F-Secure Internet Security 2014 is the latest edition of this capable security suite.
The program includes a very strong antivirus engine (the 2013 build was ranked as offering 100% effective protection in an AV-Test report from July 2013). Real-time network monitoring does a reasonable job of preventing malware from going online, although it does seem to raise more alerts than some of the competition. Browsing protection prevents you from accessing potentially dangerous links, while simple parental controls restrict what your kids can do online.
An enhanced Banking Protection feature automatically kicks in whenever you access any web payment sites, raising your security levels and limiting what malware can do. This is also unusually drastic, blocking new network connections while you're at the payment site (if your email client tries to collect new messages, say, it won't be able to access anything). Will it be a hassle, long term? We're not sure.
Elsewhere, the new Safe Profile app quickly scans your Facebook settings before producing its Privacy Report. This is organised into various sections ("Status Updates", "Photos", "Contact Details" and so on), where any relevant problems with your account are highlighted. There's nothing too surprising here, but privacy beginners may find it useful, and the report also includes some handy tips. Under "Personal Information", for example, it explains that "leaving your birthday publicly visible reveals an important personal detail used by organizations such as banks to verify account holders", before recommending "if you want your birthday to be public, display only the month and day. Facebook will notify your family and friends of your upcoming birthday".
The suite also includes DeepGuard 5, the latest edition of F-Secure's behavioural monitoring engine.
And all this comes presented in a redesigned and much simplified interface. Whether it's "better", we're not quite sure; it seems like there's less clutter per dialog, but you may well have to look through more dialog boxes to find what you need. For us, at least, the jury is still out.
F-Secure Internet Security 2014 is lightweight, easy to use, and has an excellent antivirus engine. We're less impressed by the program as an update, but novice users might appreciate the Facebook privacy report and the simplified interface.