In a Windows operating system, an Administrator account is an account that allows a user to make changes that require administrative permissions. An Administrator has more rights on a Windows OS as compared to the users with a local account. For example, the users with a local or standard account can access files and folders on their own user space, make system changes that do not require administrative permissions, install and uninstall programs, etc. On the other hand, an Administrator can change security settings, install and uninstall software, add and remove users, make changes to other user accounts, etc. In short, to perform the tasks that require administrative permissions, you should be logged in as an Administrator. In this tutorial, we will see how to log in as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Every Windows computer has a Local Administrator account that is created at the time of Windows installation. As described above, the Administrator has full access to the Windows device as compared to other standard users. The Administrator can also create new and delete the existing users and change the user account permissions. You can log in as an Administrator in Windows 11/10 by:
Let’s see all these methods in detail.
If you are starting your PC then locate the Administrator account and use the password to login.
If you are currently not logged in as an administrator and want to change to an admin, open Start, click on the user icon, select Sign out and then log into the Admin account by using its password.
The Windows OS has a built-in Administrator account. In Windows 11/10 and Windows Server 2016, the built-in Administrator account is disabled at the time of Windows installation and another local account is created which is the member of the Administrators group.
The built-in Administrator account is also called the Super Administrator account. If we compare the built-in Administrator account with the Local Administrator account, the built-in Administrator account has elevated privileges. This means when you perform the administrative tasks, you will not get the UAC prompt. Apart from that, if you want to do some serious troubleshooting on your Windows machine or if you want to recover your main account or another user account, you can use the built-in Administrator account.
Because the built-in Administrator account does not show the UAC prompt, any application can have full control over your system. Therefore, running this account on a regular basis can be risky. You should enable the built-in Administrator account only if you have to do some troubleshooting or recover other user accounts. After performing your task, you should disable it.
As explained above, every Windows OS has a Local Administrator account which is created at the time of Windows installation. Hence, you have to sign in to that Local Administrator account in order to enable the built-in Administrator account. After enabling the built-in Administrator account, you can login as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Every Windows 11/10 computer has a default Local Administrator account which is created at the time of Windows installation. Using that account, you can create another Local Administrator account for another user. To do so, open the Accounts page in your Windows 11/10 Settings and then click on the Family & other users option. Now, you have two options:
Let’s see how to create a Local Administrator account for a family member and other users.
You can use this option if you have another Microsoft account and you want to add that account as an Administrator to your Windows computer.
Now, you can login as an Administrator in Windows 11/10 using that account.
If you do not have another Microsoft account, you can still create a Local Administrator account. This time, you have to add an account in the Other users section on the Family & other users page. The steps are as follows:
Now, you can use this account to login as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Read: How to rename built-in Administrator Account in Windows.
If you already have created a local account on your Windows machine, you can change its type and use that account to login as an Administrator. The steps to change the local account to an Administrator account are as follows:
At the time of Windows installation, a Local Administrator account is created automatically. You can use that account to log onto your computer as an Administrator. Apart from that, you can also enable the hidden or built-in Administrator account or create an additional Local Administrator account.
We have explained all these methods above in this article.
To run Windows as an Administrator, you should have an Administrator account. There are different methods by which you can create an Administrator account. In addition to this, you can also enable the built-in Administrator account. But it is not recommended to use the built-in Administrator account on a regular basis due to security issues.
This is all about how to log in as an Administrator in Windows 11/10.
Read next: How to fix the disabled Administrator account on Windows 11/10.
This week, the companies behind the two biggest US search engines teased radical changes to the way their services operate, powered by new AI technology that allows for more conversational and complex responses. In the process, however, the companies may test both the accuracy of these tools and the willingness of everyday users to embrace and find utility in a very different search experience.
"Although we are 25 years into search, I dare say that our story has just begun," said Prabhakar Raghavan, an SVP at Google, at the event Wednesday teasing the new AI features. "We have even more exciting, AI-enabled innovations in the works that will change the way people search, work and play. We're reinventing what it means to search and the best is yet to come."
Lian Jye Su, a research director at tech intelligence firm ABI Research, believes consumers and businesses would be happy to embrace a new way to search as long as "it is intuitive, removes more friction, and offers the path of least resistance — akin to the success of smart home voice assistants, like Alexa and Google Assistant."
But there is at least one wild card: how much users will be able to trust the AI-powered results.
Bard and ChatGPT, which was released publicly in late November OpenAI, are built on large language models. These models are trained on vast troves of online data in order to generate compelling responses to user prompts. Experts warn these tools can be unreliable — spreading misinformation, making up responses and giving different answers to the same questions, or presenting sexist and racist biases.
"Consumers, and even business users, may have fun exploring the new Bing and Bard interfaces for a while, but as the novelty wears off and similar tools appear, then it really comes down to ease of access and accuracy and trust in the responses that will win out," he said.
Generative AI systems, which are algorithms that can create new content, are notoriously unreliable. Laura Edelson, a computer scientist and misinformation researcher at New York University, said, "there's a big difference between an AI sounding authoritative and it actually producing accurate results."
While general search optimizes for relevance, according to Edelson, large language models try to achieve a particular style in their response without regard to factual accuracy. "One of those styles is, 'I am a trustworthy, authoritative source,'" she said.
On a very basic level, she said, AI systems analyze which words are next to each other, determine how they get associated and identify the patterns that lead them to appear together. But much of the onus remains on the user to fact check the answers, a process that could prove just as time consuming for people as the current model of scrolling through links on a page — if not more so.
Microsoft and Google executives have acknowledged some of the potential issues with the new AI tools.
"We know we wont be able to answer every question every single time," said Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft's vice president and consumer chief marketing officer. "We also know we'll make our share of mistakes, so we've added a quick feedback button at the top of every search, so you can deliver us feedback and we can learn."
Raghavan, at Google, also emphasized the importance of feedback from internal and external testing to make sure the tool "meets the high bar, our high bar for quality, safety, and groundedness, before we launch more broadly."
But even with the concerns, the companies are betting that these tools offer the answer to the future of search.
-- CNN's Clare Duffy, Catherine Thorbecke and Brian Fung contributed to this story.
System administrators are the glue holding together business operations, ensuring smooth-running IT infrastructures. The role requires in-demand career skills that range from server and client configuration and maintenance to access controls, network services and application resource requirements. SysAdmins may even work with more user-facing products, like directory and name services, network addressing, database services, web and desktop applications, and email. They’re often the company “tech expert” – sometimes at several organizations simultaneously.
System administrator certifications help IT professionals navigate their career paths, expand their knowledge and demonstrate their expertise to managers and employers. SysAdmin certs may even help you secure managerial and executive level jobs and higher pay.
Tip: If you’re a SysAdmin specializing in database services, consider exploring the best database certifications for database administrators and developers.
After examining various credentials, we developed this list of our five favorite system administrator certifications for 2022. These certifications are geared toward various experience levels, product interests and skill sets. They can foster your development within system administration, encourage you to explore new areas of expertise, and help you set and achieve career goals.
Many businesses operate within Microsoft ecosystems, making Microsoft certifications extremely valuable and sought after. However, Microsoft has overhauled its certification processes in latest years, replacing broad certificates like Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert with a wider variety of role-based certification options divided into the following roles:
Certifications come in beginner, intermediate, and expert levels, based on applicants’ experience.
Various system administrators may find some Microsoft certifications more advantageous than others. However, the Azure Solutions Architect Expert is the most in-demand certification for a SysAdmin with IT operation experience.
The Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is ideal for someone with extensive experience using Azure to solve problems and make decisions for a business’s tech needs. Candidates must have experience with every level of IT operations as well as DevOps. Candidates will be tested on their knowledge and ability to design solutions for data storage, identity, infrastructure and more using Azure.
This certification combines elements of system administration, Azure implementation and solutions architect experience. Candidates should have one prerequisite qualification: the Azure Administrator Associate certification.
Tip: If you have solutions architect experience, check out our list of the best enterprise architect certifications. Credentials at the architect level can lead to some of the highest-paid tech industry positions.
Although Oracle is known for its database products and solutions, it also distributes Linux products geared for the enterprise and designed to support cloud environments. Oracle Linux is optimized for various Oracle products and platforms, such as:
To support Oracle Linux, the company offers several Oracle Linux System Administrator learning paths. It also provides several standalone Linux administration courses. Oracle’s Linux certifications are considered among the best Linux certifications to earn. We’ll highlight the Professional Oracle Linux 8 System Administrator certification below.
The OCP Oracle Linux System Administrator certification, currently at version 8, covers many tools and processes. Candidates must be well-versed in:
The certification also tests for knowledge of network bonding, task automation, security configuration and more.
SysAdmins who support Oracle Solaris might also be interested in the Oracle Solaris System Administrator certification, which Oracle offers at the Associate and Professional levels. Oracle also offers a Cloud Database Migration and Integration Professional certificate.
Did you know?: Oracle certifications are vendor-specific certifications to advance your networking career and are frequently sought after by SysAdmins.
In the realm of Linux system administrator certifications, Red Hat certifications stand out. Red Hat’s more senior-level certifications are especially popular among IT professionals and the firms that hire them. Those holding the Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) credential qualify for highly competitive job roles, including the following:
The RHCE is considered a high-level credential that’s not easy to obtain. Candidates must first obtain the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) credential. The RHCE credential expands the RHCSA’s understanding of automation in multisystem environments. Candidates must then pass an intense, demanding, four-hour, hands-on, performance-based exam. Those who earn the RHCE can go on to earn the Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) in Infrastructure credential.
Candidates can choose a path based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. RHCE certification is valid for three years from the date the certification was achieved. To maintain the certification, a credential holder must pass any RHCA exam or pass the RHCE certification exam again before the end of the three years.
Tip: See our Red Hat certification guide for additional Red Hat professional certifications based on software products, virtualization, storage and cloud-based solutions.
|Certification name||Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)|
|Prerequisites and required courses||
Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) certification via one exam: EX200 Red Hat Certified System Administrator
Note: Courses are not required, but Red Hat requests that candidates who opt out of the courses demonstrate equivalent experience.
|Number of exams||One exam: EX294 Red Hat Certified Engineer exam|
|Cost per exam||$400 (RHCE exam fee only)|
|Self-study materials||Several online education resources, including Udemy.com, offer courses to help you prepare for the RHCE exam. In addition, some books are available with resources to help you study for the test.|
CompTIA certifications, such as the A+ for hardware technicians, Network+ for network admins and Security+ for security specialists, are highly regarded in the computing industry. The CompTIA Server+ certification is no exception.
Companies such as Intel, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Xerox and Microsoft recommend or require their server technicians to earn CompTIA Server+ credentials.
The Server+ certification exam focuses on fundamental, vendor-neutral server-related topics, including:
Individuals seeking positions across the system administration world, including data technician, network administrator, IT technician and data center engineer, can benefit from CompTIA Server+ certification. This certification also provides new IT professionals with an excellent foundation for more specialized certifications.
Candidates for the Server+ certification take one exam: SK0-005. CompTIA recommends that candidates have at least two years of practical experience working with servers and either CompTIA A+ certification or comparable knowledge. This certification also stands out because it does not expire – certification is good for life.
|Certification name||CompTIA Server+|
|Prerequisites and required courses||Required: None Recommended: CompTIA A+ certification plus 18 to 24 months of IT experience|
|Number of exams||One exam: SK0-005 (90 minutes, 90 multiple-choice and performance-based questions; 750 on a scale of 100 to 900 required to pass)|
|Cost per exam||$358; purchase vouchers through CompTIA Marketplace; exam administered by Pearson VUE|
|Self-study materials||Links to practice questions, exam objectives, e-books and other training resources are available on the certification page. exam study bundles, including e-books and CertMaster practice, are available from the CompTIA Marketplace.|
Did you know?: CompTIA also offers some of the best computer hardware certifications as well as vendor-specific Dell certifications, help desk certifications and more.
VMware certifications are must-have credentials for IT professionals interested in virtualization. With a comprehensive certification program encompassing all skill levels, VMware credentials are recognized globally as the best in their class of professional certifications.
The latest incarnation of the VMware vSphere product is Version 8. VMware offers five credentials related to the vSphere product:
VMware also offers a wide range of badges for specific product applications. We’re highlighting the intermediate certification: Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Virtualization Design.
Training is required for non-credential holders seeking to obtain the VCAP-DCV credential. VMware offers various training options to meet the training prerequisite: self-paced (on demand), live online and live classroom – some of which include virtual labs. Those possessing a valid VCAP-DCV Design certificate must attend a training course or pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam.
|Certification name||VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Virtualization 2022 (VCAP-DCV)|
|Prerequisites and required courses||Path 1 (non-VCP credential holders): Earn the VCP-DCV 2022 and pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Additional training courses are recommended but not required.
Path 2 (active VCAP-DCV Design or Deploy 2019 or newer credential holders): Pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Training is recommended but not required.
Path 3 (VCAP-CMA Design or Deploy 2019 or newer, VCAP-DTM Design or Deploy 2019 or newer, VCAP-NV Design or Deploy 2019 or newer holders): Earn the VCP-DCV 2022 and pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Training is recommended but not required.
Path 4 (VCAP-DCV Design 2021 holder): Either attend the training course in 2022 or pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Path 5 (VCAP6.5-DCV Design or Deploy or older): Earn the VCP-DCV 2022 and pass the VCAP-DCV Design exam. Training is recommended but not required.
|Number of exams||Professional DCV exam (130 minutes, 70 single and multiple-choice questions; must score 300 out of 500 to pass)
Exam for certification: VCAP-DCV Design Exam (150 minutes, 60 single and multiple-choice questions; must score 300 out of 500 to pass)
|Cost per exam||Professional DCV exam: $250 VCAP-DCV Design exam: $450|
|Self-study materials||VMware offers a downloadable exam guide for each exam. VMware Customer Connect Learning offers exam prep subscriptions.|
Key takeaway: Earning the best IT certifications, including system admin certs, is an excellent career advancement tool for amassing and validating your skills and knowledge.
In addition to the five system administrator certifications we highlighted above, many other certification programs can help further the careers and professional development of IT professionals in system administration.
It makes sense to investigate the plethora of vendor-specific programs available for those who work with systems from companies like Brocade, Dell EMC, HPE, IBM, NetApp and Symantec. Many play into critical system specialty areas, such as storage, security and virtualization, while others offer a broad range of platforms for these and other technology areas.
Here are some examples:
Vendor-neutral certification programs also offer a variety of interesting and potentially valuable credentials. For example, Linux Professional Institute certifications are well known and widely recognized in IT shops and operations that depend on Linux servers to handle their workloads.
Tip: Tech professionals may also want to consider certifications in adjacent fields, including big data certifications, starter cybersecurity certifications and project management certifications.
The following chart shows the results of an informal job search we conducted to deliver you an idea of the relative frequency with which our top five certifications appear in actual job postings. While all the certifications are popular, the CompTIA Server+ stands out as the clear favorite.
|Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert (Microsoft)||1,722||4,281||554||2,711||9,268|
|Oracle Linux 8 System Administrator (Oracle)||1,831||2,232||166||765||4,994|
|RHCE (Red Hat)||417||527||1,015||1,972||3,931|
|VCAP-DCV Design 2022 (VMware)*||2,884||2,885||220||4,932||10,921|
* When searching for VCP – Data Center credentials, we found most job descriptions didn’t indicate a specific version.
Although employers tend to pay SysAdmins less than some of their IT peers, such as network engineers and enterprise IT architects, a career in system administration is still worth pursuing. SimplyHired reports $79,283 as the national average salary for system administrators, with a range of $49,718 to $136,224. Indeed.com similarly reports that $76,942 is the average base salary for system administrators, while senior system administrators can expect an average salary of around $92,803.
IT systems are dynamic. They grow with companies and change with evolving technology. Therefore, it’s important for system administrators to nourish their skills. Certifications and training show you’re qualified to handle the responsibilities of your desired position while demonstrating your willingness to learn and grow.
As you move through your career in system administration, you may want to branch into new specialties or software. Fortunately, in addition to receiving certifications, you can access many excellent courses and educational resources to help you continue to grow in your field.
Ed Tittel and Kim Lindros contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.
Web Hosting News – Reading, UK – Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) today launched a new tool giving small businesses a holistic view of how they measure up against their peers in terms of information protection efficiency and effectiveness. The Symantec Small Business Check-up is a simple-to-complete online questionnaire that enables small businesses to benchmark themselves against survey results from 700 small businesses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The comparison allows participants to assess their organisation’s relative vulnerability to data risk and add information about their own environments to the benchmarking tool. The tool then provides them with an analysis of any gaps or inconsistencies that might cause exposure.
The Symantec Small Business Check-up has already revealed that smaller companies share a number of serious vulnerabilities:
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* Surprisingly, the majority of small businesses are just as susceptible to information risks as large organisations. According to the research, 80 per cent of small businesses have ‘medium’ to ‘high’ sensitivity to risk. This figure is based on amalgamating their exposure to risk factors including whether they are governed by industry regulation, hold sensitive information, would be disrupted by regulatory breaches, or use mobile technology.
* More than a third of small businesses (35 per cent) have little or no ability to track and audit the way information is created, modified, deleted, accessed and moved. This could leave them exposed to significant risk or potentially facing heavy fines in some instances
* Interestingly, 40 per cent of small businesses have not tested the effectiveness of their backup and recovery arrangements, to make sure they could get their data back in a timely manner following a failure.
“IT budgets are under pressure as organisations of all sizes try to cut back in the current economic climate,” said Glenn Woolaghan, senior director for small business, EMEA. “We believe that almost every small business can save significant amounts of money and energy by simply taking a fresh look at the way they approach information protection. The Symantec Small Business Check-up is designed to show them just how easy and cost-effective it can be to ensure their information is completely protected.”
“We know from our research among small businesses that there are wide variances in how essential business information is stored and protected, despite the fact that many of them are subject to industry regulation,” continued Woolaghan. “Some companies don’t know how much they are paying to store and access their data, while others are able to minimise those costs. We know that most businesses use only about 30 per cent of their data storage, for example, and that by just managing the data more efficiently they can save money. The Symantec Small Business Check-up is designed to show whether there is room for improvement against competitors over a similar size in comparative industries.”
“Many small businesses have little idea how effective or efficient they really are in how they approach IT security and data protection when compared to their peers,” said Jon Collins, MD of research company Freeform Dynamics, which undertook the research on behalf of Symantec. “It can be difficult to gauge how they measure up, so there can be a tendency to let ignorance be bliss, even if it is not in the best interests of the business. The benchmark data from the Symantec Small Business Check-up will indicate potential areas of improvement, potentially helping identify areas these companies can reduce risk and avoid unnecessary costs by following best practices.”
The Symantec Small Business Check-up can be found at: www.emea.symantec.com/smallbiz-checkup/
Top Five Information Protection Tips for SMBs
Symantec has put together the tips below for SMBs to help them ensure they are protecting all the information held by their business.
Get into back-to-school mode: Develop Internet security guidelines and educate employees about Internet safety, security, and the latest threats. Employees that know what they can click on and what they should stay away from is an important step. It is also important to change passwords regularly and never share them with anyone.
The front door is locked – what about the company information?
SMBs are facing increased risks to their confidential information so safeguarding this data is critical. One data breach could mean financial ruin for an SMB. Implement a complete protection solution to ensure proprietary information-whether its credit card information, customer data or employee records-is safe.
Implement an effective backup and recovery plan: Protecting information is more than implementing an antivirus solution. Backup and recovery is a critical component of complete information protection to keep SMBs’ desktops, servers and applications running smoothly in case of disruption-whether it’s a flood, an earthquake, a virus or a system failure. One outage could mean customer dissatisfaction and costly downtime, which could be catastrophic to the business.
Secure email and web assets: Select a mail and Web security solution that can help mitigate spam and email threats so SMBs can protect sensitive information and spend more time on day-to-day activities. Spammers and phishers will use current events and social engineering tactics to get users to deliver up personal information such as credit card and banking information.
Always on the go? Don’t forget endpoint protection
Instead of solely focusing on devices, such as laptops, SMBs need to take a step back and look at where their information is being stored and protect those areas accordingly. In addition to encryption and security updates, it is important to enforce password management for managers and employees. Maintaining strong passwords will help protect the data stored on a laptop if a device is lost or hacked.
Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. Our software and services protect against more risks at more points, more completely and efficiently, enabling confidence wherever information is used or stored. More information is available at www.symantec.com.
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The Norton 360 security suite is considered one of the best antivirus options in 2023. It offers effective malware detection, quality real-time protection and has a wide range of features. With an offering prized for its simplicity, does NortonLifeLock continue to deliver?
In this year of 2023, Norton LifeLock remains a recognised name in the world of computer security. However, that wasn't always the case. The company, formerly known as Symantec, has faced an image of being cumbersome and inefficient in the past. However, that changed with the release of Norton 360, an all-in-one solution that combined virus protection, system optimisation and cloud backup. The update to Norton's "traditional" solutions also helped to Excellerate the company's image when it comes to IT security. Since then, lab tests have largely confirmed Norton Security's protection and lightweight qualities.
Norton 360 is not free. When purchasing a subscription, whether for the Norton 360 Standard, Deluxe or Advanced versions, a 14-day trial offer is included. A means of payment is therefore required to take advantage of this offer. If you do not wish to continue using the antivirus after the end of this trial period, you must cancel your subscription, otherwise your payment method will be automatically debited when the offer expires.
Norton's cross-platform security suites (Android, iOS, macOS, Windows devices) enjoy some of the best value in the market. All subscriptions include all of the vendor's defensive shields and additional features, such as a VPN, with the exception of parental controls and data monitoring on the Dark Web for the standard version. Only storage space varies from 10GB, 50GB and 200GB between subscriptions, as well as dedicated services such as data theft support. In terms of price, the Norton 360 Advanced subscription, which starts at €39.99/year for ten devices, is cheaper than some competing suites, but beware, because the renewal price is up sharply: €134.99 instead of €104.99 for Norton 360 Premium, the former top-of-the-range package.
After purchasing a Norton 360 subscription, it is necessary to connect to the account that made the purchase on My Norton, the Norton 360 web console. In this console, a simple click on the "Download" button allows you to obtain the software to be installed on your Windows or Mac device. This console has the merit of existing, but one should clearly not expect the same level of functionality as that of Kaspersky or Bitdefender, at least from the point of view of solution management. Apart from displaying the status of each client, it is simply possible to launch the installation on other devices via a link or a QR Code and to manage licences. Alternatively, if you have an Android or iOS app, you can download it from the app shop and log in to your account to use the antivirus on your device. No remote online administration to run a scan or execute updates.
Norton LifeLock makes up for it with an excellent mobile app for Android devices. Norton Mobile Security is simply one of the best antivirus apps for Google's OS with a clean interface and some neat features, such as the App Advisor that overlays the Google Play Store to provide live information on the safety of the app being viewed before you even install it. We also like the privacy report that evaluates and analyses the data exchange of certain applications, with the possibility of approving or uninstalling the applications in question, again by exploiting information on the app's reputation. For example, in our tests, Norton Mobile Security informed us of data being shared by Whatsapp, while at the same time giving it a security badge. It is in this kind of telling feature for the novice user that Norton LifeLock shows its mastery. The Android app also includes the brand's VPN.
Of course, not much good can be said about the app for your iOS device: it would be impossible and in any case relatively pointless to offer a full security suite on an OS that is so locked down to third-party apps. Still, there are network scanning tools and access to Norton's VPN, as well as information about possible vulnerabilities, such as unperformed iOS updates.
Always among the best on both AV-Test and AV Comparatives labs, Norton 360 does not deny the effectiveness of its engine on the latest benchmarks, and in particular on AV-Test's Windows test in September and October 2022, conducted on version 22.22 of the suite. The laboratory measures the effectiveness of the engines on blocking a set of 263 zero day samples online at the time of the test, then on 21,050 samples collected over the period. And as in the previous test, Norton 360 achieves a score of 100% in both cases. AV Test also measures the complete absence of false positives, an improvement over the last test.
As for AV Comparatives, the lab's latest Malware Protection Test sees Norton regain its Advanced+ label thanks to a sharp drop in the number of false positives, whereas the lab had been able to detect 14 on a previous test.
The scores are near perfect on detection, with the exception of offline mode which drops the score from 99.4 to 85.7%. Protection, which measures the antiviruss ability to block threats by all means, is 99.99%.
False positives go back up on the lab's latest Real World Protection Test, which measures performance on "live" threats. Here, false alerts go back up to 27.
An important point when you remember the bad reputation Norton has trailed for years: the suite continues to stand out for its reduced impact on performance on Windows-based devices. In the cases measured by AV Test, no score is above 20%, and only the installation of software reaches 27%. This was also the only slight black mark found by AV Comparatives in October 2022.
On the latest Mac test carried out by AV-Test in September 2022, the laboratory has absolutely nothing to reproach the quality of the antivirus engine: out of 409 samples evaluated, it detects them all. The test for false positives is just as conclusive, and as far as the impact on macOS Ventura's performance is concerned, it is almost nil and even well below the average observed by the laboratory.
We wish we could supplement these results with AV Comparatives, but as it happens, the site never included the Mac version of Norton in its test for the platform created in 2012.
NortonLifelock is not exactly one to reinvent the wheel with each new version of its security suite. The latest version of the suite at least brings a small visual refresh even if the structure remains very similar. There is a home page with simple pictograms, both for the meaning of their functions and for the visualisation of their status: the different modules (Security, Backup, Performance...) are green if there is nothing to report. A double click or double tap gives access to the sub-modules of each section. It's simple, visual, because you always know where you are, and suitable for both mouse and touch.
It's a bit less good as far as the settings are concerned. They seem to be fairly coherently organised, but the menus are quite crowded with a multiplication of options that perhaps betray the simplicity usually found in the security suite. This is not necessarily a problem as long as the software does its best to make it useless to set foot in it if you don't feel expert enough to touch it, but let's just say that there might be a little redesign to be done on this side. Generally speaking, Norton has trouble avoiding the piling up of windows that quickly become cumbersome, and this isn't helped by the fact that there are really two home interfaces: the security interface, the former Norton Security, and My Norton, a sort of global home... Let's welcome at least one good point: you can do more and more actions directly from My Norton without having to look for them in the other interface. A real harmonisation would probably be preferable.
The Norton 360 interface would benefit from being a little more adapted to Mac devices, but it has the merit of not confusing users of the solution on several platforms. The same visual organisation is found, even if the modules present differ a little in their hierarchy, the functionalities on the Mac being more limited. It is especially difficult to understand why the fonts and interface elements are so large, when the system does not even support touch.
Norton has been able to develop a solid defence model, which relies on both a proven behavioural analysis, the famous SONAR (Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response) and a file reputation and database that takes advantage of user feedback, a feature that Norton was among the first to implement in its solutions. The security of the device is also enhanced by intrusion protection modules, a sandbox that allows malicious code to be executed via isolated system emulation, or an anti ransomware feature that monitors and blocks attempts to encrypt our data. As we've seen from the test results, and AV Comparatives' in particular, while detection of viruses and other threats may not be top notch offline, these different layers of behavioural protection ensure a very good level of security in the end.
On the web protection front, Norton still provides its Norton Safe Web extension, to be installed on the main internet browsers. It provides information on the websites visited such as the number of threats detected on the page, distinguishing between malware and viruses targeting the computer, identity data or even malware (adware, fake antivirus...). The extension can also detect the use of a banking site and run it in an isolated environment to protect against threats such as keyloggers.
Here is a list of the main defense modules:
With Norton 360, the former Symantec kind of invented the concept of additional features that are not directly related to antivirus protection, firewall or even parental controls. The promise of Norton 360 was to combine antivirus, system optimisation and online backup, and it still does! The system optimisation features are still there, including a rather well done Windows start-up manager that combines cloud feedback with the ability to disable or delay certain applications on the device. Nothing more than what dedicated tools do, of course.
When Norton 360 first came out, we were just starting to talk about online backup, and it was rather rare to even have a connection with enough upload to take full advantage. Norton has increased the storage included in its top-of-the-range solution (as well as its price) with 200 GB in Norton Advanced against 75 GB in its predecessor Norton 360 Premium. This is better, but still not much, when you can find 1 or even 2TB solutions at €9.99 per month, as well as solutions dedicated to off-site backup such as Backblaze. In any case, for those who would like to use it, the Norton 360 automatic backup module is still there, true to form with its functionalities for choosing the types of data to be backed up and scheduling backups. Don't buy Norton 360 for this, but if the space provided is enough for you and you don't have another subscription, it may be an alternative.
While Norton wasn't the first to offer a VPN in its security suite, the vendor has set itself apart with an unlimited approach that differs from other solutions with generally quite low daily quotas. So you'll be able to protect your IP address continuously. It's no longer the only one either: F-Secure TOTAL and McAfee Total Protection, among others, also offer their VPNs in unlimited versions. We can't say it's moved since our last test, but Norton VPN is still there, simple to use and probably sufficient if you want to essentially take advantage of a VPN to protect yourself from tracking and secure a public Wi-Fi network.
The password manager, finally, is also still there, and while it hasn't moved, it retains its efficiency and integration with different web browsers. Combined with the new functionality for monitoring identifiers on the dark web and the monitoring of social networks integrated into the Advanced version, it constitutes an effective solution for protecting one's access data.
This version, which replaces Norton 360 Premium, also includes dedicated assistance for identity theft and even for wallet theft. This is more of a service than a software offering.
The main features additional features:
The features of Norton 360 on the Mac are reduced to the essentials, and there is, for example, no online backup, while the device optimisation part is fairly basic. Real-time scanning doesn't seem to take advantage of technologies like SONAR, but the firewall does the job with connection and application regulation, protection against system vulnerabilities and the ability to apply different rules depending on the type of network, trusted or untrusted.
Extensions available for Safari, Firefox and Chrome complete the picture. Safe Web works in the same way as on the PC: the extension can detect whether a visited website is safe, and also displays information about search engine links. The other extension gives access to Norton 360's password manager on Mac browsers.
The VPN client is one of the additional features present on Mac. As with Windows, it is fairly simple in its functionality and rather focused on the privacy aspect, but as mentioned elsewhere, it is unlimited.
We're not going to lie: Norton 360 has literally not moved in months, so this review will come as no surprise. The only "real" latest change is the addition of a Dark Web ID watch feature, a trend this year, and a welcome one at that since we always underestimate the number of IDs floating around out there. As for the rest, the status quo is not disturbing in itself since Norton 360 remains a very good all-in-one security solution for the general public. The protection, perhaps a little too aggressive to avoid false positives, is highly effective, the impact on the performance of Windows-based devices is still minimal, and the unlimited VPN remains an interesting asset, even if others have since followed suit.
Norton 360 consistently ranks among the top antivirus products in tests by AV-Test and AV Comparatives labs. It proves particularly effective at blocking "zero-day" threats and protecting against viruses and malware in real-world conditions. It also offers additional tools for everyday security, such as parental controls and a VPN. Norton 360 is therefore a good antivirus that we continue to recommend.
Norton 360 is a good choice for families who would like an easy to pick up antivirus that is packed with extra features. In addition to all the security and virus protection features on offer, Norton includes a password manager, unlimited VPN, automatic online backup (fairly limited), monitoring of our data on the Dark Web, and system optimization tools. The Norton LifeLock software is also very good value for money. While more expert users might prefer another security solution more suited to their needs, Norton 360 proves to be an interesting option for the general public.
The choice of a Norton antivirus will depend on one's security needs. Norton Antivirus Plus, the cheapest subscription offered by the brand, is content with the essentials: all the protection for your device, without additional tools such as a VPN, parental control or something to protect your webcam. It could be an interesting choice for users who already use other software for these kinds of functions. The Norton 360 Standard version, on the other hand, will not be suitable for families, as parental controls and school mode are not included in the package. You won't be able to take advantage of the monitoring of your data on the Dark Web either, but an unlimited VPN is included. Finally, the choice between Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Premium will come down to how many devices you want to protect with your license and how much storage space you want to take advantage of for backing up your data in the cloud.
Norton Security is the former name of NortonLifeLock antivirus protection. It has since been replaced by Norton 360, a more comprehensive security solution inspired by what was previously offered by Norton Security, Norton Internet Security and the original Norton 360. The main difference is the inclusion of additional tools, such as VPN and password manager.
Our evaluations, performed in conjunction with International Consumer Research & Testing, an association of independent, not-for-profit organizations, turned up free antivirus programs that should adequately protect all but the most at-risk Internet users from malware—viruses, spyware, and other online threats.
Editor’s note: This is a guest commentary from Oren Etzioni, former CEO of the Allen Institute for AI (AI2), a Seattle-based organization at the forefront of natural language processing research. Etzioni is now a technical director at the AI2 Incubator, an AI-focused startup incubator.
The integration of ChatGPT into Microsoft’s Bing search engine heralds a tectonic shift for consumers, publishers, and advertisers on the web.
In latest weeks, Bing has gotten a lot of buzz, and Google has lost $100 billion-plus in market capitalization. But changes over the next five years will be far more profound.
What seemed like a staid and steady web search industry, largely monopolized by Google, has been thrown into disarray by the fact that content generation is now instantaneous, fully automated, and its cost is rapidly dropping toward zero.
This shift means that authoritative sources and genuine experts will be more important than ever.
For consumers, more efficient search has a long history which includes Google’s knowledge panels (2012), featured snippets at the top of the search result page (2014), voice assistants such as Alexa (2014), and now ChatGPT.
Over time, a concierge experience will emerge where a consumer can ask a question, receive an answer from a chatbot, and engage in a dialogue to further refine the response.
This could be good news for consumers, but it also raises a thorny question: who is the concierge working for?
As a consumer, I hope for an objective and informative answer but the chatbot will not necessarily oblige.
Historically, search engines distinguished between search results and sponsored or “featured” results (i.e., ads) but product placement may surface inside chatbot responses, undermining their credibility.
In response, consumer advocate chatbots will emerge, charging a subscription fee instead of being ad-supported. As chatbots proliferate, search engines will emerge that help the consumer find the “right” bot for a conversation. Meta-bots could collate multiple responses to a question, each originating from a different chatbot.
Consumers will be inundated with an unprecedented amount of automatically generated “noise” in the form of websites and messages — emails, posts, responses in social media, and more.
The minimal cost of generating seemingly authentic text (along with pictures, audio, and even video) will result in unprecedented information pollution and even AI-based forgery.
In response, I have argued for a stronger role for digital authentication of identity (who actually wrote that message?) and for rules that require bots to identify themselves. Consumers have a right to know if we are interacting with a person or a bot.
As the volume of content increases, publishers will face unprecedented pressure to remain relevant, discoverable, and valuable. Certainly, clickbait websites with titles like “top 10 things to do in Seattle” will be replaced by more personalized and up-to-date chatbot responses. Collections of reviews found at Amazon or on Google Maps will remain informative only if the reviews are appropriately authenticated — otherwise, it will be all-too-easy to create volumes of fake reviews.
Likewise, the information on social media (popular posts, for example) will only be meaningful if popularity isn’t manipulated by bots. Authoritative sources will become even more essential as people clamor for reliable facts in a maelstrom of misinformation. Brands and reputations will be built on providing genuine, authentic answers.
In a world where “what” is said is so easily manipulated, “who” said it becomes increasingly important.
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