By Fred Mitchell, Symantec Business Unit Manager, Drive Control Corporation
Security software is something every person with a computer and an Internet connection should have to protect personal information from a wide variety of cybercrime threats. However, having the software itself is only half of the solution. Security software needs to be kept up to date to provide the most reliable protection possible and ensure that users do not fall foul of hackers, viruses, malware and the like. Renewing your security license is part and parcel of staying protected. Here are five good reasons to make sure your security software license is renewed today.
1. Close loopholes and security gaps
Without a valid security software license, you will not have access to upgrades, patches and software updates. Given the speed at which the threat landscape is evolving, and the number and variety of new attacks occurring every week, having out of date software can create serious vulnerabilities in your system. Running security software without a license means you are exposing yourself to unnecessary risk, and every additional day that your license has lapsed, more and more threats and new versions of malware are being released. Renewing your license is critical in ensuring that your malware definitions are up to date and can protect your computer properly.
2. Gain access to the latest software versions
Aside from updating with the latest patches and virus definitions, having a valid security software license also gives you access to the latest software versions. This not only helps to keep your machine protected, but also delivers better system performance. Outdated software versions can cause your computer to run slower and slower the more out of date the software is, which can be frustrating and is counterproductive. By ensuring your software is up to date, this issue can be avoided.
3. Don’t pay more than you need to
Security software is, understandably, often a grudge purchase, much like insurance. However, it is necessary. Often, however, if a license is renewed in good time, you will have access to preferential pricing, which makes upgrading more affordable. Unfortunately once a license has lapsed, you will need to pay the full price for a new software solution, rather than the discounted rate for a renewal upgrade. Rather save yourself some money while ensuring your machine remains protected, and update your license within the renewal period.
4. Stay on the right side of the law
Many people who are employees of companies with Enterprise Agreements (EAs) on security software mistakenly believe that they can install as many copies of the software as they want without having to keep track or paying for each individual copy. This is not really the case. On the first and second anniversaries of the EA, the total number of licenses that are installed need to balanced against the original agreement and the incremental increase of the number of licenses that are installed must be paid for, a process called ‘true-up’. On the third anniversary, again there is a true-up but it is generally done along with the renegotiation of the EA. Aside from the EA aspect of licensing, it is also illegal to run an unlicensed version of software, which usually happens when a software license is allowed to lapse.
5. Be ethical – it’s the right thing to do
Security software companies spend millions each year on research and development, and on continuously updating software to ensure that users can take advantage of optimal security levels. In order to continue with this research, the security vendors need funding for this function, which is why security software is licensed on a yearly, two yearly or three yearly basis. If users do not pay their security licenses, software companies cannot continue to develop better, faster and more effective security solutions. This means that cybercriminals then have far easier access to your information for their malicious purposes. Renewing your license is the right thing to do, for the good of all users.
While security software is something many users begrudge having to pay for, the reality is that in today’s connected world, cybercrime is a highly profitable industry, and attacks are plentiful, varied and constantly becoming more sophisticated. The implications of losing your personal data go beyond inconvenience and can result in lost income, identity theft and a host of other issues. Rather than leaving things to chance, ensure that your security software is up to date and enjoy the highest possible levels of protection against the threats of cybercrime.