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, says Fred Mitchell, Symantec business unit manager, Drive Control Corporation.
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 a security license is part and parcel of staying protected. Here are five good reasons to make sure security software license is renewed:
Close loopholes and security gaps
Without a valid security software license, users 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speed at which the threat landscape is evolving, and the number and variety of new attacks occurring every week, having out of date software can create serious vulnerabilities in a system.
Running security software without a license means users are exposing themselves to unnecessary risk, and every additional day that the license has lapsed, more and more threats and new versions of malware are being released.
Renewing a license is critical in ensuring that malware definitions are up to date and can protect a computer properly.
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 users access to the latest software versions. This not only helps to keep a machine protected, but also delivers better system performance.
Outdated software versions can cause a computer to run slower and slower the more out of date the software is, which can be frustrating and is counterproductive. By ensuring software is up to date, this issue can be avoided.
Don’t pay more than needed
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, users will have access to preferential pricing, which makes upgrading more affordable.
Unfortunately once a license has lapsed, users will need to pay the full price for a new software solution, rather than the discounted rate for a renewal upgrade. Rather save some money while ensuring a machine remains protected, and update the license within the renewal period.
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.
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 information for their malicious purposes. Renewing a 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 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 security software is up to date and enjoy the highest possible levels of protection against the threats of cybercrime.