The following story was inspired by customer feedback provided to F-Secure at our annual Customer Day. The customer mentioned in the story graciously agreed to allow us to share his experience with us in this blog post.
Security software, whether it be a relatively traditional antivirus program or a cutting-edge corporate security product, typically don’t offer a very exciting user experience.
There are some security and privacy products that try to go the extra mile and provide people with some enhanced features. Our Freedome VPN, for example, has a feature called Tracker Mapper that lets people see how internet trackers monitor them while they browse the web.
It’s an effective way to really illustrate how pervasive online tracking can be. Some people might see how often they’re tracked and say “wow.”
But in the end, people use VPNs, antivirus, firewalls, and other types of security products to help protect their devices and data. That’s why a good piece of security software doesn’t need the bells and whistles you’ll find on some other products. It just has to provide the protection people need, and it can do a very good job without people even knowing that it’s there.
F-Secure Chief Research Officer Mikko Hyppönen has said that if we wanted to create more secure systems, we would be simplifying them. We would be removing features instead of adding them. But that’s not the way technology is moving.
“Operating systems, applications, protocols, networking, everything is getting more complex….complexity is the enemy of security,” he says.
So not adding unnecessary features to security software – which people rely on to protect them, unlike other apps and programs – is probably a good way to go. Keeping security simple and easy to do will probably do more to help people stay safe than adding features that could make things more complicated, more confusing, or a bigger drain on system resources.
On the other hand, nobody really cares about products they don’t see or have any noticeable impact on their user experience. But that doesn’t mean cyber security providers need to bore their customers.
In fact, it just means companies – all cyber security companies – need to step up when it comes to providing customer service.
We recently had Customer Day here at F-Secure, during which customers were invited to our company’s headquarters to meet the people that work here and tell us how we’re doing. And one man, Olavi Pomoell, a retired Strategy Officer in Helsinki, used the opportunity to come in and share some of his experiences as an F-Secure customer.
“I was having some trouble getting one of your products installed, so I chatted with the customer support to get some help. I was told it was a simple fix, but I still didn’t understand, so I just said that I was nearby and I would come in to the office to get some help,” Mr. Pomoell told us. “So I arrived in the early afternoon the same day, I gave my name to the desk and said that I was here to get some help. And the girl sitting at the desk said ‘Yes, Mr. Pomoell, you are expected.’ Wow.”
“I’m spending like 50 euros, and a little detail like being told that I’m expected – wow.”
We were able to help Mr. Pomoell get the product working so he can continue enjoying his laptop. And even though he might not switch on Freedome or login to F-Secure KEY and say “wow”, at least he can feel comfortable knowing that we’re keeping his devices and data safe, and ready to wow him when he needs a little extra help.