“I'll do it later.”
We've all said this before when our computer alerts us that our anti-virus software is about to expire. After all, we've got important things to do and taking a few minutes to update software isn't important now.
Sometimes, later never comes.
This is a bad thing.
How many times have you gotten the flu and thought, “Why didn't I just get a flu shot?! I feel horrible.” You don't want your computer to get sick with a horrible virus either.
A computer with expired or out-of-date anti-virus software is nearly as unprotected as if you didn't have any software installed. And you may as well hang out a sign to hackers saying, “Please hack me!” because that's what's eventually going to happen to you.
Here are tips and thoughts to make sure your anti-virus software stays up-to-date so you're protected.
Update, Update, Update
In fact, come back and finish this post after you check that your anti-virus programs are up-to-date. Don't wait, do it now. This post will still be here.
Performing all updates is the easiest way to be sure your systems are protected. Security patches are constantly being released as new threats are found and existing weaknesses in software are uncovered. Sign up for automatic updates for your anti-virus software. And reboot so that you can be sure those updates take effect. It's a good idea to also install spyware software too.
SMBs at Risk
A 2014 study by Microsoft, Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report, found that many PCs and laptops not under central management were more likely to have expired or out-dated anti-virus software. That's often the case for both individuals and SMBs. With anti-virus software, .6% of computers were infected. Without anti-virus software, 2.4% of computers were infected (computers with expired programs were only slightly more protected – 2.2% of them became infected).
The moral of the story? UPDATE!
Think as an SMB that hackers don't care about you? Read this.
Anti-Virus: One Security Layer of Many
Anti-virus is just one layer of a comprehensive information technology security strategy that every SMB owner needs to know about. Hacking anti-virus software isn't terribly complicated for sophisticated hackers. They simply have to install anti-virus and then write a virus that the software doesn't recognize (anti-virus software can only look for known viruses). That's why you need to update your anti-virus software regularly as hackers continually create new viruses.
That's also why anti-virus is only one layer in good IT security. You need to add layers of security such as firewalls and encrypted information too. Don't have the bandwidth to handle information security yourself? Network security is a key piece of managed IT services. Find out more about managed IT in the free eBook – simply click on the image below.
For more information on everything to do with Managed IT Services, check out our resource page, here.