Most experts will agree that up-to-date antivirus software is essential for any computer connected to the Internet. When I browse the computer systems of a new Small Business or Residential Client for the first time, I’m surprised how many of them don’t have any antivirus software on their computer. Of those computers that have some sort of antivirus program, many have had their “free trial” expired since they purchased the system years ago.
The reason for my surprise is not that I think people love to spend money on antivirus or that loading it is a fun and enjoyable process. The reason for my surprise is that many of these customers use Comcast or AT & T / Yahoo’s high-speed Internet and have antivirus software available for them “free” as part of their Internet subscription.
Many of these computer users are simply unaware that antivirus software is available or do not know how to install it. Some people see the ads that are included with their service but don’t realize that they need to be installed. Much to my embarrassment, some of these Computer Consultants’ clients have even advised to buy antivirus software that is the same or very similar to the antivirus that they can download for free as part of their Internet service subscription. Here are some suggestions for meeting your antivirus needs with no additional purchases.
For Comcast subscribers, you can log into your account from the main Comcast.net website and click on the “security” link. Then follow the instructions in the “Get Protection” section.
AT & T / Yahoo subscribers can visit onlineprotection.yahoo.com, enter their login and password, and follow the instructions to install the latest “free” security offering for their account.
Non-commercial users who do not use Comcast or AT & T / Yahoo as an ISP can install a free copy of AVG from free.avg.com. Just read their license agreement and make sure you agree with it.
I believe it is the responsibility of all of us in the computer consulting industry to help our clients understand their options and benefit from the money they are already spending before asking them to spend more.
If the antivirus bundled with your internet access or a free alternative is sufficient for your needs, your computer consultant should make sure you are familiar with this option. Our job is to make sure you don’t spend money unnecessarily, especially if you are spending it with us.