This antivirus software, produced by company Symantec, is designed to protect a computer against various malicious programs, including viruses, worms and spyware. Norton conducts regular scans of the machine on which it is installed, as well as scanning files that are downloaded and emails that are accessed.
Norton is often pre-installed on new Windows PCs that are bought in a retail store. However, once the free or included period of subscription comes to an end, the yearly cost can be expensive. Though it's a good product, there are many free pieces of software that do essentially the same thing.
As mentioned above, the Norton software program is capable of scanning for, detecting and removing a variety of malicious programs, including viruses, worms, trojans and so on. 'Malware' is short for 'malicious software' and is simply an umbrella term for all of these categories of malicious software. In summary, Norton can remove malware.
From a security point of view, Norton doesn't pose any risks to a machine on which it is installed. It does, however, have a bad habit of tagging legitimate, secure websites as potential security threats. More recent iterations of the software have been better at reducing system lag.
Installing Norton's antivirus suite is straightforward. If a CD wasn't included with the machine on which it is being installed, then the program can be downloaded fairly quickly. Then, it's simply a case of following the on-screen prompts, accepting the license agreement.
The antivirus software from Symantec can be installed on a Mac machine, and may function. However, the general consensus from Mac users is that it should be avoided, as it could cause more problems than it solves, and potentially conflict with the operating system (OS). Instead, it's probably best to use one of the dedicated Mac antivirus tools.
Norton's antivirus program isn't known for being the fastest antivirus software around; in fact, many users find that the software can slow down and bloat computers on which it is installed, whereas free alternatives are often faster. At the very least, if a machine is running slowly, it's worth checking if a scan is in progress.
Virus definitions are continually evolving, meaning that Norton needs to be kept up to date to be effective. To ensure that the software is kept updated, go into the user interface, click 'Options', and then enable the 'Automatic Live Update' option. By having this option selected, the software will regularly update itself.
After the free upgrade to Windows 10 was provided to Windows users, the new operating system (OS) was displaying an incompatibility message for the Norton software. However, Symantec have since released an update that brings the Norton program back up to date with the latest Windows OS.
Norton may display an 'at risk' message for a number of reasons, for example if the computer hasn't been scanned for some time, though there are other causes. This can usually be remedied by clicking the 'Fix Now' button in the user interface, or failing that, downloading and running the Norton fix tool.