An antivirus program basically is like a vaccine that protects your computer system from virtual viruses. These viruses (which are actually programs created by bad people) are basically designed to ruin your system in one way or the other. For an internet cafe there are several potential harm it can do to your business.
- They can slow down the performance of your computers. Slow computers will drive your customers away. “Kuya ang bagal ng response, na headshot tuloy ako! Ampf!!!”… “Big brother I need your help please! The response is soooo slow! I easily get shot! Now I’m dead… now I’m going to another internet cafe wherein I can’t be defeated by these noobs! All because of your slow machines! Grrr”
- They can crash, hang, stop your computers from working. I experienced this when one customer visited some adult oriented websites (I know, I should have installed some parental filter). When he signed-out, paid and went out I saw the computer he used filled with these pictures of… you know. It turned out that he signed-out because he’s computer crashed (well my computer crashed!). I literally didn’t slept the night before because I reformatted/reblasted/maintained all of my computer units for them to be at peak performance! And now some punk with raging hormones and high libido decided to use my internet cafe as his “parausan”. I had to reformat that computer and spent some few more hours late in the shop. Lessons learned… install an antivirus program, parental filter and Deep Freeze (but more of these on other posts). Obviously bad for business and my internet cafe’s technician’s time (in this case… me!)
- They can steal confidential information from your customers like user accounts. What can this do to you? This will result in a drop of returning customers. And potentially suffer the loss of loyal customers. Imagine one of your loyal customers who lost all of his game character’s money, equipments and other assets. You are the only internet cafe that he visits to play his favourite online game, and upon log-in he’s character was stripped off all of his clothes, weapons etc. All of his 5,999 hours of playing in your internet cafe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all LOST! Because you FAILED to install an antivirus. This will spread like wild fire across all of his peers and all of the gamers in your community, that he lost his character’s DIGNITY from your internet cafe. What will the impact of this? Bad bad reputation resulting to lost customers.
The last one is the most damaging just because you’ve failed to protect your internet cafe from such unwanted programs. You can’t recover from it overnight. Unlike a damaged computer unit that you can easily get fixed or replaced… but a bad reputation can’t easily be erased from the gaming or internet cafe customer community in your area.
So with no more waiting, I’ll tell you my recommended and not so recommended antivirus programs that I’ve used. Don’t just believe me, you should also know the factors that you need to consider in choosing your own antivirus program for your internet cafe.
Second best antivirus that I had because it only comes with a FREE 30 day trial version. But in terms of detecting threats, it detects malwares that are not detected by other antivirus programs.
Well, I can’t say much of Trend Micro. I had once before… way back in 2004. Don’t know how much they improved now. This is the first antivirus I had installed because, it came from free (limited no. of days) from my computer purchases. It was really a pain when I had this installed, maybe because I was not that familiar with the technical stuff when I was first starting out. I had a hard time connecting my computers, it turned out that I needed to setup and allow my computers I.P. address so that they can communicate with each other. Even after doing this, I still encountered connection problems with network games.
I like AVG because it doesn’t only have a FREE version, but because it really gives you a pretty advanced protection while maintaining ease of use. It provides you with frequent updates so that you are protected. Remember that every day if not every hour, new viruses are created by these bad programmers (shame on them) so it is good to receive frequent update. Just remember to set the update on “manual” mode. And do the updates at night before you close.
Another thing I like is that it doesn’t eat too much of your system’s resources. You don’t want to turn on your computer and wait 10 years because your antivirus is so damn resource hungry.
Until now AVG is the only antivirus program that I was loyal to, because it protects, lightweight and it’s FREE for life! The free version that is… but if you want added protection and other features you can upgrade to the paid version.
Don’t be mislead that you won’t need an antivirus if you have installed Deep Freeze or similar programs that refreshes your system every time you restart. Once your computer is on, it is open to viruses. And once you haven’t yet restarted your computer, your system and your customers are at risk. Now, I am not saying you don’t need to install Deep Freeze. Actually I am recommending you to invest on an antivirus, Deep Freeze and parental filter application. These three applications will ensure that your internet cafe system is at maximum security.
So that’s my take on antivirus programs as far as an internet cafe owner is concerned. Remember…Invest with Confidence!