The Real Cost of Free: #30SecTech Video
With plenty of free security software options out there, it’s easy to wonder why you would want to pay for online protection. But is free antivirus software truly free?
Internet connected devices are constantly within reach and as a result more aspects of our lives and information reside within our devices than ever before. Yet many people still see their online world and the physical world as separate from each other, not realizing that online information is as valuable to cyber criminals as a wallet is to a mugger. It’s not until a data breach makes headlines that our sense of fear heightens and online threats become real. While these events remind us of the importance to remain vigilant and cautious, it’s important not to wait until disaster strikes to think about securing your information. The easiest way to remain protected is by adding a security solution to every device.
In the ever-expanding world of cyber security solutions, you have two basic options: One option is to install a free solution, and the other option is to purchase a subscription-based solution.
Opting for a free solution can be tempting. However, when you think about the private information, the sensitive transactions, and the irreplaceable photos and files that live on your devices, you should consider the following about about freeware:
Freeware can contain “hidden extras” and sell your data
Many freeware programs aren’t necessarily dangerous, but there are generally trade-offs for using the products. Frankly, if you’re not paying, you are the product.
Just because a product is labeled as “free” doesn’t necessarily mean that the company isn’t making money off of you. Some platforms collect user data such as web browsing habits, and sell that data to the highest bidder. Have you ever noticed ads displaying a product you’re interested in after you visit a website? It’s targeted advertising, and that’s one of the ways the information sold about you is being used.
There’s always a price to pay, and in addition to your private information being sold, there can also be “extras” that you may not be aware about upon installation. This can range from bothersome advertisements to constant alerts prompting you to upgrade to a paid version, and even scamware. Many of the freeware apps can be considered, grayware, a form of malware that doesn’t really do any physical damage to your data, but presents itself in a more annoying matter, such as adware and spyware to learn about your computing habits or gain access to more of your files.Isn’t this what you were trying to avoid in the first place?
Freeware offers minimal protection
Freeware typically offers only basic functionality and minimal protection--specifically, virus scanning--and thus lacks the complete security necessary to keep you protected against all types of threats. With trusted security solutions from best-in-class providers, such as Norton Security, you receive a robust all-in-one security solution and the assurance that a huge team of security professionals is continually researching ways to keep your information safe. Plus, if anything goes wrong, support is always available around-the-clock.
Antivirus—by itself—is not enough.
Although antivirus protection is vital, it only addresses one of the many online threats that exist. In fact, antivirus alone can only guard against 50 percent of today’s online threats. The threats present today not only go beyond viruses, but they are constantly changing, becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated.
Norton Security runs continuous automatic silent updates to keep you protected from existing, new, and even yet-to-be-invented threats including ID theft, financial scams, phishing, malware, spam, and much more. Norton’s comprehensive patented technologies work together to outsmart online threats so you are free to safely surf, shop, and bank online with any device. Norton even keeps you safe on social media, scanning and warning you about social media scams and suspicious posts.
Freeware solutions lack support and guarantees
Freeware solutions seldom offer a guarantee, and you would be lucky to receive little, or any, support. Before you make your decision it’s important to address who or where you will turn to for support if you run into questions, or worst yet experience a privacy breach. If you choose to forgo the 24/7 support and 100%-virus-free-or-your-money-back guarantee you get with a service like Norton, you should be prepared to fend for yourself.
Freeware doesn’t protect you on every device
If a device connects to the Internet, it needs to be protected. That means every device you use should have protection, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and PCs. Each houses vital and private information, that if lost could wreck major havoc on your privacy. The information that travels through mobiles can be easily captured, making them a particularly growing target among criminals. Furthermore, mobile devices are easily lost, stolen or misplaced—the last thing you want is to have zero control over the information in them. It’s not enough to just protect your desktop. Norton Security offers specialized protection for each device you own, actively protecting your computers, smartphones, and tablets from online threats.
Freeware doesn’t offer protection that adapts to changing needs
Technology is constantly changing and adding sophistication to our devices that we used to only dream of. It’s hard to resist the urge to stay up to date with the latest innovation. Whether you purchase a new smartphone, the latest model tablet, or a new laptop, you need a solution that is flexible and ready to adapt to your changing security needs.
Freeware typically lacks the functionality to protect you on multi-devices. Leaving you with one inconvenient choice to make: download and register to multiple offerings from different providers to protect each. In contrast, Norton Security offers the convenience and flexibility to manage the protection you need, where you need it, in one simple, easy-to-use product.
Is your peace of mind and security worth it?
Trusted security providers will not sell your private information because they don’t need to. The comprehensive and guaranteed protection for all of your devices with around-the-clock support is the piece of mind you can get from Norton Security. And that piece of mind is worth every penny.