F-Secure SAFE provides a simple, unobtrusive selection of antivirus and parental control tools for home users.
- Includes parental controls
- Thin on features compared to rivals
With consumer anti-malware suites, you’re paying for more than just virus protection, and F-Secure provides a good range of tools for your money. Parental controls are introduced at install time, with options for immediately setting time limits and content filtering for children of various ages. You can install the software for use by a younger member of the household, too.
Device management and tracking is available through the same system to all members of your F-Secure account.
There are, of course, a range of real-time and on-demand scans available, although your options here aren’t as granular as those of some rivals such as ESET Internet Security. For example, if you want boot sector scanning, you’ll have to run a full system scan.
A lot of F-Secure’s activity happens under the bonnet. For example, DeepGuard only allows you to run applications that F-Secure’s cloud knows to be safe, and ransomware protection prevents selected folders from being changed without permission. There’s also a notification-free Gaming mode that you can activate via a right-click menu on the software’s notification area icon.
Browsing protection blocks suspicious websites and those that are known to be dangerous, while browser extensions are available to help provide a secure banking experience that guards against spyware. You can further block any application from downloading files over HTTP, if you need to specifically lock down a system against Trojan horses and the like. However, this is off by default, since it’s likely to get in the way of day-to-day activities.
F-Secure’s settings interface closely resembles that of Windows’ own settings, which is comfortable, but there really isn’t much there when it comes to features with which you can actually interact. I’d have liked to see a firewall or an alternative front-end to the integrated Windows firewall.
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