September 3

Catalyst Conversation Starter: The High Cost of “Freeware”

When it comes to protecting home computers, “Is freeware free?”

This is not a question aimed at the enterprise. Instead, this is a question that cuts to the heart of the advice that security professionals offer to those who depend on that experience and insight to guide them, be they parents, siblings, friends, co-workers or even people we met in passing. Professionals are often called upon to make quick decisions based on experience and training (we can argue later whether this is good or bad). While this may be an accepted business practice – does it work as well when it comes to advising families on how to protect their computers?

I think we need to step back and consider. If someone asks you if they should spend money for a paid software solution to protect their home computer or simply use “freeware” solutions – what is the best answer? What do you recommend today? Why?

To aid in the process, I offer for consideration a report that details my experience evaluating freeware through the lens of a consumer. The report is short. It is designed to be an opportunity to stop, think and engage in the conversation.

Based on a challenge, I stepped back and examined the situation in a manner different than normal for me. I worked to experience the process of finding, downloading, installing, configuring and using freeware solutions. I considered the time spent and took an effort to measure pop-ups, messages and potential frustrations. Taking the time to step back literally changed what I thought and what I recommend. It forced me to examine the “truths” I believed in favor of real experience.

Get the report here: http://securitycatalyst.com/eGuides/Security-Catalyst-The-Hidden-Cost-of-Freeware.pdf

 


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