Adobe Shockwave Player Now Installs Norton Security Scan

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 25, 2012
Updated • Dec 3, 2012

Bundling third party applications with your own software is not a new thing on the Internet. It is for instance quite common that you see the Ask Toolbar, Babylon Toolbar, or any other toolbar added to software installations. Users who do not pay attention to the installation are then not only installing the software they want on their system, but also software they do not want. To make matters worse, it usually is not that easy to get rid of the latter.

The popular download portal for instance has also started to bundle adware with the majority of downloads they provide site users with.

Today when I was downloading the latest Adobe Shockwave Player from Adobe's website I noticed that both the slim online installer and full installer were now offering to install a third party application as well.

Near the end of the installation you are taken to a screen that will install Norton Security Scan on the system if you do not opt-out of it.

norton security scan

Norton Security Scan is a free program that checks computers for potential threats. It will download the latest definition updates to the system when an online connection is available. The program detects but does not resolve the issues though. It in fact very similar to scareware in this regard, which alerts the user of serious problems on the PC to sell a product.

You can only scan the system after launch. Initiating a scan will first check for updates. You will also be notified if security and web protection is installed on the system. Only tracking cookies were detected on the system, which did not keep the program from displaying a big Fix Now button on the left side of the screen. When you press it you are taken directly to a web page where you can purchase one of Norton's security programs.

your computer is at risk

Removal of Norton Security Scan is straightforward though. Just click on Start Menu > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program and select it for uninstallation. You need to restart the PC to complete the installation.

Looking for free alternatives that you can make use of right away? Try AVG Anti-Virus Free or Avira Free Antivirus, but keep in mind that they too may be bundling their programs with toolbars.


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  1. ilev said on January 27, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Regarding Symantec. They has issues a warning to stop using pcAnywhere due to source code theft.

    In light of the theft of source code Symantec recommends to stop using pcAnywhere.

  2. Genious said on January 26, 2012 at 1:50 am

    all companies need to knock this shit off. i don’t want a bing/google search bar, i don’t want another browser, or virus scan.

  3. Rodalpho said on January 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Why would you recommend an antivirus that may be bundled with adware/toolbars rather than microsoft security essentials, which is completely free and clean and works great?

  4. Robert Palmar said on January 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Since Norton has the Norton Security Scan Removal Tool
    download on their website I suspect Norton Security Scan
    cannot always be simply removed in Add/Remove Programs.

    A characteristic unfortunately of all of Norton’s Security Programs.

  5. Jubi said on January 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Facebook not available

  6. Morely the IT Guy said on January 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    As an IT professional, I find that Norton and McAfee are the two least-effective “legitimate” products. They are also most expensive, at the consumer level.

    I’ve been using Microsoft Security Essentials since it came out, and while I am not a fan of Microsoft in general, I’ve been quite impresses with MSE. It’s a low-resource, effective anti-virus; combine with Hosts File Updater (version 1.1), it offers a lot of protection for zero money.

    1. Raj said on January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      I beg to differ. I must assume you are joking when you state that McAfee and Norton are the least effective legitimate products.

      I do not necessarily agree with their marketing tactics and the scareware techniques as described in the article. However, I do not agree to your statement that they are the least effective products. A quick scan on the latest AVcomparatives report will surely prove to you – norton has consistently topped the rank for detection and elimination of various malware and nasties out there. I personally use Avira and look out for legitimate promotions to keep my premium subscriptions.

      I have used MSE before and I have not been impressed in any way, be it user interface or security. Given the complex nature and variety of malware nowadays, I am not comfortable using MSE.

      Using scareware tactics however is not recommended for promoting your security products, no matter how good they are.

    2. Swapnil said on January 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Avast! FREE AntiVirus is my choice. Though Panda AV Pro (which I won in the Ghacks Christmas giveaway) is also good at protecting the PC but theonly problem with it is that I can no longer use file sharing among my PCs via My Network Places > Workgroup or Network folder in Windows XP or Windows Vista/7 respectively.

  7. Roy said on January 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Lost count of number of users who think they have full ‘antivirus’ installed when it’s actually just this Scanner.

    It is a dangerous and misleading advertising tactic – like scareware except it might find genuine threats rather just make them up…

    Unfortunately it’s bundled in every installer including Filehippo etc – just have to remember to untick it.

  8. Swapnil said on January 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Neither is is something new nor it is surprising. This Norton Security Scan installation option has been there since a long time now.
    It isn’t of any surprise at all – go to and there lies another installation option – McAfee Security Scan Plus.

    Though what’s interesting is that Adobe has bundled the Norton and McAfee products with it’s products; while the world knows how fierce rivals McAfee and Norton are of each other.

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