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Norton Internet Security 2012 beta

Apr 25, 2011

A few days ago, Symantec released the 2012 beta version of the Norton Internet Security, which is available for free public download at nis2012beta with a 14-day beta subscription activation key.

Norton Internet Security 2012 beta

The main key features of Norton Internet Security 2012 Beta are:
  • Norton Protection System includes 4 layers of rock-solid protection designed to proactively protect against the very latest security threats — so you can do more on your PC without disruptions.
  • Customizable Control Center gives you the option to choose your preference between a simplified screen or the traditional detailed view.
  • Identity Safe alerts have moved to the Norton Toolbar so there are less interruptions while you are online — but your passwords are still as secure as ever.
  • Bandwidth Management limits Norton’s processes and updates when you have limited bandwidth or monthly downloads.
  • Download Insight 2.0 now tells you how stable a download is before you put your computer at risk for crashes or other bad things to happen.
  • Norton Recovery Tools help remove threats that can be deeply buried in a PC’s operating system.

Below are descriptions of the new features and great enhancements provided with this release of Norton Internet Security 2012:
  1. Protection

    — 2012 introduces several new technologies to combat emerging threats. Fake AV (also known as rogue security software) is one of the most visible and wide-spread threats that Internet users face today. Fake AV pretends to be security software and tempts the user to pay for it. Even worse, it can install additional malware on the system and claim the system is clean. New for Norton Internet Security 2012, Symantec have included SONAR 4.0 and Norton Power Eraser 2.0 to help customers combat Fake AV.

  2. SONAR 4.0

    — With 2012 version, Symantec is introducing SONAR Policy Enforcement, which offer the ability to convict a suspicious process based on a behavioral “profile.” To create these profiles, an analyst looks at the 500+ attributes that SONAR tracks and make a series of associations. For example, let’s say a particular process tried to access the system folder and tried to call home, but does not have any running UI. Also, it downloaded more than 15 files the previous day. Any one of these things alone may not be “bad,” but taken as a whole, the behavioral profile is bad. The analyst will therefore make a rule that says if we see this string of behaviors, then we should stop the process from executing.

    Sonar 4.0 also introduces protection against Non Process Threats (NPTs). As the name suggests, these threats are not active processes by themselves, but they inject themselves into legitimate active processes. SONAR 4.0 technology is able to much more aggressively remove threats on pre-infected machines.

  3. Norton Power Eraser

    — Since Symantec introduced Norton Power Eraser last year, it has exceeded our expectations and has been very well received by customers and reviewers. Almost 90% of users claim it has resolved their issue without them having to contact support. This is a significant increase since Symantec first introduced Norton Power Eraser a year ago, when the resolution rate started at 65%.

    With the 2012 release, Norton Power Eraser runs in Windows Pre-Install Environment (WinPE) and will be accessible when running the Norton Bootable Recovery Tool. That means users get additional leverage over malware because Norton Power Eraser is run from a completely separate environment (WinPE) where the malware is not running and can scan the OS and more partitions.

  4. Integration with Specialized Tools

    — As the threat landscape evolves, Symantec are seeing the need for specialized malware removal tools more than ever before. As an example, Symantec have a removal tool for the Tidserv that has been very successful in helping users remove this highly prevalent rootkit. Often, the issue is that users often do not know that they are infected with Tidserv and therefore do not know they can be helped with this tool.

    Both Symantec scanning and network layer security components will now look out for threats that require removal tools and inform the users that they may have a serious infection that requires a special removal tool. These users will be provided with a link to download these tools. This closes the gap and provides extended protection.

  5. Google Chrome browser — best support ever

    — If Google Chrome is your favorite browser, you are in for a treat. Norton Internet Security 2012 comes full circle on the Chrome browser by supporting Identity Safe and Safe Web features. This means you will get the password and form-filling capability from Identity Safe, industry-leading phishing protection and SafeWeb site safety ratings for Web sites and search results. You can choose to view the toolbar in full, or close it and continue to get a Norton icon on the top right indicating the safety of the page.

  6. Performance

    — Users need to keep their computers running faster — Symantec understand that. If a product doesn’t use system resources judiciously and causes the computer to slow down; users may disable certain protection features and get vulnerable to attacks. Performance is of utmost importance for security products. At Norton, performance is always at the heart of the improvements Symantec make to the products and Symantec continue to innovate to achieve better performance. For the Norton Internet Security 2012 beta release, Symantec is working in 50+ areas related to performance. To highlight a few high-level areas:
    • Reduction in footprint, resulting in smaller download and install sizes;
    • Faster startup and shutdown;
    • Enhanced scan time and file copy performance, resulting in faster scans and file access operations, and having very little or no impact in other application launches;
    • Enhanced network throughput, resulting in faster file copies over the network. More and more users are using sophisticated home networks and the changes in 2012 ensures that our security software gets out of their way for things like shared network file servers and other conveniences of today’s digital home;
  7. Identity Safe 2.0 in the cloud

    — Yes, that is correct. Identity Safe 2012 supports storing your data in the secure Norton cloud. You can set up Identity Safe in the cloud and use it from multiple computers. An online profile is created using your existing Norton Account. A brand new form-filling engine has been put in place to increase the accuracy of form filling. Identity Safe also gets a completely revamped user interface. It has adapted a lower profile push-down browser toolbar and gotten rid of the old style popup windows, reducing distraction from your browsing experience.

  8. Download Insight 2.0

    Ever wished that someone told you not to install an application that crashes all the time and ruins your experience? You have Norton to do exactly that. With the Norton Internet Security 2012 product line Symantec is introducing the concept of Application Stability Ratings.

    Norton’s Community Watch system provides Symantec with information about millions of applications and their behaviors. Stability is measured by looking at an application’s crash and hang frequency over time. The higher the number, the less stable the application is.

    Stability Ratings are a natural fit in the Download Insight flows. On a download, in addition to providing the Trust ratings, the alert will also display stability ratings. A “Reliable” rating means that the chances of this program crashing are minimal; on the other end, “Very unstable” means that the chances of this program crashing are high.

  9. Bandwidth Metering

    — There has been an explosion in availability of mobile broadband devices. These devices are either built into your laptop or you can buy them separately. In addition, more and more smartphones support data tethering. Almost all mobile broadband plans limit data usage. Norton Internet Security 2012 rely on Symantec’s cloud services to give you the best performance and protection. Now with Norton 2012 products, you can set policies on how much bandwidth Norton product will use to suit your data usage plans.

    For example, if you connect your iPhone with a limited data tethering plan, you can choose to use “Critical Updates Only” or “No Traffic” policies. With “Critical Updates Only,” Norton products limit Internet usage to critical tasks that keep you secure.

  10. Norton In-Product Support Experience (AutoFix)

    With Norton Internet Security 2012, Symantec have streamlined in-product support experience to help you in rare cases when you have a problem with the product. The new automated support experience will scan your product to see if it can identify any problems. For example, it will look to see if your product had any installation or configuration problems. If there are problems that can be automatically fixed, Norton Autofix will try to fix those problems for you. If you encounter a problem that cannot be automatically fixed, it will offer to take you to our new and improved support portal to get help.

Before using this pre-release version of Norton Internet Security 2012, it should be emphasized that it may not display the stability of a final product. You may encounter problems with this pre-release software that may possibly result in data loss. This software is not recommended for production use and it is highly recommended that you backup your existing data before you install this software.

If you decide to download and install the Norton Internet Security 2012 beta, first of all it’s recommended to take a look at the following system requirements and be sure that your system meets them:
  • Operating system:
    • Microsoft® Windows® XP (32-bit) Home/Professional/Media Center with Service Pack 2 or later;
    • Microsoft Windows Vista® (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/Home Basic/Home Premium/Business/Ultimate;
    • Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit) Starter/Home Basic/Home Premium/Professional/Ultimate;
  • Minimum Hardware Requirements:
    • 300 MHz or faster processor;
    • 256 MB of RAM for XP, 512 of RAM for VISTA and 1GB of RAM for Win7 (minimum of 512 MB RAM required for Recovery Tool);
    • 300 MB of available hard disk space;
  • Support for AntiSpam:
    • Microsoft Outlook® 2002 or later;
    • Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0 or later;
    • Windows Mail (spam filtering only);
  • Browser support for Vulnerability Protection and Phishing Protection:
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer® 6.0 or higher (32-bit only);
    • Mozilla Firefox® 3.0 and later;
  • Email scanning support for POP3-and SMTP-compatible email clients;

Useful Links:
Register To Download Norton Internet Security 2012
Beta Registration
Norton Internet Security / Norton AntiVirus 2012 Public Beta Forums
Norton Public Beta Forum
Norton Public Beta Twitter Account
Norton Public Beta
Official Press Release
Norton Internet Security and Norton AntiVirus 2012 Public Betas Now Available
Norton Internet Security 2012 final version
Norton Internet Security 2012 final version

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