Data SecurityWhen you run a small business, you spend money on the bare essentials – and that’s it. Sometimes, that means cutting some corners. Others, it’s hard to tell what really is essential to running your business.

So does antivirus fall into the category as something essential that you should spend money on? Let’s take a closer look:

The Pros of Free Antivirus

    1. The Obvious Benefit – It’s Free:You don’t have to pay for it, so that’s nice. The cliché goes “the best things in life are free.” And let’s be honest – you do get some protection with a free antivirus program.
    2. You Have Control: You don’t have to call someone else to make the fix for you. You don’t have to train or manage another employee. You can take care of managing your antivirus when, how, and where you want to.
    3. You can Preview the Program Before You Buy It: Wouldn’t it be nice if you could try out a new car for 60 days before you purchase it, knowing you could get all money back if you didn’t like it? The nice thing is with most free antivirus programs, you can at least get a taste of what they do before fully committing.

The Cons of Free Antivirus

    1. You Have to Administer It: If you don’t like technology, or you’re not the DIY type, administering your antivirus can be a real headache. Technological problems, if you don’t have the specific expertise, will eat away hours of your day that would be better spent doing what you’re really good at.
    2. It’s not as Strong as a Paid Antivirus Option: Malware, viruses, trojans, and all sorts of cyber-attacks can sneak right past your antivirus. With a free option, this is much more likely to happen.
    3. They Aren’t Updated as Frequently as Paid Versions: This means cybercriminals have a window of opportunity to attack your computer and your network. It’s still unlikely they’ll nail you during a limited window of opportunity, but it can happen.
    4. Sometimes They Come with Unnecessary Junk You Don’t Want:This can include social networking toolbars, search toolbars, and annoying pop-up ads. They’re not harmful to your computer, but they are irritating to deal with.
    5. Some Won’t Catch Malware Before it Hits Your Hard Drive: Most good anti-virus programs identify and remove the threat before it even gets on your computer. Free antivirus programs may let the malware actually get on your computer, and then attempt to remove it. Once malware is on your computer, though, it can wreak havoc, even if you have a good antivirus program. Some can completely disable your antivirus and internet access. Others take your computer hostage and force you to pay a ransom fee to get use of your computer back.

Get Paid Antivirus and Hire Someone Else to Monitor Your Computer Network If You Can

In business, it always makes sense to do what you do best and hire out the rest. If a virus takes your computer network down for 1, 2, or 3 days, how much is that going to cost you?
Will you go bankrupt if that happens?

Paid antivirus is a good preventative measure to take – use it as soon as possible.

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Learn more about the author Bob Martin