Whilst I’m pretty sure that most of you that hang out at Channel 9 are wise enough to install anti-malware protection on your computers, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of PCs out there that remain unprotected – many of them in small businesses. PCs taken out by viruses not only create downtime but can cause irreparable damage to vital data, costing a business thousands of dollars.
I read a great post this week from IT Consultant Dave Duggan who finds a lot of older, Windows XP PCs out there in the businesses he works with which are ripe for attack, without firewall and anti-virus protection, and running with full administration privileges. As Dave writes, that leaves them open to accidental “drive by” infection from nasties picked up during web browsing.
Whilst the cost of maintaining anti-virus subscriptions for multiple PCs may have been a legitimate concern in the past, small businesses with less than 10 PCs can now benefit from free (yes, really free) malware protection, courtesy of Microsoft Security Essentials.
Microsoft Security Essentials offers regular updates to protect against the latest threats and runs silently in the background, so if you don’t need it, you won’t know it’s there. And it’s free (did I mention that?). Dave points to a series of walkthrough videos which outline how easy it is to get protected.
The only barrier to millions of additional PCs being protected is ignorance – it’s a shocking statistic, but research indicates that some small business owners do not hang out at Channel 9, so may not be aware that they can benefit from this free anti-virus protection. So, next time you meet a small business owner, in the workplace, or perhaps over dinner, make sure you ask what protection they use (it’s an idea to phrase that question carefully). You may just be the guy that saves their business.