Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Up next
Listen live on

Norton Genie - Keep One Step Ahead of Scammers

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Jan 2024, 5:17PM

Norton Genie - Keep One Step Ahead of Scammers

Glenn Hart,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Jan 2024, 5:17PM

Hands up if you've never received a scam text, email or phone call?


Not surprised.

These days scamming is such a widespread, global industry it's practically mainstream. Apart from the usual barrage of unsolicited spam emails we're all subjected to on a daily basis, you really have to be vigilant from moment to moment.

While many of the worst and most widespread scams receive plenty of publicity and we're likely to receive fair warning before receiving our own nefarious solicitation to click a link or share our details, I also get plenty of messages that are probably totally legit... but I'm too scared to follow up because there's no easy way to tell.

And there are new ones that nearly get me every time. For example, the text claiming I hadn't paid my toll the same day I used the new motorway. Or the Facebook message warning me my account was about to be suspended due to copyright infringement.

Both had links to follow in order to avoid fines or even worse; a loss of social media access!

Luckily I refrained from clicking at the last moment, blocked and deleted thoroughly.

I really hope those messages weren't the real deal.

Now Norton has a user-friendly tool to help identify what's a scam (and what's not).


While Norton Genie is accessible from any browser - just Google it or follow the link at the bottom of this article (No really, you can click it. It's totally fine) - it works even better as an app on your Android or iOS device.

Best of all, it's free.

Once you've installed the app or brought up the webpage, there are several ways to use Genie, all of them very straightforward.


If there's a link in the message, you can simply copy and paste it into the appropriate box in the app. Alternatively, you can just screenshot whatever it is you're suspicious of - even if it's a website you're already on - and paste that into the image box. Or you can just copy any odd text you've received and set Genie to work on that instead.

A push of the Scan Now button is all it takes to bring Norton's vast database of cyber-security to bear, along with some pretty whizzy AI that's learning about scams at an exponential rate.


In just a few seconds, one of three things will happen; Genie will tell you you're not being scammed, you are being scammed or it will ask for more information before it makes a call. This last response might mean Genie has detected a link in the image or text you've copied into the app and will then give you instructions on how to copy that link for a more detailed result.

I was surprised how long some of the searches took - not minutes but often quite a few seconds. However, this kind of gave me a sense of security - as though my search really was being compared with hundreds of thousands of known threats to make sure I'd end up with the most accurate and up-to-date result.

Norton claims because Genie is constantly learning, it'll only get faster and more effective as time goes on.

Only today I received an unsolicited email from an unknown sender, coincidentally containing a link to a whitepaper on AI. However, because of its rather formal language and unfamiliar, non-New Zealand address, I was responsibly skeptical and ran it through the Genie just to be safe.


Initially, Genie wasn't sure so asked my permission to conduct a "deeper" investigation, warning of possible "side effects." When I asked Genie what this meant it explained it might mean the link no longer works as expected and may need to be re-sent if it turns out to be legitimate.

I assume what this really means when you grant permission, Genie goes away and effectively opens the link in some kind of protected environment to check it for nasties. If it's a link to an encrypted document or a password-protected folder, that will sometimes be a one-use-only address for security purposes. However, if what you've been sent is that important, usually you'd expect some detailed instructions from the sender - and they'd likely be someone you already know.

Whatever the potential side effects, a few seconds later Genie was of the opinion my weird email was probably okay and I could go ahead and read the report.

And just like that, my day became more productive - and a little bit safer.




Click here for more information on Norton Genie. For reals. Trust me.

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you