by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Heimdal Security Agent is nice but also nags


What is the worst headache in trying to maintain a Windows PC malware free?  No, It is not keeping up with the Windows update.  It is not installing a good Anti-Virus or Anti-Malware, or a good Firewall-Security Suite.  It is trying to keep all the 3rd party software patched.

The most vulnerable and exploited 3rd party software are – what else, but Adobe Flash, Sun Java Runtime Environment, whichever PDF reader you have installed, and the Microsoft Data Access Components.  The last of these would normally be up-to-date, provided the Windows OS itself is so.  The other 3 are definitely a pain where you do not want one.

Most Software Update checkers do not care about the Flash or JRE components.  Which is where the Heimdal comes in handy.  [https://heimdalsecurity.com/en/]. 

The original review referred it as ‘CSIS Heimdal’ for the simple reason that Google Search prefers/preferred it that way.  Search just for ‘Heimdal’ and you are likely to end up looking at Kerberos protocol, or a Norwegian Offshore Oil field, or North Dakota!  Add one more ‘L’ to search for ‘Heimdall’ and you will get to flash the firmware in your Samsung mobiles, or end up in Marvel Universe! 

update 19 Jun 2015: Heimdal Security requested me to remove the reference to CSIS and this rewrite reflects it.  So Heimdal it is.

What does Heimdal do?
  • (1) the Free version [1.10.3.704] starts up at boot;
  • (2) compares the installed software with Heimdal’s own database to determine the out-dated software;
  • (3) throws up a warning, and the list of updated/old software [Software Tab];
  • (4) If the check box ‘automatically update’ [Advanced Tab] is ticked, Heimdal auto updates too;
  • (5) A check at Software Tab shows that all software are updated.
Here are the snapshots of the Heimdal Free at work.


So is that all that Heimdal does?  For the Free version, yes.  But the paid PRO version plugs many other security loopholes – Private Data and Financial Data Security, Malicious Lookup Blocker, PC Lockdown, Anti-Phishing, InSite Defence, and Behavioral Malware Scanner.  You can read more about them at [https://heimdalsecurity.com/en/products].  There is also an Enterprise version CORP, which offers central management too.

Now for the cons. 

The Heimdal Free version does not seem to like the AddThis or ShareThis Extensions on the Chrome browser.  As you can see in the snapshot the ‘AddThis’ button does not work (?) as intended, and does not show the customized options.  The ‘ShareThis’ button is even worse, and does not respond at all.

While I am not sure of what happens in the PRO or CORP versions, this inhibition, probably by design, actually negates the function of a modern browser.  Social Media sharing has become an essential function in a browser, and any tool which disables it, even as a security function defeats its own purpose.

A related point is there is no option to disable/exit/shutdown the Heimdal once it starts up. Maybe it is an inbuilt security feature, but for the FREE version it is self defeating.  An option to either exit the program or an option to run it as a scheduled task at startup and then auto-exit after a few minutes will be welcome.

Disclosure:  I am not in anyway connected to either CSIS or Heimdal, nor did I receive any overtures from anyone to write this review.  Link of this review & the nagging behaviour sent to Heimdal.

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