What Is Norton Antivirus Software?

By Susan Ayers

Symantec’s Norton Antivirus software is a program that protects your computer and stops viruses, spyware, worms and Trojan horses from entering and causing harm. Norton Antivirus performs constant scans to your computer to protect it as you surf websites, download files and open email. Norton Antivirus is updated regularly and automatically so that your computer remains safe.

Scans Computer for Threats

Norton Antivirus protects your computer by scanning it constantly. It immediately blocks anything trying to enter your computer and asks you for permission to allow it to enter. If it is a virus or a worm or anything that can potentially cause damage, it isolates it immediately and then alerts you. Norton Antivirus also protects you from being infected when you use an instant messaging program. Malicious programs will sometimes try to enter your computer this way, so it is important to stay protected when you chat.

Norton also blocks phishing attempts from websites, which try to gain access to private information such as usernames and passwords to other important websites, such as your bank or your credit card company.

Norton is Automated

Norton Antivirus is automated and it runs as soon as you turn on your computer. It blocks against browser and application threats and also protects you from infected websites. If you are doing any type of Internet research and you click a back link to another site that happens to be infected with a virus or something harmful, you would be alerted immediately and that virus would be quarantined and removed.

Continual Updates

The software is continually updated through the Symantec Live Update function. This means that new viruses unleashed on the Internet will be caught before they damage your computer.

Awards and Certifications

Norton Antivirus is certified by ICSA Labs, a division of Verizon Business. ICSA Labs sets the standards for the compliance of commercial security products. When a company is awarded this certification, it proves that the product has been tested independently and a third party has verified that the software does what it claims (see Resources).

Norton Antivirus Software also received the VB100 Award from Virus Bulletin. The Virus Bulletin provides independent testing of anti-virus products and compares them to other industry products. Once an anti-virus software receives this award, it proves that it has been tested by a third party. VB100 insists that a software prove it detects "in the wild" viruses and also generates no false positives during a scan of clean files.


You can purchase Norton Antivirus at the Symantec website or at any retail establishment that sells software (see Resources). The price varies depending on the level of protection you are seeking.