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Surfing the Internet without the protection of a complete anti-virus program puts you at risk for infections from damaging viruses and spyware. Viruses are small programs designed to infiltrate your computer system without your knowledge or permission. Once you are infected, viruses and spyware damage your system, steal your information and use your computer to spread themselves. Choosing the best anti-virus protection solution is tricky because there are hundreds of programs currently available. The Norton AntiVirus and Internet Security suite offers a variety of advantages over other programs and should be your first choice for computer defense. Here are eight reasons to make choose Norton.

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    Surfing the Internet without the protection of a complete anti-virus program puts you at risk for infections from damaging viruses and spyware. Viruses are small programs designed to infiltrate your computer system without your knowledge or permission. Once you are infected, viruses and spyware damage your system, steal your information and use your computer to spread themselves. Choosing the best anti-virus protection solution is tricky because there are hundreds of programs currently available. The Norton AntiVirus and Internet Security suite offers a variety of advantages over other programs and should be your first choice for computer defense. Here are eight reasons to make choose Norton.

    1. Works On Everything

    Many modern anti-virus programs specialize in catching and removing a specific type of unwanted program. For example, some protection software only works on spyware and will not detect Trojans or keyloggers. Other options focus on malware or adware. While a narrow focus does help smaller software companies keep their databases updated, Norton AntiVirus is designed to detect everything. Symantec, the company that produces the software, invests plenty of time and effort into tracking all types of viruses and malware. You won't need to install six different programs just to stay safe on the Internet. A powerful and adaptable firewall is included to protect your system from unauthorized direct access. The program also alerts you if you visit a phishing website known to spread viruses or steal personal information.

    2. Constant Updates

    New viruses are being developed every day. As they are deployed, the company behind an anti-virus program must update their search parameters to detect these new threats. This takes plenty of dedicated and well-trained employees working around the clock. Many smaller companies produce anti-virus software that starts out functioning well, but fails when updates come too slowly. Symantec has the manpower to make hourly updates to the Norton database. Each new virus is added to your copy of the program as soon as it is discovered, giving you unrivaled protection.

    3. Doesn't Hog System Resources

    Each program that runs on your computer uses some of the available memory. When too many high use programs run at the same time, the entire system slows down. Other anti-virus software takes up a lot of memory because it is constantly scanning each file as it arrives on your hard drive. Norton anti-virus manages to offer real time scanning without slowing down your system. The software will run silently in the background and leaves you free to play graphic-intensive video games, watching streaming videos or edit photos.

    4. Fast Scans

    As hard drives get larger, users are filling them up with thousands of songs and images. You should scan the files in your computer at least once a week to catch any viruses before they create a full blown infection. Many people avoid a weekly scan because the program they've chosen takes hours or even days to scan through their 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive. Norton AntiVirus is designed to check through hundreds of gigabytes of data as quickly as possible. The quick scan feature of the 2012 version of the program works through an average hard drive in just over a minute, making a daily scan an easy feat.

    5. Extra Encryption

    Online banking gives you access to your financial records instantly and puts you at higher risk for identity theft. Instead of avoiding your bank's website, use the Norton Internet Security program to ensure no one steals your username or password and breaks into your account. The program adds an extra layer of encryption whenever you log into a website with a secure connection. Your email and Facebook accounts will also be more secure with this protection. If someone does intercept your information during transmission, the encryption will prevent them from decoding the information and using it.

    6. Behavioral Detection

    Most anti-virus software operate by scanning each file in your computer against a database of virus types. If a virus in your computer is slightly different than the models in the database, it will go undetected. There is also no way for these programs to stop a virus that has never been seen before. Norton adds an extra layer of security with their new behavioral detection feature. All viruses and malware spread through a hard drive in a similar way to reach your system files and hijack the computer. Norton AntiVirus 2012 will stop any file that is acting in a suspicious manner and alert you to its activities.

    7. Protect All Of Your Devices

    Smart phones and PDAs contain different components than a common laptop or desktop. Most of the viruses that affect computers can damage these devices despite the differences. If you access files on your computer from a handheld device, it is important to install anti-virus software on it as well. Norton produces a wide range of solutions for small computing devices that integrate fully with the Internet Security suite. You can run virus scans from the handheld device even when you are not at your computer. All versions of the software come with multiple licenses as well, allowing you to install the program on up to three computers without paying more.

    8. Easy To Use

    Highly technical instructions and the risk of deleting harmless files keep many computer users from installing anti-virus programs. Symantec has designed all of their software solutions to be as user friendly as possible. If you don't know where your Programs folder is or what the registry does you can still install and configure Norton AntiVirus properly. Once downloaded and paid for, the program automatically installs itself in the right place. Updates to the virus definitions handle themselves without the need for manual downloading. If a virus is detected, the program clearly explains the situation in easy to understand terms and gives you advice on what to do. The company also backs up their software with 24 hour support from a team of computer experts. Visit http://us.norton.com/ today to download your copy of Norton AntiVirus and start surfing the web safely.