Feeds

Anti-virus skulduggery - upgrade licence clock shock slammed

AV bigs: 'No we never' 'It's a fit-up' etc

Website security in corporate America

Anti-virus vendors AVG and Symantec have been criticised for sharp practices in selling consumer antivirus upgrades.

Every year security vendors bring out new versions of their products with improved engines and better technologies (behaviour blocking, improved speed performance and cloud-based-detection, for example). Marketing emails or product pop-ups from Symantec (which markets its Norton line of security software to consumers) and AVG encourage users to upgrade at a discount – but with an allegedly hidden catch.

If consumers upgrade early in response to these emails, they lose the remaining licence period for their existing software. A Which? investigation said that although AVG and Symantec reset the clocks when users upgrade, the practice is not uniform across the industry. Other vendors, such as Panda Security, transfer across the remaining licensing period.

Meanwhile, McAfee said it doesn't send out reminders about upgrading until users' yearly subscriptions are about to expire.

Symantec defended its practices, arguing that the conclusions reached by Which? were misleading because they ignored the warnings it provides to consumers who upgrade early, among other reasons.

Symantec considers Which? Computing’s press release entitled “Anti-virus companies’ antisocial practices” misleading to customers for several reasons.

Firstly, Which? has not clarified the distinction between product upgrades and subscription renewals, and we believe the press release may mislead customers into believing that they will lose subscription time when they renew their current product or download the latest version of their product.

Secondly, Which? suggests incorrectly that customers who upgrade to a different product prior to the expiration of the time remaining on their existing product subscription are not informed that any time remaining on their existing product subscriptions will not be added to their upgrade.

Symantec gives customers the option of renewing their Norton product subscriptions or purchasing upgrade products containing additional security features.

More details on the Which? investigation can be found here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.