Internet Security 2004 is more secure and friendly

If your agency wants an up-to-the-minute Internet security package that's small enough to work efficiently on notebook PCs, try Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2004.

It takes up only 22.8M on the hard drive and has plenty of new security features.

In addition to standard antivirus monitoring of the hard drive for possible worms, viruses or Trojan horses, the 2004 version of Norton Internet Security also looks for keystroke-recording programs and spyware that tracks passwords and work in progress.

The Norton package automatically scans and cleans instant-message attachments as well as incoming and outgoing e-mail messages.

Internet Security 2004 installs as easily as its predecessors.

The most noticeable change is importing the e-mail address book to an Allowed List of senders whose messages won't be blocked by the antispam and firewall features.

The setup wizard also has an Add Private Information section for sensitive data such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Internet Security 2004 not only alerts the user when a program tries to access another program on the hard drive, such as e-mail, but it also alerts if someone attempts to connect wirelessly to the client to start a denial-of-service attack.

Before setup, I put a virus on my test notebook's drive to see how Norton would react when the virus and other programs tried to access functions at the same time. I was curious to know how long Norton would take to find the bug and how it would deal with the other operations.

Caught in the act

In a systematic fashion, Norton warned me one by one of all the applications trying to access functions, including wireless communications. The first two programs were simply trying to access the domain name server, which I permitted. The third, which happened to be the virus, was caught, quarantined and eliminated by Norton.

To my surprise, Norton also detected another virus, the W32 Welchia.worm, in the winnt folder. Norton quarantined and deleted the infection.

The antispam portion of the program will have the most interest for many users.

I was receiving on average 30 spam messages daily. With Norton's spam filter, that number eventually dropped by 80 percent.

The filter works with any Post Office Protocol 3-compliant e-mail program including Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Qualcomm Eudora.

The new version of the firewall also has a Web assistant to block popup ads and make browser options in Internet Explorer more accessible to the user.

Finally, a new network detector lets the user define firewall settings for multiple networks from a single client and then switch between networks within Internet Security 2004.

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