December 1, 2015

2008 Data Security Products: Buying Guide

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2008 Data Security Products: Buying Guide

These are some of the better investments to keep your data safe.

In this Guide

Security solutions range from software and services to anti-theft products designed to deter would-be thieves or make it easier to recover items once stolen.

Security Suites

With computers most vulnerable to malicious activities when connected to the Web, several companies now specialize in developing and continually updating software applications that address specific types of threats. Most bundle multiple layers of protection into a security suite, sold on a yearly basis. Where these suites differ most is in the user interface, and the extras included in the package.

Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.

$49.95 for annual subscription

This security suite for Windows XP and Windows Vista is easy to set up and use. It removes real or potential threats that may have infected the computer prior to installation, and then protects against such intrusion and malware in the future. Specific components protect against spyware, phishing, and spam. It includes firewall protection for the operating system and network, spy site blocking, and an identity theft component to prevent and resolve any unauthorized access to your data.

McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Inc.

$59.95 annual subscription

This suite gives Windows users all the features of the company’s Internet Security suite, plus a Site Advisor and home network protection. The software can be set to provide routine maintenance of a computer, block offensive Web sites, and automatically back up files to a remote server. The Site Advisor Plus checks the validity of links embedded in e-mails or instant messages, while the home network component continually monitors the network and connected PCs and peripherals for security attacks.

Trend Micro Internet Security Pro
Trend Micro Inc.
$69.95 annual subscription

For Windows XP and Vista, this bundle includes programs to safeguard your data and identity, and guarantee a secure environment for any online transaction. In addition to protection against malicious code and hackers, included tools will also verify the safety of Wi-Fi hot spots before you connect, validate Web sites visited, and alert you to potentially troubling sites.

Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0
Kaspersky Lab

$79.95 annual subscription

This suite protects against malicious programs as well as identity theft, loss of confidential data and all types of Web-based threats. It was designed to provide complete protection while making efficient use of processor and bandwidth. It also has components for secure messaging and Wi-Fi connections.

Norton 360

79.95 annual subscription for up to three users

This bundle gives Windows users Norton's essential tools for optimizing PC performance, protecting against all types of problem software and hacker activity, and backing up data in a remote location. Its Identity Safe protects personal and financial data during online transactions. You also get 2GB of online data storage space for automatic back-ups of computer files.

Window Live OneCare
Microsoft Corp.

$49.95 annual subscription for up to three computers.

OneCare is a Web-based suite of security services to protect owners of Windows XP and Vista PCs against online threats while optimizing system performance. You must have an Internet connection in order to operate it. Core components include Protection Plus anti-virus, anti-phishing, and anti-spyware programs; Performance Plus to regularly defrag the system hard drive and remove files no longer needed; and Back Up and Restore for automatic backup of files and data online at scheduled intervals.

Smartphone Security

Hackers now target smart phones with the same types of malicious programs that threaten computers. Publishers of security software have stepped up to these challenges with suites developed specifically for these mobile handsets.

Kaspersky Mobile Security
Kaspersky lab

$29.95 annual subscription

This bundle combines protection against malicious software and unwanted advertising with theft prevention and recovery tools. It was developed for phones running the Symbian 9 or Windows Mobile 5.0 operating systems or later. Its security mode scans all incoming files and connections to identify and prevent potentially damaging files and downloads. It also blocks unsolicited SMS messages containing adware. If the phone is lost or stolen, the software can delete personal data and notify the owner of the new phone number if the phone’s SIM card is removed.

Norton Smartphone Security
Symantec Corp.

$29.95 annual subscription

Also for smart phones running the Symbian 9 or Windows Mobile 5.0 or later operating systems, this suite provides you with the same approach to security as seen in Norton’s PC products. Components include a software firewall to control inbound and outbound network traffic on the phone; a smart phone version of Norton Antivirus to detect potential threats and prevents you from accessing infected files; and anti-spam protection for SMS to automatically filter or delete incoming spam messages.

Theft Recovery Systems

If your computer is stolen, all is not lost — provided you’ve installed and activated software services that can alert you to its location.

PC Phone Home
Brigadoon Security Group


Available in versions for Windows and Mac computers, this system uses e-mail to help owners of stolen PCs recover their property. The software transmits an e-mail message to an address assigned by you every time the computer connects to the Internet. If the hardware has been stolen, that message identifies the computer’s present location. The price includes technical support to help you work with law enforcement to recover your computer.

ComputTrace LoJack for Laptops
Absolute Software Corp.

This software service helps owners of Windows or Mac notebooks locate and recover them. Operating in the background, the software transmits its location to Absolute’s Recovery Team whenever it connects to the Web. If the hardware has been reported stolen, the service notifies you and local law enforcement. The included Data Delete service can also be used to remotely erase files, passwords, and other documents as soon as the service is notified.

Security Hardware

These are just a few examples of products available to protect your hardware, and the data it contains, against theft or unauthorized access.

ComboSaver Notebook Lock Ultra
Kensington Computer Products

A simple deterrent, this system can be used to secure a notebook PC. Its six foot long length of tempered steel cable attaches to a laptop’s security port. It can be locked in place with the slim profile keyless four-wheel combination lock. You can easily reset the lock combination.

DEFCON Privacy Filters
Targus Inc
Starting at $47.99 for 12.1 inch widescreen

Privacy filters serve two purposes: they keep others from reading data on a computer screen; they also reduce glare to help prevent eye strain. Once attached to a laptop or desktop monitor, the filter limits viewing of what’s displayed to those within a 45 degree angle. Laptop filters are available for screen sizes up to 17 inches; an LCD version for widescreen displays up to 30 inches.

Microsoft Fingerprint Reader
Microsoft Corp.


This accessory for computers running Vista allows owners to use their fingerprint as password authentication. Once the unit is plugged into a computer’s USB port, the user places his or her fingertip over a built-in window to access the system and all of its administrative functions. It also can be set to allow easy switching between multiple users on the same system.

Gatekeeper Card Pro
Yoggie Computer Systems


A hardware-based security system, this compact card plugs into a laptop’s ExpressCard slot to provide complete protection of all data assets, on and offline. It contains its own processor, freeing up the computer processor to concentrate on other operations. Embedded software protects the computer against viruses, spam, phishing, and spyware. A Stealth Mode can be set to hide the computer from hackers when connected to the Web.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of the products in this category. NAR doesn’t evaluate or endorse these products and isn’t responsible for changes in product info. Prices are the vendors’ suggested retail prices and are subject to change.

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