As everyone who owns a computer should know by now, firewalls, antivirus software and antispyware programs are a must if you don’t want your computer destroyed. Kaspersky’s Internet Security 2010 provides safety for your private data and files, your computer, online security and more.
I have used many antivirus, antispyware, and firewall programs in the past, but I have never used Kaspersky before receiving a copy of Internet Security 2010 to review. The software was easy to install, as most programs are these days, and quickly updated all virus and spyware definitions after installation.
As with every new program that is installed, it took me a few minutes to understand what I was seeing in the various parts of the program and how to use it. Every antivirus, spam or malware program has a different look and method of providing information and it takes a while to acclimate to the new components and visuals.
I have been running Kaspersky’s Internet Security 2010 for a week now and have found it to be easy to use. Clicking on the Report tab at the top right has allowed me to monitor any suspicious activity on my computer and to see how the program handled it. The reports are color coded and intuitive to read.
The Help section has explained the various components and processes as well as shown me how to make any modifications. Within the different sections of the program are little blue “i” icons that allow to you click on them and access online support with further information, FAQs, and answers.
On the main program screen, you are given five main tabs to control the program: My Protection, My Security Zone, Scan My Computer, My Security Center, My Update Center, and Security+. Each tab allows you to modify different elements of the program.
New features of Internet Security 2010 are the Safe Run (Sandbox) feature found in My Security Center; Auto-Run Disable that stops peripherals from automatically opening; and an URL Advisor that is contained in the Antivirus component. All of them are nifty new features especially Safe Run, described below, that keeps suspicious programs from being able to access or modify important computer processes like the registry.
When you click on the My Protection tab, you are given the choice of turning on or off various portions of the program that deal with three areas of your computer: Files and private data, System and applications, and Online activity. Clicking on any one of those choices will take you to a list of 13 program components that can be turned on or off. For example, clicking on Files and private date will bring up the list with indicators of which three of the 13 components protect files and private data.
The 13 components are: File Antivirus, Mail Antivirus, Web Antivirus, IM Antivirus, Application Control, Proactive Defense, Firewall, Network Attack Blocker, Anti-Spam, Network Monitor, Anti-Fishing, Anti-Banner, and Parent Control. Several components protect more than just one area for example Application Control and Proactive Defense protect Files and private data along with System and applications. Regardless of which of the three choices you click on, once you get to the 13 components, you can choose any of them to alter.
My Security Zone allows you to control three areas: Application Control, where you can see and modify which programs are running, which programs launch on startup, etc.; Digital Identity Protection where you can add, edit or delete processes that affect the security of your identity; Safe Run, also known as the Sandbox, where you can run programs that can’t get to your operating system, registry or other programs. You can choose which applications you want to run in the Sandbox.
Scan My Computer lets you choose whether to do a Full Scan, Quick Scan or Start Objects Scan. You can also perform a Vulnerability Scan. Although the program is constantly running the various components to make sure that your computer is safe, this allows you to modify a variety of scans at will.
My Update Center does just that. It updates the program definitions for the various components. You can choose when and how often to run the updates. You can choose to run them manually, whenever you think about it; automatically, which is hourly; or everyday at a specific time. You can adjust these settings depending on your computer resources and memory, whether you have always-on broadband or dial up internet access.
The final program area is Security+. In Security+ you have access to a virtual keyboard that prevents phishing programs from being able to monitor your keystrokes in order to obtain logins, passwords and other personal data. This feature is more helpful with touch screen computers than regular computers where you have to point and click each letter.
This section also allows you to a create a rescue disk, troubleshoot Windows settings, and erase your “activities history”. You will find the Parental Controls here where you can control your child or teens access the internet, email, chat and other online programs.
As mentioned earlier, I have used a variety of antivirus programs in the past and Internet Security 2010 provides more security components than others that I have used and allows more control over each one. The program is easy to navigate and the visuals provide information at a glance.
Unlike similar programs provided by Norton, McAfee, and Trend Micro, Kaspersky’s Internet Security 2010 allows you to install it on up to three computers for $79.99. Norton charges $59.99, McAfee $69.99, and Trend Micro $49.99 for a single computer. Since multiple computers seem to be the norm for most families, the $79.99 for three computers is actually a steal.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give this program a 5. The program is excellent but you better want to use it on three computers.