Computer users today have to be super-consistent about protecting their computer from viruses. During the 1990s, viruses were everywhere, but since malware became commercialized during the first part of this decade, evil viruses have reached epidemic levels. A computer virus infection can occur anytime, even when visiting real and valid indexed commercial business websites. (For example, BusinessWeek.com was hacked and subsequently infected visitors’ computers with malware.) It’s a cold, hard fact: Great computer protection is needed, and that comes in the form of really great antivirus protection.
The free antivirus software upsurge
The reality is that of the antivirus programs on the market, some are good, some are okay, and some don’t work well at all. The big split out there is to decide if you use antivirus programs that are free, or use business grade antivirus that costs money. Free antivirus software is available online, but will it protect your computer?
A good example of this trend can be seen with Microsoft, which is dropping their OneCare subscription-based antivirus program for consumers. The company will now start offering Morro, a consumer PC free antivirus program.
Commercial antivirus products are a better value
Tons of companies, including Microsoft, offer paid antivirus software. The question is, do paid business grade antivirus offer more and work better than free antivirus software programs? Here’s the bottom line: Most free antivirus programs offer the same base protection, but commercial business grade and consumer grade antivirus programs offer additional value. Commercial grade antivirus programs offer better technical support, better schedules, and additional features that provide more protection. Many new antivirus programs now offer scans of web links that test websites for malicious malware content while customers are navigating the web.
Behavioral-assessment protection advantage of commercial antivirus software
Available on the market now is the newly developed identity theft module offered by antivirus software company AVG. It is only offered in their commercial product. This new module employs Behavioral Assessment Techniques to locate malware with zero-day functionality; no signature is put out, making it invisible. Reports from the software users of this new module and product reviews indicate it offers a much higher level of antivirus protection than standard antivirus versions offer. The inclusion of behavioral-assessment based antivirus protection plus signature-based scanning is critical due to the real risk of the giant volume of malware viruses on the web today. Standard signature antivirus software works for finding big segments of malware; however, strategies of hackers who use custom packing (compressed and encrypted executable viruses) and session-based antivirus software make it very hard for antivirus companies to update antivirus software as fast as malware hackers create new code that hacks websites.
The bottom line
Free antivirus software is better than none; however, it is limited in function. To protect business needs and prevent nasty online malware hackers, paid, commercial, business-grade antivirus software will you increased safety and better peace of mind. Businesses using free antivirus software are taking risks from a legal standpoint and because of the advantage that centralized management business-level software provides.
If you want to learn more about free antivirus software versus business grade antivirus software, call Crumbacher today in Santa Fe at 505-820-6007 and in Albuquerque at 505-275-6866.