Most experts would agree that up to date antivirus software is an essential need for any computer connected to the internet. When first looking over the computer systems of a new Small Business or Residential Customer I am surprised at how many do not have any antivirus software on their computer. Of those computers that do have some sort of antivirus many are running an expired "Free Trial" from when the system was first purchased 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 are using Comcast or AT&T/Yahoo high-speed internet and antivirus is made available to them for "free" as a part of their internet subscription.
Many of these computer users just don't realize the antivirus software is available or do not know how to install it. Some see the advertisements that it is included in their service but don't realize it needs to be installed. To my embarrassment some of these customers have even been advised by "Computer Consultants" to purchase antivirus software that is the same or very similar to the antivirus they can download for free with their internet service subscription. Here are a few suggestions for meeting your antivirus needs without any additional purchases.
For Comcast subscribers you can login to your account from the main Comcast.net web page and click on the "security" link. From there you follow the instructions in the "Get Protected" section.
For AT&T/Yahoo subscribers you can go to onlineprotection.yahoo.com, enter your login and password and follow the instructions to install the latest "free" security offering for you account.
For non-commercial users that are not using Comcast or AT&T/Yahoo as an internet provider you can install a free copy of AVG from free.avg.com. Just be sure to read their license agreement and make sure you are in compliance with it.
I believe it is the responsibility of all of us in the Computer Consulting industry to help our customers understand their options and leverage the benefits of money they are already spending before asking them to spend more.
If the antivirus included with your internet access or a free alternative is sufficient for your needs your Computer Consultant should make sure you are aware of that option. It is our job to make sure you are not spending any money needlessly especially if you are spending it with us.