Kaspersky Safe Money in Internet Security 2014 [Review]

Is Kaspersky Safe Money Safe ? The benefits and the technology behind Safe Money in Kaspersky Internet Security 2014. Problems and Compatibility solutions.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 has a host of improved tools that not only do simple search for viruses, malware and trojans. Just like in KAV 2014, a central console provides details on your desktop’s security status – large buttons give you the interaction with the various features of the tool (Scan, Update, Safe Money, Reports, Parental Control, Network Monitor, Quarantine, Application Control, Tools, Virtual Keyboard).

Kaspersky Safe Money Interface

Safe money helps an online user, bank and shop online without the fear of your credentials being stolen or any phishing attacks. The tools part of KIS performs variety of functions. It verifies that your banking websites are real, a banking website’s security certificates are real (like VeriSign, 256 bit encryption, TLS 1.0 certificate etc) and that your PC is not infected with any virus.

Just as in Chrome browser, you open an “Incognito window” for safe transactions and not store any cookies, you can also do your online banking in a secure Safe Money banking window.

Benefits of Safe Money

This technology works for any site that requires identification, and interface with shopping cart system via the https protocol. In addition to that the online user can add any bank, payment system or online store to the list of trusted sites.

The main pros of Safe Money are

  • Protective Mechanisms

The protective processes operate mechanically – at the right time and right place.

  • Transparency in the Modified Browser Window

So when you launch your transaction in a safe money browser window, the user sees the protective mechanism is active and working.

  • No complicated configurations

In order to use the secure mechanism, you do not require any complicated pre-configuration to activate. (You only require minimal configuration or one-time set-up for a particular website to use). The flexible settings allow Safe Money technology to be enabled or disabled for various sites, depending on the content

  • Quick Launch of Safe Money Mode

There is a special short-cut on the desktop using which the user can invoke selected sites in advance in quick launch mode. This creates an easy and flexible way of securing the point of entry to certain sites.

KIS 2014 Safe Money

Safe Money: Technology and Concept

Kaspersky’s lab Safe Money online protection technology consists of 3 key components.

  • Trusted Sites

The common norm for any online user to open an Internet transaction is to visit the website of the bank through email or browser link or typing the address in the URL or from the list of sites that are present in the KIS window.

Before the site loads, KIS automatically checks the URL of the bank website or shopping cart site  against the database of trusted addresses maintained by Kaspersky Lab or specified by the user. Then the transaction opens in Safe Money mode which guarantees that the user reaches the genuine site of the bank or payment system and not a fake one hosted by fraudsters.

  • Trusted Connection

It is also important that the online transaction you are making is with a genuine server or not. Kaspersky Lab’s digital certificate verification service makes sure that the site is authentic. If the certificate cannot be verified, KIS blocks the online payment site.

  • Trusted Environment

Before you make any online purchase, Safe Money scans the OS for any vulnerabilities. The high speed of the scan helps prevent any malware that can exploit to gain elevated privileges. Once the transaction payment gateway is launched in Safe Money mode, it ensures that personal data is protected against theft by blocking any attempts to introduce malicious code via the browser, read the memory, display fake windows, or take screenshots.

In addition to the above, to protect confidentiality from a hardware point of view, virtual keyboard and secure keyboard are provided.

Add Bank Site to Kaspersky Safe Money

Is Kaspersky Safe Money Safe ?

Sometimes the question is not about safety, but about compatibility. A user on a Firefox forum complains the following.

I just installed Kaspersky Internet security on my computer and I cannot use Safe Money, the dangerous website blocker add on and URL adviser and virtual keyboard are all disabled saying they are not compatible with Firefox 26.0. Is this something that a later version of Firefox will fix?

The best solution to such problems is always to use a stable version of the browser. Though Kaspersky tries to keep-up pace with the newer versions of the browser, some beta and alpha builds may still not be compatible with the Safe Money add-ons.

Sometimes the “Safe Money” feature slows down the access to your banking site or transactions. Mostly its a performance problem. A user on Kaspersky forum has this to complain in Nov, 2013.

Today “Safe Money” slows access to banking sites so much that browser times out. Default browser is Chrome but the same thing happens with IE and Firefox. The same happens with every site on which “Safe Money” is set to run. “Safe Money” has always slowed down access and more so in KIS 2014 than KIS 2013 but it is now so bad I’ve had to turn it off in order to access online banking. Any suggestions please.

The best solution suggested is to use the “safe money” feature from the safe money window by clicking on the URL and let safe money open the browser (be sure to select the appropriate browser). Sometimes the bank changes the URL and this can have a bad response with your safe money feature. In IE10, you can go to  ‘Internet Options | Security‘ and with the setting on Medium-high, go to ‘Custom level‘, and Disable ‘Use Smart Screen Filter‘. Also Disable ‘Use Pop-up Blocker‘.

Sometimes you may have a particular problem with a financial site like ebay.co.uk. When a user opened that site through Safe Money he got strange message like this –

“This is probably not the site you are looking for!
You attempted to reach www.ebay.co.uk but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as a248.e.akamai.net This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or by something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and potentially harmful) version of www.ebay.co.uk

You should not proceed, especially if you have never seen this warning before for this site.”

A novice user may be perplexed and worried by such a message, but is found that eBay may be having strange server configuration in place. You could try to use the login page https://signin.ebay.co.uk.

Another user complains  problem with Safe Money and Secure Data Input when using IE11. The virtual keyboard does not work nor the normal keyboard. This issue occurs mainly while searching the banking site. So most people turn off Safe Money and Secure Data Input for hassle-free processing. Also if you downgrade to IE10, this works. Finally a Patch E was provided on 4th April 2014 and fixed many of the things. 

KIS 2014 now allows users to use which browser they want using Safe Money (Chrome, Firefox and IE were on the list). Compared to KIS 2013 the Safe Money feature improved a lot in performance. But it can be slow to load sometimes and won’t appear at all for plenty of sites.

YouTube Video showing the working of Safe Money in KIS 2014. Operation of opening transaction sites in different browsers and adding a bank site to Safe Money list

On Amazon, we had a couple of mixed reviews.

  • – safe money doesn’t work well with Firefox browser
  • – safe money works well with IE 10
  • – Apparently, Safe Money 2014 is infinitely more problematic to activate than Safe Money 2013, requiring manual (rather than automatic) activation of each “add-on,” as well as other problems.

CNET describes that there are lot of improvements for Safe Money in KIS 2015.

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