Trust in Downloads

After years of conditioning consumers to be leery of downloading software, security companies like Symantec are now telling users to do just that. Norton Confidential Online Edition is a transaction security product that will reside on banking and financial Web sites and asks users to download the software, which will then authenticate the bank’s Web site at every login. The extra precaution prevents users from falling prey to phishing attacks and other crimeware. This is a move by Symantec to promote “companies managing the value-chain through partnerships,” said Symantec CEO John Thompson, who also said viruses, worms are pretty much solved, and the new threats are phishing, identity theft and other malicious intent by users.

Norton Confidential isn’t the only product or initiative Symantec’s made lately; it announced a whole line of Security 2.0 products and offerings earlier this week. The promotion of these new offerings, however, isn’t yet taking any new forms from what it’s been doing, despite the fact that the company has lately tested the waters with a handful of more exciting marketing and advertising efforts. It recently was involved in an online marketing campaign for the “Da Vinci Code.”

For starters, working with Night Agency it developed Safetytown.com, a Web site where users can go to “get a little more involved and engaged,” said Erin Hintz, VP of worldwide consumer marketing at Symantec. In its life the site has featured the movie Phished, a multi-part film about a victim of phishing where users get to choose the direction of the next segment. The site got a bit of buzz through word-of-mouth. Symantec and Night Agency also assembled RockdotRock, a band dedicated to the cause of safety. Downloads are available on the safetytown.com site.

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