When it comes to the serious realities of internet security, Norton 360 can seriously safeguard against the many digital threats looking to tear your devices a new one.

You can never be too cautious when it comes to cybersecurity. Especially these days when viruses and other malware have the potential to turn ad hoc workstations into noticeably slowed or unusable oversized paperweights. Device protection has become paramount.

One of the brand names that’s best known for protecting connected devices from viruses and the like is Norton. These days, Norton 360 Premium is more than just a reactive antivirus program, even if it does an admirable job of that primary task.

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LIFELOCK’S KEY

NortonLifeLock is the parent company behind all things Norton. That inessential bit of trivia is actually important because the “LifeLock” part of the company refers to an extra layer of security. Before Norton and LifeLock joined forces, LifeLock made a name for itself by protecting devices from cyberthreats. Now that it’s part of Norton, it makes products like Norton 360 Premium all the more appealing.

With over seven million threats blocked per day, LifeLock also actively monitors devices for identity threats and alerts you when one is detected, even if it’s only a potential threat to your personal info being compromised.

This is particularly important given the reality that, according to the 2018 Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report – Australia, 30 per cent of surveyed Aussie consumers were impacted by cybercrime in 2017. Of those people, a whopping estimated $1.3 billion was lost.

At the time, 89 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted to do more to protect their privacy, and with the number of connected devices growing each year, the realities of cybercrime are only going to become more prevalent as more connected devices become part of our everyday realities.

NORTON PROTECTION

It may still be called Norton 360, but these days this antivirus software also includes LifeLock for protection against everything outlined above. On top of this, later this month, the LifeLock component will include monitoring of the dark web to see if any of your personal information has made it there. Spoiler: you really don’t want your info caught in that web.

Norton 360 Premium is a digital download and ongoing subscription service, the first 12 months of which can be purchased to protect one, two, three, or up to five devices. These days, protecting against digital threats isn’t just for computers; phones and tablets can be compromised in many of the same ways. Thankfully, it’s a cinch to install Norton 360 Premium on computers or compatible iOS and Android devices by opting to email a download link (or use a scannable QR code) during setup.

Norton 360 works in the background, not using up too many precious system resources, and actively monitors your internet goings-on. Once installed, you can take a tour of the software to be more proactive with its additional features.

For instance, an inbuilt secure VPN protects your device on public Wi-Fi networks and automatically selects the nearest region to preserve speed. If you want to manually shift regions, that’s a few clicks away, while the VPN blocks pesky ad trackers by default.

360 EXTRAS

Norton 360 Premium automatically updates for you, but you can manually activate updates if you’re particularly paranoid, or pop a quick malware scan. You can also customise scans or run a deeper device analysis if you’re worried, and there are plenty of other perks.
The software can be used to optimise your device, clean up squatting files taking up precious storage space, and control which applications start with your computer. On top of this, there’s 100GB of secure cloud backup storage to store a scheduled backup or whatever files you’d like to get off your hard drive but keep online.

Handily, Norton 360 Premium also includes a password manager that can generate and store complex passwords for the site portals you visit. It can also be used to analyse your existing logins for password vulnerabilities. Plus you can use your face, fingerprint, or a single master password to keep your complex passwords stored and accessible across devices.

The final feather in Norton 360 Premium’s cap is Parental Controls (for PCs), which lets you monitor and manage the online activities of your kids. Whether you’re after basic malware protection or more in-depth shielding from other cybersecurity threats, Norton 360 Premium is a great peace-of-mind purchase.

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SCAMMER TAX

You may have until the end of October to submit your tax return, but one of the potential reasons Aussies may pause when it comes to tax time is the risk of cybercrime. According to the Norton LifeLock 2019 Tax Time Survey – Australia report, 83 per cent believe cybercrime is a big issue, with 58 per cent of respondents flagging that tax time is when they are most aware of this digital threat. With 42 per cent of respondents claiming they’ve been targeted by ATO-impersonation scams, it’s no wonder that one in five respondents feel unsafe completing their tax return online.

THE RISE OF SCAMS

Scams are a common and unfortunate reality of online connectivity. They’re so common that the ACCC has established a dedicated Scamwatch website for providing crucial information and tracking scams. In June alone, there was $12,712,415 lost to scams. The most-reported scams are phishing; threats to life, arrest or other; identity theft; and online shopping scams. Unsurprisingly, phone, internet, email, and mobile applications were the most common delivery methods for scams.

EVERYDAY VIRUSES

Digital viruses are a type of malware that are typically user-activated. The way to get people to interact with viruses is to fool them into thinking they’re opening a legitimate file, then the virus can self-replicate to other installed programs. This is why up-to-date antivirus software is so important for protecting against accidental interaction with software containing viruses. Contrary to popular belief, protecting Mac and iOS mobile devices is just as important as protecting PCs and Android devices.

SCAMMER GLOSSARY

Adware: Malware that bombards you with ads.
Dark web: A somewhat invisible part of the internet, which can only be accessed with specific software.
Exploit: Software vulnerabilities that can be hacked by scammers (keep software and OS up to date to avoid).
Malware: A combo of ‘malicious’ and ‘software’, this term covers viruses, spyware, ransomware, and other nefarious software.
Phishing: Attempts to steal personal information, usually masquerading as a legitimate source.
Ransomware: Malware that encrypts device files and demands payment to unlock them.
Spam: Unwanted online content, usually email, that may contain links to malware-stuffed sites.
Spyware: Malware that discretely observes and collects data from personal devices.
Virus: Malware that infects other files.