Q&A AVAST/AVG trustworthy again or not?

Local Host

Level 24
Verified
Sep 26, 2017
1,321
I was checking AVAST yesterday, and i had the impression it was a little heavier than KSC free. Anyway, i must admit i liked AVAST could protect BRAVE (which neither Bitdefender nor Kaspersky protect). Kudos to AVAST for this.

BTW guys, there is any diference between AVAST and AVG nowadays? I know they use the same engine, but i don't have any idea about which free version is more complete.
Brave that bypasses the AVs, Kaspersky will protect you just fine either way (just not on browser directly, blame Brave for that).
 

Tiamati

Level 11
Verified
Nov 8, 2016
502
The block avgui.exe in firewall for the free version not working anymore. It constantly will pop up a big black blank AVG screen with nothing on it. And if you enable it in the firewall then you start getting the pop ups about upgrading, your aren't fully protected etc etc... :(
Why are you blocking it?

Brave that bypasses the AVs
I never heard about it. Can you explain how or point me to where you find this?

Kaspersky will protect you just fine either way (just not on browser directly, blame Brave for that).
Kaspersky should block the download of malicious files before they even start in supported browsers. With brave, you will be able to download them completely, and hope kaspersky blocks them in Desktop environment. So you are loosing a layer of protection. It's a similar condition when you disable the https scan of the AV: the av won't be able to avoid malicious files in the browser level cause it wont be capable of detecting them.
 

Tutman

Level 10
Verified
Apr 17, 2020
473
Why are you blocking it?
To disable false warning about not being protected AKA they push upgrade notifications. And it stops the offer ads on the front page of the program.

I second this and fully agree.
Serial Kart has AVG Internet Security = 10 seats / 3 years for 34 euros!! Peanuts..
I sadly can not afford $40 + US dollars on that right now. Due to the pandemic I am out of a job and every penny matters.
 

Tiamati

Level 11
Verified
Nov 8, 2016
502
To disable false warning about not being protected AKA they push upgrade notifications. And it stops the offer ads on the front page of the program.
I didn't know it was possible! I'll bookmark your post and try it in the future! TY!
 
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Gangelo

Level 5
Verified
Jul 29, 2017
215
I sadly can not afford $40 + US dollars on that right now. Due to the pandemic I am out of a job and every penny matters.
I completely understand and I'm very sorry for your situation. I hope things will get better soon.
In any case, the free offering of AVG is quite capable, especially combined with Hard Configurator and Hardened mode.
 

jackuars

Level 26
Verified
Jul 2, 2014
1,599
To disable false warning about not being protected AKA they push upgrade notifications. And it stops the offer ads on the front page of the program.


I sadly can not afford $40 + US dollars on that right now. Due to the pandemic I am out of a job and every penny matters.
When there are better freeware alternatives it doesn't make sense to suit yourself to be forced to watch ads on a program.
 

Local Host

Level 24
Verified
Sep 26, 2017
1,321
Why are you blocking it?


I never heard about it. Can you explain how or point me to where you find this?


Kaspersky should block the download of malicious files before they even start in supported browsers. With brave, you will be able to download them completely, and hope kaspersky blocks them in Desktop environment. So you are loosing a layer of protection. It's a similar condition when you disable the https scan of the AV: the av won't be able to avoid malicious files in the browser level cause it wont be capable of detecting them.
It won't work due to how BRAVE deals with certificates.
 

jackuars

Level 26
Verified
Jul 2, 2014
1,599
There are only two freebies i can think of that might be better than Avast/AVG and thats Kaspersky SC free and Microsoft.... but not everyone wants to use them for several reasons ;)
If someone is just looking to stay protected, then most freebie antiviruses works well for daily usage. However when someone is looking for best protection, they will be unsatisfied with every program they use.

This thought is GOLD in my opinion.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 50
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Apr 24, 2016
3,901
The answer is still no, they still try to gain and sell as much user data as possible:
Avast users should expect to see a prompt from the antivirus products, asking them to consent to the data harvesting
So, they are still collecting it now and ask permission after the fact (n)
On Tuesday, Avast responded to a PCMag-Motherboard investigation into the company's browser history collection practices, saying it was entirely legal. Avast users should expect to see a prompt from the antivirus products, asking them to consent to the data harvesting.
Avast will explore "further changes" to its practice of selling users' browser histories to third-party companies. But in the meantime, the antivirus vendor will try to opt more users into the data-sharing, despite the privacy risks.

On Tuesday, the company published a blog post in response to a PCMag-Motherboard investigation into how Avast's free antivirus products can expose your website clicks to corporations and market research companies.

Avast defended the data collection as entirely legal. In addition, the company is pressing forward on serving a pop-up window to existing users that'll ask them to agree to the browser history harvesting.

"We need to analyze data to catch threats," says an example of the pop-up window, which was included in the blog post. "That's how an antivirus works."

But in the same post, the company suggested that Avast is mulling whether it should drop the practice entirely. "While we acted fully within legal bounds, always remaining vigilant to protect our users' privacy, we have listened to recent feedback and have already taken steps to align with the expectations of our users and continue to consider how a trends analytics service aligns with our values as a cybersecurity and privacy company," the antivirus vendor said.

The data harvesting has been occurring through Avast's popular free antivirus products, which have helped the vendor attract 435 million users across the globe. The company claims it can "de-identify" and strip away users' personal information from the browser history collection process. However, the investigation from PCMag and Motherboard found the same data can actually be analyzed and linked back to a person's real identity, potentially revealing every website the user visited, including the search terms made.

In Tuesday's blog post, Avast made no mention of the privacy gaps in the de-identification process. Instead, the company offered a glimpse of how it intends to convince users to opt into the data-collection process.

The example pop-up window claims "This data cannot be used to identify you," contrary to PCMag's reporting. It goes on to justify the data collection as necessary for your security while oddly asking for the user's permission to hand off the same data to the market analytics company, Jumpshot, which Avast owns.

"This funds improvements to your security," adds the pop-up.

In Tuesday's blog post, Avast focused on the company's reasoning to collect users' browser histories, which occurs through a URL-scanning component that's been designed to detect and flag malicious websites.

"The cybersecurity world today is powered by data. We use the data from our users' devices to analyze huge volumes of threat data with machine learning and artificial intelligence, which detects threat patterns and security issues in ways that are impossible for humans unaided," the company said. "Each month, Avast stops 1.5 billion attempts to attack globally. This conflict is both driven, and solved, by data."

But in a bit of irony, Avast also decided to sell the same supposedly "de-identified" data to marketers. It's done so through company subsidiary Jumpshot, which has counted companies like Google, Pepsi, and Turbotax provider Intuit as among its customers.

"The idea was to create an innovative way to provide marketers with trend analytics and statistics on customer purchasing habits that was anonymized, rather than specific user targeting that has been historically pervasive on the web," the antivirus vendor said.

So far, Avast has offered no specifics on how the company's de-identification process actually works or which clients it's sold the collected browser histories to. However, PCMag and Motherboard obtained documents that showed how Avast users' internet searches, including lookups for porn, were being transferred to Jumpshot's clients.

Security experts we spoke to have also said it's unneccesary for Avast's antivirus products to collect detailed browser histories from users' computers in order to function. However, Avast's Jumpshot division has been making millions from the business.

In its defense, Avast is stressing the data collection is an opt-in process for users of the company's free antivirus products. Indeed, the data-sharing can be shut off on install or by going into the software's privacy settings. However, the company's marketing and privacy promises around the data sharing may convince its existing user base to assume their data is safe.

Avast declined to offer further comment.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 50
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Apr 24, 2016
3,901
This is not what I wanted to hear. It seems that they insist to do their sh*t!
I know, but you can and should still switch it off:
In its defense, Avast is stressing the data collection is an opt-in process for users of the company's free antivirus products. Indeed, the data-sharing can be shut off on install or by going into the software's privacy settings. However, the company's marketing and privacy promises around the data sharing may convince its existing user base to assume their data is safe.
 
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