How to: Switch anti-virus soft­ware

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

IN­STALLING anti-virus soft­ware can be a pain, par­tic­u­larly when switch­ing from one soft­ware suite to an­other.

Nor­ton’s par­ent com­pany Sy­man­tec claims its lat­est anti-virus of­fer­ing solves is­sues many have with the in­stal­la­tion process — as well as be­ing proac­tive when fight­ing the ever-grow­ing tide of mal­ware.

Switched On tested Nor­ton Anti-Virus 360 us­ing a stan­dard Win­dows 7 lap­top (Dell) al­ready run­ning a ca­pa­ble com­pet­ing an­tivirus soft­ware (McAfee).

At the start of in­stal­la­tion, it recog­nised there was anti-virus soft­ware in­stalled.

Usu­ally, this is where the pain be­gins, but the in­staller sim­ply asked if we wanted to ‘‘unin­stall’’ the old soft­ware. The prob­lem was solved with one click. And fast.

Once in­stalled, all Nor­ton 360 func­tions can be ac­cessed from a wid­get. Keen users can set up gran­u­lar sweeps of their com­puter, though most should be sat­is­fied with pre­set com­puter scans.

The soft­ware of­fers ex­tra good­ies such as Face­book pro­file page scans (the so­cial net­work can be a mal­ware haven), as well as 2GB of cloud stor­age you can use as a backup. That can be au­to­mated and set for spe­cific fold­ers and file types (say, photo li­braries or mu­sic).

It also of­fers a ‘‘tune-up’’ fea­ture that will de­frag your ma­chine and keep it in good run­ning or­der, sweep­ing un­used files from temp di­rec­to­ries and keep­ing other miscellaneous clut­ter in or­der.

The other big ad­di­tion sees Nor­ton hunt­ing for mal­ware rather than re­act­ing to at­tacks.

In the first week of use, Nor­ton alerted us to mal­ware found on a gar­den­ing web­site, ask­ing us to shut down the browser. Day-to­day it de­tects up to 50 suspect mal­ware files. That’s not to say the com­puter is at risk, but the se­cu­rity soft­ware was ac­tively high­light­ing po­ten­tial is­sues be­fore trou­ble oc­curred.

Re­gard­less of whether you choose Nor­ton or not, in­stalling anti-virus soft­ware and keep­ing it up to date is im­por­tant for your com­puter and the com­mu­nity.

JOSHUA GRECH

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