on of the anti-malware marketing world's greatest victories was installing their market-speak as the lingua franca of anti-malware security, and to have done so in such a way that hardly anyone even notices. i even catch myself sometimes talking about a product offering protection instead of a product offering assistance (products don't protect you, you protect you with the product's help).
i happened upon a marketing video produced by f-secure for their safe and savvy blog not too long ago. it's possible it wasn't intended to be a marketing video, but... well... i think the video speaks for itself in that regard. it clearly tries to sell product. let's follow along and play the market-speak bingo.
so did you notice the nice big "100%"? it didn't stay for very long. the correct answer to the question "how can i be 100% sure i'm safe?" is that you can't. there is no absolute protection and anyone who says differently is trying to sell you snake-oil. offering 100% certainty you're protected is basically equivalent to claiming 100% protection - which is one of the oldest AV snake-oil tricks in the book. for shame, f-secure, for shame.
how about the references to a "solution", did everyone catch that? yeah, unfortunately the only problems these products solve are the business (or similar) problems that state 'thou must useth anti-virus'. actual security problems are not solved by these products - they don't make the problem go away, they don't make it so you don't have to worry anymore (even though they intentionally lead you into a false sense of security by suggesting you can stop worrying). security products are tools, not solutions - they don't solve real problems anymore than hammers do.
and did you happen to catch all the times when they said they "protect" you or the product protects you without qualifying that it's only partial protection? <sarcasm>yeah, that's not going to lead to a false sense of security (where people treat the product as install-and-forget security) at all</sarcasm>. why would a person continue to think about security and how to be and stay secure when vendors tell that person that they'll take care of that for them?
now i could sit here continuing to roast f-secure for their snake-oil trifecta, but as i said before even i catch myself falling into the same language patterns - early anti-malware marketing has left quite a mark on us. besides which, there's actually a lot to like in that video. the portrayal of the threat landscape and the technologies brought to bear on it are humanized and relate-able. heck, there's even someone labeled "Customer" who takes a tool offered by someone labeled "F-Secure" to chase off a 3rd person labeled "Virus" - even when the words are wrong and give the impression "we protect you", the action itself is right.
oh well, maybe their next video will feature more of what was good in this video and less of what was bad. it's not easy to break out of the pattern. we can only hope they try.