Security software and analysis company BitDefender is stepping up its product suite with the release its Total Security 2012 application. In terms of complete security coverage, not many companies put it all together the way BitDefender does, with features including Android security, a desktop application, coverage of Facebook and Twitter and even its own small Linux operating system with a built-in browser.
We wrote about Safego, BitDefender’s Facebook security application, when it was released in public beta last October. Safego remains one of the only third-party security applications that protects users, more or less, from themselves. BitDefender does not plan on stopping at Facebook though as the company will release a Twitter security app within the next several weeks and have ideas for both LinkedIn and Google Plus. Social spam is on the rise, and BitDefender takes a novel approach to keeping users safe.
According to the BitDefender team, 23% of Facebook users have had a friend who has been infected with some type of social spam. If their numbers are correct, that means that around 172.5 million of 750 a large amount of Facebook accounts have been hacked at one point or another. Safego protects users by scanning the links in Facebook’s news feed and the permissions of installed applications, much the same way that mobile security programs scan the apps downloaded from the Android Market.
Unlike desktop security, once Safego finds a malicious application, the security app cannot just erase it. Safego works almost entirely on Facebook’s API and hence has to follow the rules of any other application in the ecosystem, which means it cannot auto-publish to users’ walls, change privacy settings or erase applications. It warns users and points them in the right direction. A clever bit is the “friend-o-meter” that shows which of your contacts has installed Safego and what others have been hacked before.
Rescue Mode is a function in the BitDefender desktop application that allows users to remain active on their computers even if it is entirely bogged down with malware and BitDefender is busy cleaning it up. Essentially, it is a Linux OS that lives within Mac OS or Windows that will boot when BitDefender is “rescuing” your computer. It is a clever feature that most users would hope they never see.
Another feature that BitDefender will be rolling out within the next month or so will be “My BitDefender,” which essentially is a dashboard with all of your security statuses. Users will be able to check their PC, mobile and social security statuses all in one place even though they are being run on separate devices that are not connected.
There are a lot of security applications out there from places like AVG, Norton, McAfee, Sophos, Kaspersky, etc. In terms of how BitDefender tracks and eradicates malware, they are not incredibly different. They use the same techniques, with some permutations, as the rest of the security industry. Their Android application looks good, yet there is nothing discernible about it from any other mobile security apps, like Lookout. It only runs on WiFi, which is also a detriment.
Yet BitDefender’s tools stand out from the pack. There is nothing out there like Safego (outside of Facebook’s own tools and partnerships) and little like Rescue Mode or even its credit monitoring function, a new feature added to the product this year. In terms of security suites, Bitdefender holds its own against anybody.