Get Free Security Software From Your Bank

Nearly every major Australian bank now offers free security software subscriptions to its customers. Here's a quick roundup of what's on offer.

Why do banks do this? It reduces the risk of customers having bank details being stolen by trojans or phishing sites, and it creates a good PR opportunity. Many Lifehacker readers favour Microsoft Security Essentials as their main security software system, and that's a free option anyway. However, if you want an alternative, getting one for free is an appealing choice.

Note that it's usually only a one-year freebie at best, and can be as brief as 90 days. If you want to keep using the product after that, you'll need to pay for ongoing updates.

Note that in most cases you don't get the most fully-featured version available from that provider, but in practice it should still be a useful addition. You'll generally need a transactional account with the bank in question to qualify for the free software, and you can usually access the offer from within online banking.

The big name missing from this list? NAB. There's also inconsistencies with bank subsidiaries (BankWest doesn't offer as good a deal as its owner Commonwealth.)

ANZ: AVG or Symantec (90 days)

Bank Of Melbourne: BitDefender 2012 (12 months)

BankWest: 20% off McAfee

Commonwealth Bank: McAfee Internet Security (6 months)

St George: BitDefender 2012 (12 months)

Westpac: BitDefender 2012 (12 months)

Know of a deal we've missed here? Tell us in the comments.


    Update; offer was on Bank of Melbourne website from about 9am today.

    Would like to see bankwest throw in free security software also

    ANZ proves again being the worst bank in Australia

    if you have Windows, just get the Essentials.
    It's lightweight and just as good as any.

    If you have a Mac, the fanboys reckon you don't need an AV.

    If you have Linux, well there's plenty of free ones, but also hardly required.

    This is not necessary, unless the people that are paranoid think so.

    Nothing from Suncorp?

    For Mac there is a free home license from Sophos.

    Sometimes your employer will have it as well. Especially if you work as a public servant. I get mine for free from the government department where I work at.

    Screw the free software... I just wish they offered REAL security in term of loging on, with two-factor authentication, and hashed passwords, instead of limiting my password to 6-12 chars with NO special chars, further proving the antiquated legacy back-end systems the big banks use.

    Ive never really understood this as being a good deal. I mean, they give you free software for 6/12 months, and then what? You go back to nothing... or you stay on out of date software... or you pay the AV company money to have their product. Gee, I'm sure the bank has your best interests in mind, and I'm sure the kickback they get from the AV company is the last thing on their mind.

    MS Security Essentials! nuf said

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