with Symantec. Some Symantec references will still be present in the System Registry. Taking the performance into account, it turns out that this year’s NAV loads up 4 seconds longer than its predecessor (62 seconds).

Another fact that you must be familiar with is that, because NAV is probably the most popular antivirus program, more hacker are targeting it so that they can compromise more machines. Just like they tend to focus on other well known products like Outlook, Internet Explorer or Windows itself (compared to Linux).

10. Final Words

Bottom line is that Norton Antivirus 2007 is not just an updated version, it’s a brand new software, with new interface, new protection techniques and improved performance. For a secure download, go to http://www.freesecuredownloads.com.

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Tips For Virus and Spyware Removal

If you ever experienced a virus or spyware on your computer, you know how painful it can be. Your computer slows to a crawl. Random advertisements pop-up on your screen. Weird things happen, and as time goes by, the problems only grow worse.

Don’t despair, you probably don’t have to reinstall windows. In fact, in an hour or two you can usually have your computer back to normal. Here’s a quick guide on what to do if your computer has been infected.

1) Restart your computer in Safe Mode with Networking. As your computer restarts but before Windows launches, press F8, until you get a menu that shows a list of start-up options. Chose Safe Mode with Networking. This mode allows you to access the internet, but also prevents most viruses and spyware from being able to run. When the spyware and viruses aren’t running, it’s a lot easier to remove them.

2) Download Malwarebytes’s free AntiMalware and run a full scan. Pick up any remaining traces by scanning your computer with SUPERAntiSpyware.  If you aren’t able to get online in Safe Mode, you can download the files on a working computer, and burn the files to a CD, or copy them to a USB flash drive.

3) Verify that Windows Update is enabled and that you’re getting auto-updates to protect your computer from known vulnerabilities, and to remove some of the most common infections.

If you don’t have an up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware program, consider installing the free version of Avast Home Edition for ongoing protection.  With a simple yearly registration, they’ll send you a free license for your home computer.  It’s easy to use, and provides a good level of protection.

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