View Full Version : Symantec Safe Web

Dalo Harkin
29-07-2008, 02:49 PM
Today over at Symantec some news for the safety-conscious were released. The Norton team has been working on a new product called “Norton Safe Web”, which is pitched as a website rating service that will let people easily see what sites are legit and which are malicious. It will also be a proactive service, warning users before they are able to open a malicious site that could compromise their system.

Norton Safe Web is currently in Beta, and as such they are looking for feedback from users. Considering the accusations of bloat that Norton products have received in the past, it's no wonder that they are claiming this piece of work is in-line with Norton 2009 products that are “fast and light”. The software itself is available only for Norton users, but they are also offering a manual service in which you can submit a site to see if any information is available on it.

Dalo Harkin
29-07-2008, 02:52 PM
I personally would not touch Norton with a barge pole - it is resource hungry and basically takes over your system.
Norton is still widely used throughout the world and I am amazed that people still buy their products.

29-07-2008, 03:09 PM
I'm thinking Site Advisor or something similar which is already on the market.

The only reason Norton is so popular, is that they have a great marketing team. That is:

1) Pay computer manufacturers a lot of money to have the product pre-installed.

2) Wait three months, then popup and tell the user that they have start paying for the product or all hell will break loose.

3) The end user doesn't know any better and pulls out their credit card.

Dalo Harkin
29-07-2008, 03:24 PM
I do agree Seth - but the fact of the matter is they keep churning 'new' versions.
I know that some people are naive to the fact that they just choose the ones that get advertised (Norton) and the flashy menu that they use and the rotating globe in the task bar etc. (it's basically just eye candy that slows the system)

But on the flipside I used to use Sygate firewall from Symantec and I was very impressed - I cannot believe the differences between that and the 'new' Norton solutions.
Sygate was basic but extremely strong and was user friendly but still had all the advanced features, the same can be said of the business AV programs they are excellent -
so why do they tone them down so much for the consumer market, I understand they make lots and lots of revenue - but surely they are at the point now in terms of numbers where service should be their number one priority.

29-07-2008, 03:42 PM
SUPERAntiSpyware.com :: View topic - Are Suites really "Sweet"? (http://forums.superantispyware.com/viewtopic.php?t=269)

29-07-2008, 04:16 PM
The guy from SAS talks a lot and says nothing and then has the audacity to promote SAS without back up of what the product can do.

He's basically advertising and you should know better Seth my old mate.

29-07-2008, 05:01 PM
The guy from SAS talks a lot and says nothing and then has the audacity to promote SAS without back up of what the product can do.

He's basically advertising and you should know better Seth my old mate.


The article speaks volumes of the inherent problems with "suites".

29-07-2008, 05:13 PM
It makes statements, speaks of tests, where is the proof?

A comment;

The use of resources by the suites is heavy even without competing components.Show proof. I have NODS Security Suite and it isn't knocking the guts out of my system.

29-07-2008, 05:27 PM
The proof can be found on just about any computer out there that is running typical suites such as Norton and Mcafee.

Sure, NOD does a much better job in that department, but it's basically unknown to the general public.

The article also points out these important facts:

1) Proper protection means layered protection. Suites claim to do everything, but since it's only one program, code can be written to disable. This is obviously much harder to do on a layered system, especially when the malware writers have no idea what other antimalware apps you're running.

2) AntiVirus software is becoming obsolete, as virus's are relatively non-existent in relation to Trojan Horses, Adware, Spyware, etc. As such, those vendors have not only moved into the antispyware market, but claim to "do it all". In other words, they have spread themselves so thin, that they have become a "Jack of all trades, but master of none".

3) Given the already high resource use of typical suites, as well as how deep they embed themselves into the kernal, it's very difficult to incorporate layered protection without causing a conflict or further system degradation.

29-07-2008, 05:37 PM
I'm glad your being specific Seth seeing as the guy from SAS completely failed to mention, in my opinion, crap security software that you have just listed.
He made an across the board statement which was not only wrong but unfair.

It seems to me that Norton, instead of venturing down other avenues for profit should tighten the main product up first, other companies do so so why can't they?

As you said earlier they pay people like PC World thousands to sell this crap and as we all know advertising pays.

People will buy it because they don't know any better.

It was still a rash statement from the man at SAS though Seth.

Dalo Harkin
29-07-2008, 05:37 PM
There are pro's and con's to both-
Take into account what I use - Microsoft Live OneCare - It's a suite, but is much stronger than any other solution I have seen whether its a suite or seperate AV, Firewall and Malware apps.
People use suites as they dont want to have to fork out loads of cash for seperate programs (Free ones are good but are not updated as often)
and they want to just click one button once a week to do a full scan and checkup etc.
And there is nothing wrong with this - like i said there are pro's and con's to both setups

29-07-2008, 05:41 PM
To me the guy from SAS is saying Suites can't/don't work.

This is a horses **** of a statement as Nod disproves it.

30-07-2008, 11:16 AM
To me the guy from SAS is saying Suites can't/don't work.

I interpreted the SAS article as written from a developer looking out for his own interests as well as the average user. He's basically saying that no single anti-malware product is as good as the multi-layered approach of utlizing 2 or more products from various vendors. I totally agree with that philosophy.

The other major point he's making is that the typical security suite does not play well with security products made by other vendors. This is probably his main concern if his product get locked out of the market due to incompatibility issues, but it should also be a concern to the averge consumer because it limits which products they can run along side of their security suite.

Personally, I like "individual components" over "complete systems" and that applies not only to security suites, but also home entertainment systems, computers or anything technical in nature. With a complete system such as a security suite there is bound to be a weak link or component and you may be stuck with it if the system is not designed to work well with other vendor's products. I've been burned too many times with SONY products due to this kind of thing.

The same concepts apply to security suites which is why I prefer to use multiple products from various vendors. Similarly, security suites tend to act like "proprietary" systems that will often NOT allow the consumer the freedom or control to obtain the best perfomance possible. Sure it can be more expensive to buy multiple products or more complex to setup, but it does offer the best protection and gives the user more control over the individual components of his security system.

With all that said, I agree writer of the SAS article.


30-07-2008, 12:02 PM
Time for me to weigh in on a few points and give my opinions.

First of all the need for a full AV is more important then ever. In itself it's not enough but neither is a spyware blocker. Not even close for the latter.

A full suite has advantages such as an included firewall and spyware protection as well as other features which may or may not be needed depending on the user.

This is not to say that other spyware protection programs can't be used in conjuction with them. Or a different firewall even.

I'll pass on Norton because it's had too many issues but compatability issues with an AV or suite has never caused problems for me and I've tested many. I've ran spyware programs side by side with AV and suites with no problem. If there is a conflict then it's usually with the developer of the stand alone product. That is it's poorly written and can't even co-exist with MS.

As for me at the moment I'm running the Mcafee Suite with a 2 year subscription. At the early stage of Vista a decent free firewall was not an option. ZoneAlarm worked but slowed things down and I hated the interface.

Along with my suite I am currently using Windows Defender which ships with Vista and SpywareBlaster. I've also ran all the scans we suggest with no conflict and more.

I could throw out a number of other programs I've tested but so far the only thing I can find that causes issues or conflicts is Norton and Norton issues were with Windows not anything else.

The bottom line is any decent program should run just fine alongside the others unless it's an AV or firewall. If a spyware program or scanner can't run ok then the fault is with the developer. Unless the developer is trying to pawn off the spyware blocker as a cheap AV too.

I believe in stand alone products but suites have there place too. Given that the price between the two is minor it should not be ruled out. The world is changing.

Dalo Harkin
30-07-2008, 12:21 PM
Randy with all due respect - McAfee is just as reknowned as Norton for not being very good -
I myself as a suite would only use BitDefender or as I keep harpering on about, Windows live onecare.
I do understand that there are benefits to individual products as they focus on one thing and one thing alone - BUT most of them are free and that means that they have no money behind the company to actively research and fight modern day threats.

30-07-2008, 12:29 PM
This is an addon for IE and for FF. It is based on user interaction and will not even let you enter a suspect site unless you deliberately choose to -

"Free Online Security

Our 2 minute demo video explains how WOT works on your computer to warn you about risky websites that try to scam visitors, deliver malware or send spam email.
Ratings for almost 20 million websites
Downloaded over 500,000 times
The WOT browser addon is light and updates automatically
WOT rating icons appear beside search results in Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Gmail, etc.
Settings can be customized to better protect your family
WOT Security Scorecard shows rating details and user comments"

Free Online Security | WOT Web of Trust (http://www.mywot.com/en/demo)

30-07-2008, 12:35 PM
This is not really relevant to the subject of this thread though Rob.

30-07-2008, 12:38 PM
I'm not defending any one product or expousing one over another. Just trying to expose myths and misconceptions.

As for myself I run many layers of protection not just a suite. I only mentioned a few.

Believe me Dave I've put my system to the test repeatedly and try as I might I just can't seem to infect myself. I'll try harder.

Dalo Harkin
30-07-2008, 12:47 PM
lol - as we have said before we are well aware of where all these threats come from and have the knowledge to stay well clear of it all - the main benefit I think people like us have is knowing what to do if anything does happen -

30-07-2008, 12:52 PM
Education is indeed the first line of defense.

That's why we we post and share.

30-07-2008, 12:55 PM
I thought the discussion was on the merits or otherwise of various security products, Bob, and I have found this to be a good one. But by all means shift it if you consider it misplaced.


30-07-2008, 12:58 PM
Ok then let's perhaps call it an extra tool in the line of defence Rob.

30-07-2008, 01:02 PM
Hi rowal;
I think the product you suggested is similar to mcafee site advisor which is also free. Am I correct? If so then it's another good tool to advise.

Knowledge is power right?

30-07-2008, 01:11 PM
Hi rowal;
I think the product you suggested is similar to mcafee site advisor which is also free. Am I correct? If so then it's another good tool to advise.

Knowledge is power right?
I use WOT, and find it doesn't slow the loading of Web Pages, like McAfee Site Advisor does,on my PC anyway.Another tool in our ****nal.
We all have choices.:)

30-07-2008, 01:16 PM
Is it similar to this:

Firetrust - SiteHound (http://www.firetrust.com/en/products/sitehound)

What i use:

Bitdefender Internet Security
Winpatrol and

30-07-2008, 01:37 PM
Hi Randy.

Yes, very similar to Site Advisor but you get the opportunity to insert your own rating for every site, so it is very orientated to reflecting users' opinions.

30-07-2008, 03:33 PM
Education is indeed the first line of defense

That's what I've been saying all along.

Most infections can be avoided by user education.