In order to be a successful business, you simply need to be connected to the internet. The internet is an amazing tool to use for pretty much everything: it allows you to connect with people across the globe, it gives you libraries worth of information on any topic, and it is a terrific place to advertise your business. However, the internet has always had its shady side, the side where viruses, hackers, and cyber criminals roam. As a business, it is of upmost importance to keep all of your computers and data safe, since a data breach can not only mean trouble (and costs) for yourselves, but can also damage customers and even your public image. To avoid this, it is highly recommended that you invest in some software that will help protect you against the dangers of the internet. Here a few options:
It is possible to go with no antivirus. If the computers are not holding any data you wouldn’t like being shared (for example, a computer that plays music in your building) and speed is not an issue, you can hope that you don’t get a virus that will shut down your computer entirely and you can save some money by not purchasing it any anti-virus. Also, if there is a computer that is not hooked up to the internet, viruses will have a very hard time getting to it, however they still can (through portable drives, LAN connections, etc.). However, running no antivirus software is quite risky and you should be very sure that no other option makes sense before picking this one.
There are a good number of free antivirus programs out on the market today, with many of them being antivirus programs that are free versions of paid software, with less features or protection. There are also some options that are purely free and have no paid options (at least for small licenses), such as Microsoft’s own Security Essentials and various open source programs. Free software tends to be good enough for home computers (I personally use free software on my home desktop) however it still isn’t up to the level of paid software in many cases, and it is those cases that matter for computers that are being used to store financial data or clientele information. I’d suggest using free software in most cases that you are thinking of using no antivirus, or if the data you are storing isn’t worth the cost of paid antivirus.
Paid software is generally the safest way to handle your computers’ virus protection. I can’t guarantee that just because someone is using paid software that it will protect them completely, however they (again, for the most part) do a better job than free applications. Some of these paid applications include products by AVG, avast, Ariva, Kapersky, and McAfee, with each one having its own benefits and features. Paid antivirus usually includes other advanced features, with those advanced features depending on the antivirus package you purchase. Paid antivirus is usually recommended, however some free programs are catching up on paid antivirus, so I’d suggest checking out antivirus benchmarking sites, such as this one.
Antivirus is more important than it might appear. The fact that any important files you have on your computer could be destroyed or stolen is usually enough to warrant the cost of an antivirus program, however, if it’s not, I’d still recommend taking some time to find a good free alternative. Going without antivirus is a gamble, and a really unnecessary one at that.
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