Surfing the web or streaming a series can seem innocuous, but using the Internet can be fraught due to innumerable threats. Online presence imposes these threats because the web’s anonymity has attracted plenty of wrongdoers who want to gain unauthorized access and monitor your online activities. They do so to steal your personal information for financial gain and to cause trouble.
Hackers carry out these cyber threats using a variety of evolving techniques. These techniques include various types of malicious software that hit in forms such as:
- Viruses: Viruses can change the functioning of other software on your computer in harmful ways.
- Spyware: These threats can allow someone to monitor your computer activities and conceal their presence on your computer.
- Ransomware: Ransomware locks up your computer until you pay a fee or "ransom" for unlocking it.
- Adware: The menace causes unwanted advertisement pop-ups on your computer, which can disturb you while working.
- Worms: They are nasty bits of code that can spread from one computer to another.
All of this malicious softwares falls under the generic term "malware." These malwares can also attack your devices in other ways, such as phishing attempts that try to ploy you into using fake websites to steal your data.
But the good news is that you can protect yourself by opting for smart internet security practices like creating strong passwords, or you can rely on antivirus software for absolute security. Antivirus software will scan the information and files sent to or from your device when you're surfing websites, emailing, or are undergoing any activity in the digital space. These antivirus softwares will warn you not to click on a website or file that seems suspicious. If you accidentally download any security threat to your computer after the alert, the software will automatically attempt to quarantine and eliminate the threat. Many programs such as Norton also come with a virtual private network (VPN), which conceals your online activities if someone tries to gain unauthorized access. The softwares also comes with multi-layered firewall protection that monitors network traffic.
How Does Malware Invade the System ?
Malware can get into your device in several ways, but most of them are caught when you enter any digital space. Therefore, to secure the customer, Norton Antivirus uses a combination of technologies to identify harmful websites that might host malware before you visit the site. Even after you ignore warnings, Norton continues to watch the software you download in search of malicious behaviors and actions on your PCs, tablets, Mac, and phones. The other reasons for infection are:
1. Human error
Malwares can enter your device if you click on a malicious website link or an ad that looks legitimate. Unprotected downloads from a suspicious email attachment or any other similar mistakes can give access to malwares. Viruses and other menaces can also enter your system if you ignore security software warnings relating to a link, attachment, file, or program and click open anyway.
Norton protection monitors your network traffic for malware. The software has also developed SONAR, which adds a behavioral protection layer to your device, monitors programs, and identifies any ominous common behavioral signs in malware.
2. Web Attacks
As the name suggests, these attacks are carried out from a location on the web. They can be present on harmful websites or sites that are specifically created for web attacks. Web threats can also enter your system when you download files from any exploited web browsers or open any unprotected email. You can also catch malwares by malvertising (clicking on an ad that installs malware onto your device) or pharming (where cybercriminals re-direct traffic slyly from a legitimate site to a malicious one).
Norton protection defends your device against these web attacks with Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and Proactive Exploit Protection (PEP).
3. "Bundles" Apps and software
Sometimes the apps or software you download to your device can include more than what you asked. The applications you download come bundled up with spyware and other malicious malwares and can harm your devices by causing unauthorized interactions. Everyone search for options to download free applications, files, and programs. But do you trust the publisher of each one?
Free applications can be extraordinarily heartwarming but can also impose undeniable threats. Norton protection uses these bundled apps and software’s reputation and detects them as malicious or Potentially Unwanted Applications (PUAs), and codes them for removal.
How Does Antivirus Work
Antivirus software scans and removes malware files that enter your device (computer, tablet, or smartphone) by using its machine learning technology to determine if a file is good or bad even if it's the first time the software views that file.
Norton protection also uses the "emulation" technique to run each file that can cause online threats in a lightweight virtual machine to reveal if they are carrying any infectious component. This process only takes milliseconds and completes as you double-click on files on your desktop. After a thorough inspection file, and signature data gets stored in the cloud. Over the years, Norton protection has undergone hundreds of optimizations on its antivirus engines to minimize user experience and provide holistic security.
Norton's Malware Protection
Norton security technology includes multiple defenses against viruses is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The protection system includes:
- Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): The software analyzes information that arrives from browsing networks and blocks potential online threats before they try to hit your computer. The system is supportive of both Windows and Mac.
- Antivirus with Advanced Machine Learning: This learning system scans and removes malware files that enter your device. It uses the emulation technique to test and monitor what files do use machine learning. It can be used on PC, Mac, and Android.
- Reputation Protection (Insight): It uses the reputation information gathered from Norton global network to classify the software application files on their attributes. Works for PC.
- Behavioral Protection (SONAR): SONAR uses artificial intelligence to classify the applications based on their behavior and automatically block suspicious applications that display on the network. It only supports PCs.
- Proactive Exploit Protection (PEP): This software helps secure devices against 'zero-day' attacks that can exploit vulnerabilities in applications or the operating system. The system operates only on PCs.
- Power Eraser: Power erasers detect and allow you to remove high-risk applications and malware residing on your computer. Works for PCs only.
Norton offers various antivirus security products that can protect your device from catching any harmful threat. These antivirus products are specifically designed to function on your PC, Macs, tablets, and mobile phones. The company has launched an updated product for your every activity. For instance, if you are a keen gamer, a product is designed solely to protect your existence in the online gaming zones.
The product list includes Norton 360 Premium product, which secures your device by providing comprehensive malware and VPN protection for up to 10 devices. Norton 360 Deluxe, this version of Norton secures up to 5 devices and allows up to 75GB of cloud backup. Norton 360 Standard secures your device from all malicious programs and stores the cloud backup up to 10 GB. Norton 360 Deluxe (3 Device) protects three devices and provides a backup of up to 50GB. Norton 360 for Gamers, through this product Norton patronizes unique full-screen mode detection, notification optimization, and a backup of 50GB. Last on the list is Norton Mobile Security, which provides Wi-Fi surveillance and runs alerts when you are installing any suspicious application.
Other Antivirus Alternatives
The independent testing of lab results the other Norton alternatives are Kaspersky Antivirus and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. But if you want a cheaper alternative to protect more than one device, then McAfee Antivirus software can be one of the best choices. You can operate your Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices using a single subscription. On the other hand, if your device keeps getting infected with malicious programs on a regular basis, you can select Webroot. The behavior-based detection of Webroot quickly identifies the threat by monitoring its behavioral pattern. But if you want a one-stop solution to all your security issues with combined features of all the products stated above, Norton is the best Antivirus software choice for 2021.