History of Norton Antivirus
A look at the history of Symantec’s signature security products – Norton AntiVirus, Norton Internet Security, and Norton 360 – begins when home computing was still in its infancy and the Internet as we know it today was still a dream in the minds of its developers. It can even be traced back to one man.
Peter Norton was a computer genius from the beginning, starting his career working on big mainframes (and some smaller computers) for aerospace companies such as Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Boeing. After he was laid off during cutbacks in the West Coast aerospace industry, Norton switched his focus to programming for personal computers. (He was one of the first people to own an IBM PC when it was introduced in 1981.)
It didn’t take Norton long to find a need in the industry, and he began to develop a program that could help “undelete” a file. With that one computer and $30,000, he began Peter Norton Computing and by 1982, he developed Norton Utilities. By 1985, with his company booming, Norton published “The Peter Norton Programmer’s Guide to the IBM PC.” The cover featured Norton with a crossed-arm pose on the front, which became a registered trademark and a symbol on all Norton products until 2001.
By 1990, with his company bringing in $5 million in revenues, Norton agreed to a merger with Symantec. Because of Norton’s well respected reputation with the public and within the industry alike, Symantec kept the name for its consumer arm.
In 1995, Norton AntiVirus was launched (along with Norton Navigator and Norton Utilities) on the same day that Microsoft launched Windows 95. This strategy allowed Symantec to market Norton AntiVirus as providing protection for Windows users since Day 1 of that product.
One of the most important steps in Norton’s history was the 1997 launch of the Symantec Antivirus Research Center in four locations: Santa Monica, Calif.; Leiden, Holland; Tokyo, and Sydney. These locations not only serve as a research center to research and develop against worldwide viral malware threats, but also to provide 24-7 protection against security risks. This concept has now developed into Symantec Security Response.
Symantec with its Norton AntiVirus truly flexed its muscles when the infamous Melissa virus was launched in 1999. Within 28 reports through the Scan and Deliver feature, the SARC had a detection and repair utility available to its customers.
Norton Internet Security
Also in late 1999, Symantec launched its first version of Norton Internet Security. This was a first of its kind: a program that offered online privacy security as well as Internet security. Although Norton AntiVirus may be Symantec’s most recognizable name, Norton Internet Security has gone on to become its best-selling product.
In 2000, Symantec teamed with Brightmail Inc. (which it would later acquire) to provide antispam features to itsantivirus products. This was another important step for Symantec, as they continue to follow cybercriminals onto the platforms they choose to launch their latest attacks.
As the 2000s rolled on, so did the widespread popularity of using the Internet. However, this caused some problems as a generation of youths who grew up with computers was finding dangers on the Internet, and usually without the knowledge of parents, many of whom were not as up-to-date with the new technology. In 2003, I-SAFE America and Symantec teamed up during Internet Safety Month to raise awareness to parents, children, and teachers about online dangers.
And although many people consider the term “phishing” a relatively new term, Symantec was an early member of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an industry group dedicated to stopping and educating the public about the types of fraud, identity theft, and other online scams. As these types of attacks have risen in frequency, Symantec has included protection against them in their Norton products.
Then by 2007, Symantec recognized the need to produce an all-in-one Norton product, something that combined antivirus, firewall, antispam, anti-phishing, intrusion protection, tune-up, and back-up features. It would basically be something that combined the best security features of Norton Antivirus and Norton Internet Security, PC performance features of Norton Utilities, as well as the backup and restore features of Norton Ghost and Norton Save & Restore. Because it brings everything in a full circle, Symantec called this product Norton 360.
Norton 360 was so well received, that it was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award by CNET for its top pick in its category.
Beyond the box
Both Peter Norton Computing and Symantec, from their beginnings, have been dedicated to producing software that solves problems for computer users everywhere. Symantec is now in a position to help more than just its subscribers of Norton AntiVirus, Norton Internet Security, and Norton 360.
Norton has also developed Norton Online Family, which was originally launched for free in 2009 as a future replacement for the parental control Add-On Pack for Norton Internet Security and norton 360. However, Symantec made the decision to provide this service free for anyone (not just Norton subscribers) with the thought that no parent should have to do without some online safety measure.
With the latest versions that are Norton AntiVirus 2014, Norton Internet Security 2014, and Norton 360 Version 2014, subscribers have a wide variety of options to make sure they have the security protection they need.