Q&A Is F-secure worth investing in?

Guilhermesene

Level 2
Jun 1, 2019
83
Hi.

I've been thinking about using and buying F-secure for a long time because of its simplicity and privacy, but I don't know if they offer good protection in my country (Brazil). I'm tired of the sameness: Eset, Kaspersky and Bitdefender, Norton (I have a license for all of them) but I see and follow the posts here on @upnorth a lot and I see that he has been using F-secure for a long time. What do you tell me about F-secure? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Now that Norton has purchased Avira, is it still worth investing in F-secure (since f-secure uses avira engine)?

I would like your opinion, sorry if this topic may seem redundant here on the forum.

Thanks.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 48
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Apr 24, 2016
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A good start is reading this thread:
 

upnorth

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Jul 27, 2015
4,366
Hi.

I've been thinking about using and buying F-secure for a long time because of its simplicity and privacy, but I don't know if they offer good protection in my country (Brazil). I'm tired of the sameness: Eset, Kaspersky and Bitdefender, Norton (I have a license for all of them) but I see and follow the posts here on @upnorth a lot and I see that he has been using F-secure for a long time. What do you tell me about F-secure? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Now that Norton has purchased Avira, is it still worth investing in F-secure (since f-secure uses avira engine)?

I would like your opinion, sorry if this topic may seem redundant here on the forum.

Thanks.
Good questions IMO and I will try answer them all. Thought first it was a stock investor question when I saw the topic title as yes, F-Secure is on Nasdaq.

From a pure security nerds/geeks perspective and someone who likes to follow most news around the world, Brazil is a country that seems to been hit extra hard and been/is a testing ground for banking malwares the last years. The IT infrastructure in the bank sector is probably more then likely the reason. Some reports this year been pointing to evolved samples from attacks in Brazil, now started seen in attacks also in Europe. Other then that I can't recall much else on specific threats/issues in Brazil. Banking malwares, not just those in Brazil, holds some of the most advanced and nasty samples developed/created I personal seen, but protection wise in general with F-Secure and Brazil, I'm not sure if there is anything special that F-Secure can't handle just as it does in all other countries. Maybe something with lack of re-sellers or can't support in that language. 🤷‍♂️ F-Secure actually have an official office in Brazil.

Strength and weaknesses? Several, but gladly the strength outweighs the weakness. Otherwise the company would never gain the position they are in today. The future also looks bright as the company keeps growing. Just as with most major vendors, they do care and fix problems, even for products that is used by normal users. It's a constant work in progress as problems comes and goes and yes, F-Secure had their fair share of negative time in the security news space after some serious vulnerabilities. No pain, no gain! Again, the positive outweighs the negative, but most insights like that comes from following/tag along with a product/company over time as almost all here on MT knows, one single test is never a fair/correct assessment for a whole company and all their products, made and upcoming. Personal I like real genuine reports, even the negative and extra so when they can be helpful, no matter what vendor or company. Caring and curios developers, is also something that lucky for us all exist and F-Secure has one pretty famous. I shared several of his talks and promise I will also next year, unless someone else hopefully does it before. (y)

The Avira acquisition is interesting on several levels, but I strongly doubt it will have any major impact on F-Secure and extra so it's protection itself. Especially not now as the deal itself will not fully come into place until end of next year 2021.
the acquisition is expected to close in the Fiscal 2021 fourth quarter and is not expected to be material to Fiscal 2021 Q4 results.
Still worth investing in F-Secure? In the end only you as a possible customer/user can fully and honest answer that. MT does has from time to time discounts/deals that I strongly can recommend if interested and for example member @SerialCart has some of the most valuable offers I seen, even for F-Secure. But if unsure, it's always better to test before making an actual purchase.
 

ChoiceVoice

Level 6
Oct 10, 2014
257
they have the 4-month giveaway in the giveaway section on this site, so you can give it a spin before you decide. i find it a bit overpriced. runs smoothly on my system though (I think many use it here because there was a 1-year giveaway about a year ago).
 
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Nightwalker

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May 26, 2014
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Hi, I am a brazilian too (um Guilherme também ainda por cima rs) and I can give some insights about the experience of using F-Secure here.

First, the software is fully translated to Brazilian Portuguese and there is official support and representation (like @upnorth said), although the regional website will redirect you to the global version, but this is just a minor annoyance than really a problem.

The web banking module seems to support all major brazilian banks and many e-commerces, so I can say with confidence that Brazil isnt ignored by F-Secure and they are of course monitoring the malware landscape from here and so does Avira.

The biggest issue of using F-Secure in Brazil is the price, unlike ESET, Kaspersky and Norton that have regional prices, F-Secure is straight dolar conversion, so it can be very expensive for us.

Overall it is a great piece of solution, I dont feel less covered using it compared to lets say Kaspersky, so I recommend for you to give the 6 months trial a run and see how you like the software, personally it is already one of my favorites.
 

Nightwalker

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May 26, 2014
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By reading the title I thought it was about buying F-Secure stocks 😅

Offtopic

Well I can totally see why this is funny for native english speakers, but in Brazilian Portuguese the expression "investing" (investir) can be used instead of "getting"/"buy"/"acquire" without being wrong, investir for us has more broad scenario usages and they dont necessarily involve stocks.

Writing in a technical way has its inherent nuances and challenges, but imagine doing it in another language, its not that easy, sometimes I feel a little weird when I compare my english writing with my tongue language writing 😅
 

geminis3

Level 18
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Sep 10, 2015
856
I feel a little weird when I compare my english writing with my tongue language writing 😅
Me too, Spanish it's my native language and the word order in a sentence is usually inverted for us. Also, some translations don't even make sense until you get a bit more of context.

"investing" (investir) can be used instead of "getting"/"buy"/"acquire"
By the way, on Spanish when you say "invertir" you usually refer to putting money into something to get profits. False friends strike again 😄
 

Guilhermesene

Level 2
Jun 1, 2019
83
I apologize to everyone if I did not write the correct words in the topic title.

Thanks for the tips and advice @upnorth @fabiobr @Nightwalker walker (Guilherme like me 😄)

I learned a lot from you @upnorth, I was even surprised that F-Secure has an office in Brazil (São Paulo)

As you said, the problem is the price because the software is excellent. I am using the product in the trial version and I love it, it is light on my machine (not as light as ESET) but it is still light, I feel safe, since the hour after installation it has not tormented me with windows and warnings, it does not install VPN or Password Manager is mandatory, it made browsing very fast because it does not scan HTTPS so the pages open very quickly. I'm loving the product without counting the positive side that is privacy without losing security.

Thanks for your sarcastic post @Spawn 😄 😄 , everything is learning and since I don't speak English natively I had to use Google Translate, but the words we use in my country don't always have the meaning of the words in your country, next I'll try to use Google Translate in one way better.
 

MacDefender

Level 14
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Oct 13, 2019
688
What is it about F-Secure that respects privacy more than other AV clients?
Concretely: Mostly it's how they describe their cloud portion and how they simply don't engage in "marketing" data collection. I tried to highlight some of the examples in this thread: Q&A - Kaspersky and Cloud Privacy

For example here's what Kaspersky says they will take from your machine (silently without any prompts) if their engines believe it saw something suspicious:
17. If a potentially malicious object has been detected, the transmission includes information about process memory data, elements of the hierarchy of system objects (ObjectManager), UEFI BIOS memory data, names of registry keys and their values.
• Files or their parts.
• Name, size, and version of the file being sent, its description and checksums (MD5, SHA2-256, SHA1), file path, ID of the format, name of the publisher, name of the product to which the file belongs.
• Objects detected at malicious links.

Especially vague terms like "files or their parts" and "process memory data" could cover just about everything from the contents of the websites you're browsing (that's just Chrome memory data) or whatever documents you're working on ("files and their parts")

In the second post I highlighted what F-Secure says about their cloud privacy and you can see they strictly limit it to metadata and mostly to executable files too. They also cover in detail the efforts they take to anonymize the data and handle it with automation and reduce the ability for even a rogue internal employee to de-anonymize you.


And FWIW Kaspersky is not alone or being signaled out here. Most AVs do some forms of this. In my own malware testing I've had several cases when testing Norton, ESET and other products where detonating a piece of malware I locally built resulted in being able to look up the MD5 on VirusTotal and see that dozens of engines have signatures for it. So they clearly not only shared the fact that this hash is malicious, but the file itself was shared with multiple vendors so they can all write signatures for it.
 

upnorth

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Jul 27, 2015
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What is it about F-Secure that respects privacy more than other AV clients?
Parts what member @MacDefender now said, but also because they been tested in court of law.
 

silversurfer

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Aug 17, 2014
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I cant write multiple lines about it, but I would skip F-Secure & go with Kaspersky or Bitdefender, both amazing security softwares.
Your comment is just like a biased opinion, if anyone can't explain the difference in terms of privacy compared to other AVs, then it's better to be quiet and just skip your reply to this user question #14
 

Cortex

Level 26
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Aug 4, 2016
1,515
Worth reading Freedome Privacy Policy if you intend using it:


What do we collect and what do we do with it?

Except:

To protect the service against fraudulent use, we maintain temporary logs that contain the duration of the VPN sessions, the amount of data transferred, the device ID, public IP address, and host name from where the VPN client connects to our service. Traffic anomalies that look like a potential abuse of our service (such as port scanning, spamming, or DDoS attacks performed by our clients) are detected by our software and will be logged as well. The logs are stored for 90 days prior to deletion, and can be used to deal with any misuse of our service or attacks against us.

Criminal investigations. F-Secure respects lawful warrants and court orders of the jurisdictions applicable to us. We provide information to the authorities when it is required of us under law, but not otherwise. Such occurrences include investigations and prosecutions of serious crimes and other qualified illegal activities. After all, our goal is to secure your privacy when browsing the web, not securing your anonymity when committing crimes. We carefully review the lawfulness of each request and ensure that our users' constitutional rights to privacy are protected.
Italics mine.

Not that squeaky clean but fine by me, but they do keep logs?

 
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