As new forms of malware and cyberthreats continue to sneak their way onto our systems, antivirus software progresses to stay on top of it all. These days, however, hackers resort to other forms of online crime: identity theft.
With our lives being placed on social media and bank details saved for ease of shopping, it’s no wonder why threat actors hunt down potential victims to steal their identity. That’s where Norton 360 Platinum comes in.
Like its other antivirus packages, it detects and protects against all types of malware, keeps you anonymous online with its Secure VPN, has PC cloud backup and a password manager. But Platinum steps up your online security by adding social media monitoring and a dedicated identity restoration specialist – an expert that is assigned to each case of identity theft from start to finish.
As Norton points out, 29% of New Zealanders out of the 1,003 people surveyed experienced a social media hack in the last year alone, and 41% expect their identity to be stolen soon. The Norton 360 Platinum package is made to counter these identity theft issues, and the tools it provides to this justice.
Norton 360 Platinum brings the same high level of antivirus protection and bonus features while throwing in further identity protection, making it one of the best antivirus software to get – even if it’s considerably pricey.
Norton 360 Platinum is best for…
- Superb lab test scores
- Multiple device support and 200GB cloud backup storage
- Helpful identity theft tools
- Aimed at niche groups of users
Keeping your online identity safe from threat actors looking to take over social media accounts, steal your identity and sell your personal information on the dark web.
Of course, Norton 360 Platinum also comes with antivirus protection on multiple devices, meaning users will also be getting high-level malware detection and protection. Since it also throws in its Secure VPN, Password Manager, Parental Controls and 200GB of PC cloud backup, this security software package has it all.
If online security is a priority, and you don’t want any chink in your armour, Norton 360 Platinum has your name on it. Just be prepared to pay a pretty penny. We sat down with Norton to talk all about online data and how important it is to keep safe, too.
Norton 360 Platinum price and subscriptions
Norton 360 Platinum is the antivirus company’s priciest all-in-one package, priced at $289 NZD annually for 10 devices. It delivers everything that the Premium package comes with, but adds on the identity protection tools, doubles the amount of PC cloud backup storage (up to 200GB) and extends the number of devices it can protect to ten.
With Norton 360 Premium, you’ll get 100GB of cloud backup and protection for five devices. This is Norton’s other fully featured package, priced at $124.99 NZD for the first year and $204.99 after. That’s quite the price difference, but may be too rich for many.
Compared to other paid antivirus services, Norton is a tad on the expensive side. For example, Bitdefender’s Premium Security package will set you back $89.99 AUD (around $98 NZD) for the first year and $199 AUD (around $217 NZD) every year after and McAfee Total Protection ($100.95 NZD first year, $174.95 NZD after) is even less. These come with multiple device usage (past 10 devices) and extra security tools, but Norton 360’s bigger packages come with a few more perks for families.
It’s called “Platinum” for a reason, though. With the protection it provides, along with the extra perks it comes with, the Platinum package becomes your one-stop shop for all things internet security. No need for added password manager subscriptions, VPNs or third-party services to monitor your online identity.
If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, you can grab the Norton Identity Advisor Plus subscription instead. This comes with dark web monitoring, social media monitoring and the identity restoration specialists, but no antivirus protection. This package will set you back $124.99 for the first year. Expensive, especially without all the other antivirus or VPN features.
If you need it all, and want to protect your household’s devices that belong to family members or friends, Norton 360 Platinum is a great option. Just prepare to have a tad less in the bank account every year.
How Norton 360 Platinum runs
An antivirus’ defences are only as good as its ease of use, and Norton 360 delivers a simple setup with a foolproof user interface – and Norton 360 Platinum’s setup is no different.
You can download Norton 360 through its website or through a disc bought at a retail store. Upon downloading, the installer does a compatibility check to see if there is any other antivirus installed that could hinder its duties. This is similar to Bitdefender, and it’s a great way to quickly get rid of software you don’t need anymore or one’s you didn’t even know you had (like the sneaky McAfee Web Advisor).
You can also opt to join Norton Community Watch, which lets your computer automatically forward security threat information to Norton.
Norton wants its users to stay informed on all types of cybercrime, with its installer even offering a brief slideshow of the different malware and the harm they can cause. Even as you set up each security tool, there can be a small explainer of what it is and what it defends against. This information is essential for all internet users and especially for those unaware.
The My Norton hub is the one-stop shop for managing and getting to Norton 360’s flurry of security tools. From the Product Tour giving users the low-down on making the most of the app, to the handy Software Updater that will quickly scan for anything that requires an update for security purposes, Norton’s hub is well put together and easy to navigate.
In its separate Device Security window, there’s a main display letting you know if your device is protected, along with different tiles leading to Internet Security, Backup and Performance. These will also let you know if users need to set up each section. Dig a little further into Settings, and you can manage notifications, scan scheduling, configure firewall behaviour, manage SafeCam, customise how the antivirus software handles threats and more. Nothing is overly complicated, and I could easily access the security tool I sought.
Part of Norton 360’s hub extends to My Norton in a browser. This hub gives you more web-related security tools, such as options and notifications for Dark Web Monitoring, downloading Norton’s VPN and setting up the Password Manager. The first is especially useful, as you can put your email, phone number and credit card number to see if it’s appeared in any dark web market or forum.
Norton 360 didn’t perform an automatic scan when first installed like other antivirus software, but it’s easy to perform the various scans on offer. Along with the usual Quick Scan and Full Scan, Norton also offers its Power Eraser, which can look for difficult-to-detect scans. This takes longer but is a valuable utility to have when you can’t find what’s wrong with your device.
When performing my first full scan, Norton 360 took 12 minutes and 09 seconds. This is a fast time, and subsequent scans went down to much speedier 9 minutes. To test its performance, I ran a PCMark 10 benchmark before and after installing the antivirus. Initially, my device got an overall score of 4,305. After downloading the antivirus, it scored 4,206. It barely impacted my device’s performance.
Norton 360 Platinum lab protection tests
Norton 360 Platinum uses the same antivirus detection and protection software as the rest of its subscription packages. With this in mind, it will score the same lab tests results as in our Norton 360 review. You can check out our findings below.
Researchers at AV-Comparatives test a number of antivirus services, giving them a score from Standard certification to Advanced+ certification. The latter is awarded to software that goes above and beyond just passing tests, and Norton received four Advanced+ certifications. Not as many as Avast or AVG, but still exemplary. It received a near-perfect 99.9% protection rate in the real-world protection test, just behind Avast and AVG (100%). It received a 99.9% online protection rating, an impressive 99.4% online malware detection rate and a could-be-better 85.7% offline detection rating. Only Avast, G Data and McAfee received a 100% protection score. In performance impact, Norton received an impact score of 6.3 (the lower, the better). It placed 11th out of 17 antiviruses tested but received the same score as Bitdefender.
As a side note, Norton for Gamers is bound to have less of an impact, seeing as it’s designed to improve a device’s performance.
|AV-Comparatives||Real-World Protection||Online Malware Protection||Online Detection Rate||Offline Detection Rate||Performance Impact (lower is better)|
As for the AV-Test Institute, Norton got a perfect score, achieving 18 out of 18 points. The researchers score a service based on their protection against malware, impact on a device’s performance, and overall usability. It protected against 100% of zero-day malware attacks, including websites and email threats, and detected 100% of malware discovered in both November and December 2022.
|AV-Test Institute||Malware Protection||Malware Detection||Overall Score|
Researchers at MRG-Effitas use a banking Trojan test and throw different types of malware at it. To pass the first test, the antivirus software needs a perfect score, while the malware test offers two scores: Level 1 for blocking every malware and Level 2 for having some malware slip through but being destroyed in 24 hours. Norton doesn’t appear in these tests, leaving these results uncertain.
|MRG-Effitas||Banking Trojan Test||Malware Test Certification|
|Avast One||Fail||Level 2|
Regardless, Norton is right to make its Virus Protection Promise, as it delivers near-perfect detection and protection scores.
Norton 360 Platinum personal tests
With these test results, I expected Norton 360 to knock it out of the park in my personal tests. And, of course, it did. I used a Windows PC for this test.
After executing a malicious file, Norton 360 immediately alerted me that it had detected a threat and removed it. There’s no option to move it to quarantine when alerted; Norton removes the malicious file from harming your device. That’s an efficient antivirus.
The alert appears as a pop-up window from the side of your display, with the option to see further details on the harmful software. This window gives you a full scope of the threat detected, including the threat type, how many other Norton users have encountered the file, how old it is, how risky it is, whether it launched or started up and more. Extensive information gives you all there is to know about the file.
What’s more, it shows you the origin of the file (in this case, a website), along with the virus’ file path and activity. There is the option to restore the file if you know it can be trusted, too.
Norton 360 also has a browser extension bundle through its Norton Safe Web tool. It keeps your personal information safe from phishing and other risky sites, has Website Ratings that warn of risky downloads and Link Guard that scans webmail and social media feeds for suspicious or malicious links. I launched a dodgy link using different browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox, to test it out. Norton 360 could detect and block each site I opened.
Norton 360 Platinum Dark Web Monitoring
Norton 360 Platinum’s Dark Web Monitoring scans the dark web for registered personal information and if these details are found, you’ll get a notification and be the first to know. From there, you can change your details if needed to make sure you’re not popping up on any dark web markets.
This feature isn’t unique to Norton 360 Platinum, but it’s a handy one to have nonetheless. It scans the usual dark web websites and market places, but goes a step further by scoping out private forums, social webs, deep web and dark web to search for registered personal information using “advanced monitoring technology,” as Norton puts it.
Easily available via the My Norton Hub, it’s a simple page that allows you to add information that Norton will monitor and lets you know if any alerts popped up for each one. All the most important information can be added here, including multiple emails, address, phone number, driver’s license and even your mother’s maiden name. Oh, and it will also scan and monitor the dark web for up to ten credit card numbers, bank account numbers and gamer tags.
I put in my information and the dark web monitoring found none of my details floating around the dark web. Like most users, I hope for it to stay this way. The good news is Norton’s monitoring is 24/7, and you’ll be notified as soon as it does spot anything. This tool is a great way to stay on top of your identity online, and will let you know what needs to be changed poste haste as soon as a hacker leaks your information onto there.
Norton 360 Platinum Social Media Monitoring
Similar to dark web monitoring, Norton 360’s Social Media Monitoring scans your social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. If there’s any suspicious activity, such as unexpected changes to account settings or account takeovers from different devices, then Norton will let you know.
This isn’t too different from other security measures tech giant’s use to keep your account safe. For example, Google will send a security alert if you log into your account on an unfamiliar device. However, social media monitoring takes it a step further by scanning suspect behaviour within a social media account.
Along with checking if there are any strange changes to your account, it will flag dangerous links that are potentially hiding malware on social feeds on YouTube and Twitter. It will also scan and alert you on possible scams and phishing attempts.
Unfortunately, social media is exactly where you’ll find scams and dodgy links leading to malware-infested pages. This is a great tool for anyone who frequents social media accounts.
Norton 360 Platinum Identity Theft
This is an interesting one. Norton 360 Platinum effectively provides you with your own Identity Restoration Specialist. Fall victim to a threat actor stealing your identity, no matter how big or small the case is? A specialist is available to call seven days a week, and includes guidance on credit card companies, financial institutions, collection agencies, government agencies and other third-party companies.
These experts guide you through the process of getting your online identity back and restoring any damage done. Below is a breif look at how it works.
Since I don’t have my identity stolen, this is trickier to test out properly. However, I was able to reach a specialist in no time, as they responded almost immediately. The service is available from 9am until 6pm, which is your standard time for many hotline-type services.
Of course, this is a service you would hope not to use. But if you find yourself in a position where you have no idea what to do once identity theft has taken place, having a dedicated expert available throughout the week is always a big perk to have.
Norton 360 Platinum may be pricey, and it may only bump up the amount of devices it can protect, add 200GB of cloud storage and throw in two identity theft tools, but this makes for an all-encompassing security package that takes your online protection even further.
The extra security tools, including Social Media Monitoring and Identity Restoration Specialists, aren’t tools you would ever want to interreact with. That said, if your identity has been stolen, then you have the right tools in place to help recover what you’ve lost. A helpful guide that will talk you through each step and a monitor that will alert you on any suspicious activity, and prevent you from interacting with an dodgy links, is exactly what premium antivirus software should offer.
It’s one of the best antivirus software to get, especially if you have multiple devices your family uses and want to protect. Seeing as you can add multiple bank numbers and email addresses, this is also great to keep those unfamiliar with cybersecurity risks online, whether it be parents or children.