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  • Enormous trove of Avast-gathered data being sold

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Enormous trove of Avast-gathered data being sold

    This topic contains 66 replies, has 35 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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    • #2110634 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Joseph Cox at Vice just published an eye-opener: Leaked Documents Expose the Secretive Market for Your Web Browsing Data An Avast antivirus subsidiary
      [See the full post at: Enormous trove of Avast-gathered data being sold]

      9 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110658 Reply

      BobT
      AskWoody Lounger

      Whenever I feel like caving in to accepting telemetry and data gathering stuff, this sort of thing reinforces my decision not to.

      NONE of them are doing this for you, the user, they ARE just wanting to sell your data for money.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110653 Reply

      anonymous

      Nice to see that I was right, yet again. Specifically that antivirus products asking me to install a browser extension always sent my spidey-senses crazy.

      Today I assume absolutely any and every software developer with a profit motive is up to no good, especially when/if I give them an Internet connection. This multiplies ten times over if I can’t e.g. play a single player game without submitting to online spyware. (That sets my spidey-senses crazy too.)

      The only way to escape this mess is to use software developed by a non-profit organization, or in other words… http://www.debian.org

      In times gone by, governments would protect consumers, but they are either taking bribes to look the other way, or getting a 30% discount on the data today, so they won’t.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110905 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Well, get ready not to use CCleaner. It hijacks your browsers too.

        -- rc primak

    • #2110670 Reply

      Cybertooth
      AskWoody Plus

      I’m phasing out Avast Free from my computers that have it.

      Fifteen years ago, Avast was a unique program in that you could select different skins for the UI. And the last time I checked (admittedly, 5-6 years ago), you could still download Avast 4 (or was it 5) virus definitions for Windows 98.

      Then they added new features, including a variety of shields to protect the browser, your email, and so on. Avast version 7 was, in my view, the high point for that security software.

      But since then, the interface and the experience have steadily deteriorated. They introduced a hideous flat UI to go with cartoonish labels for functions, such as “Grime Fighter” (which was said to clean up the crud on your system) with a robber-in-mask figure.

      Current versions of Avast have gotten away from that sixth-grade look, but as a user I have little control over what the cleanup function cleans up. When it claims I have 29.5GB of stuff to get rid of, it doesn’t let me pick and choose what to remove, and so I don’t allow it to proceed.

      And sometimes when I reboot, Avast’s own “safe” browser is launched automatically despite my repeatedly setting it NOT to do that. (I think the setting reversion is related to the installation of a new version of the software.)

      There is one thing, however, that Avast does which other companies (I’m looking at you, Microsoft) could learn from. When you install a new version of Avast and it asks for a reboot, one of the choices for when to reboot the computer is “next century”.  🙂

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2110906 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        What’s to “phase out”? Just remove it using the Avast Removal Tool, and let Windows Defender take over. Nothing to transition from or to. Anything else like Malwarebytes is an add-on, on-demand tool as far as I’m concerned.

        -- rc primak

        • #2110952 Reply

          Cybertooth
          AskWoody Plus

          What’s to “phase out”? Just remove it using the Avast Removal Tool, and let Windows Defender take over. Nothing to transition from or to. Anything else like Malwarebytes is an add-on, on-demand tool as far as I’m concerned.

          By “phasing out”, I mean that I am uninstalling it from each of my PCs that has it as its respective renewal date approaches. That is, there has been no mad rush to remove it from all computers ASAP.

          The reason for this phaseout had to do with the annoyances described in my post, although admittedly in light of today’s revelations I may expedite the process.

          Windows Defender is emphatically not a viable option for the PCs that had/have Avast on it here, as they are XP and Vista systems.

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2110673 Reply

      FakeNinja
      AskWoody Lounger

      I stopped using Avast years ago when they started showing ads randomly and just behaving in a suspicious way to say the least, good thing I trusted my gut feeling and uininstalled that so called “Anti-virus”. An anti-virus that collects keystrokes, web history, shopping details etc, oh the irony. Right now I’m happy with Malwarebytes Premium, hopefully it won’t go the same path as Avast.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2110679 Reply

      Win7and10
      AskWoody Lounger

      What is the best AV App for Android tablets?

      Do you really need one?

      Opinions welcome!

      AVG is also AVAST, they are both the same company. Is the problem with both?

      Win 7 Home Premium x 64 SP1 (DELL INSPIRION i5) Still Alive!
      Win 10 Home 1909 (HP ENVY i7)

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110714 Reply

        lurks about
        AskWoody Lounger

        AV on Android, I know occasionally dodgy apps and bugs in apps get into the Play Store. But I think it is more about how you use the phone as to whether you really need any AV. If you have jail breaked the photo or use it as your general purpose device then I would say definitely. If you only really use it as a souped up phone (limited browsing, navigation, no financial, etc). possibly not.

      • #2110763 Reply

        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        AVG is a “subsidiary” of Avast which doesn’t make me hopeful.  AVG does give this screen in its Settings/Privacy section.  This is from my AVG Free:

        AVG-Privacy

        Win 7 Still Alive, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

        Attachments:
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110785 Reply

        CADesertRat
        AskWoody Plus

        Do you really need one? Opinions welcome!

        Personally, I have been using Lookout Mobile Security on my phones and tablets for years.

        Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
        4 Win 10 Pro all 1903 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2110907 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Unless you’re sideloading apps from unofficial sources, Android does not benefit from “antivirus” apps. Some in fact are nothing more than spyware. The official Store uses Play Protect to scan for dodgy apps.

        -- rc primak

        • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by  rc primak.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2111168 Reply

          CADesertRat
          AskWoody Plus

          The official Store uses Play Protect to scan for dodgy apps.

          Yes but about once a month I see reports of the play store “missing/allowing” dodgy apps into the play store. Unfortunately they seem to miss quite a few.

          Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
          4 Win 10 Pro all 1903 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

          3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110681 Reply

      Michael Austin
      AskWoody Plus

      Danke schoen for this. We’re amid the early stages of rapacious surveillance capitalism based on everyone’s digital signatures. Our personal data assembled from what used to be our digital breadcrumbs and data exhaust are being expropriated against our will. Discussed at length in Shoshona Zuboff’s very good book, “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism“.

      Finance, social and tech founder. Earth spirit.

    • #2110684 Reply

      BobT
      AskWoody Lounger

      Better hope we don’t end up with a Social Credit system like China ey? All that collected data will come in v handy for them..

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110711 Reply

      GreatAndPowerfulTech
      AskWoody Plus

      This information needs to be widely shared, so others can see how slimy Avast actually is. Are there any good third party AV programs left that don’t monetize you to the extreme?

      GreatAndPowerfulTech

      • #2110717 Reply

        Seff
        AskWoody Plus

        It’s one of the reasons I’ve stuck with MSE all this time. It’s had no impact on performance, I’ve never had a false positive, and as they’re running my operating system already there’s no information that MS couldn’t already take if they wanted it.

        That said, a lot of people here seem to like Bitdefender.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110909 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Unless you’re sticking with Windows Seven, there is no need for any third party active antivirus program. Windows Defender is plenty good, especially if reinforced with on-demand scanners and an occasional Cloud Scan from a reputable company (for the most recent threats).

        -- rc primak

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110715 Reply

      Seff
      AskWoody Plus

      I gave up using Avast years ago. I don’t remember the precise reasoning at that time, but generally when I have given up anti-virus/malware products it’s been because they became overly bloated, too prone to false positives, or simply over-stretched themselves in terms of trying to fit too many functions into a single product.

      What this revelation shows among other things is that there’s truth in the old saying that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, or in this case, a free anti-virus product. Everything has a cost, it’s just that with some things the cost is hidden.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110938 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Or, as the saying goes: “If it is free, you are the product.”

        Or perhaps that needs some updating. Let’s see… how about this: “Even if you paid for it, you still might be the product”?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2110739 Reply

      wdburt1
      AskWoody Plus

      I’m astounded at the effort that is invested in assembling data about people.  All for what?  A little better advantage in selling me the same old schlock?  Personally, I think that while data mania may continue awhile longer, the day will come when buyers reassess its value.

      Some will continue to crave data, no doubt.  Government at all levels, in its never-ending lust for power and control (think what China is doing).  Scammers and other criminals trying to identify easy marks.

      When the priority is put on marketing rather that designing and building a great product, it’s an early sign of a wasting disease.  This is that, on steroids.

       

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110789 Reply

        Michael Austin
        AskWoody Plus

        WDBurt1:  Google alone makes at least tens of billions of annual dollars of revenue from its ad platforms. Companies like Norton, Avast, Facebook , Amazon and even Bitdefender want their own revenues from this new, wild west which has expanded world-wide. There’s not only never-imagined money in this, but also widespread, ubiquitous behavioral modification via surreptitious, destructive to personal choice ad servers.

        Finance, social and tech founder. Earth spirit.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110731 Reply

      anonymous

      There are other free anti-virus solutions out there. Microsoft seems to have done okay in Windows 10 with Windows Defender; it sure is better than nothing. Kaspersky and Bitdefender both offer free versions of their software that offer basic protection – better than nothing, although not better than paying for the full package. And if you’re on a secure-by-design OS like macOS, iOS, or Android, you don’t really need anti-virus. Android Anti-Virus? Seriously, those apps are just as restricted by the app sandboxing system as the malicious app on your phone that you can uninstall anyways, and if the malware got in through a security hole, no anti-virus app can help with that.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110750 Reply

        Win7and10
        AskWoody Lounger

        Thanks, sounds like I really don’t need it on my android tablet.
        The AVG is free for tablets and is becoming too much with ads and offers.
        Time to delete the app, don’t you think? Wink..nod…

        Win 7 Home Premium x 64 SP1 (DELL INSPIRION i5) Still Alive!
        Win 10 Home 1909 (HP ENVY i7)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2111119 Reply

          anonymous

          Anti-virus on Android is virtually impossible to justify. The Android OS by itself is well secure to defend against malicious apps, so long as sideloading is disabled and as long as you exercise good vigilant behavior (as everyone should anyway). Downloading a calculator app that asks for permission to modify your system settings is something no smart user should do.

          Most anti-virus software developers for Android really don’t have much protection to offer, aside from snake oil battery saver app killers that do more harm and good, and “cleanup” tools that do things that you can do without an app anyway. In fact, some anti-virus apps for Android are malware themselves.

          Lastly, Android devices ship with what is essentially anti-virus built into the system: Google Play Protect. It scans your apps for malicious activity automatically and works non-intrusively to protect you behind the scenes. So kiss those silly third-party anti-virus apps goodbye.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2110806 Reply

      AmbularD
      AskWoody Plus

      Oof.  I just installed Avast the other day when Panda mysteriously stopped working.

      (As an aside, in retrospect, I suspect that may have been a side effect of disabling jscript due to the recently reported vulnerability.  But even though I’ve since re-enabled jscript for unrelated reasons, I’m still not sure I’d want to use an antivirus program that might be dependent on it to work.)

      I never did install the Avast browser extensions, immediately opted out of all telemetry in the settings when I installed it, and I’ve now gone through and limited the scope of what it routinely scans.

      I could switch to yet another program, I suppose, but is there any way to know that the next one wouldn’t do the same thing?  :/

      i7-4790k - Z97X-Gaming 3 - DDR3 2133 x 32GB - GTX 1070 FTW - Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

    • #2110814 Reply

      Steve S.
      AskWoody Plus

      I stopped using AVG, Avast, Avira, Panda and others several years ago as they all seemed to increasingly devolve into simplistic, dumbed-down UIs that often limited the users ability to know and manage what the software actually did.

      Also, the attempt to be “all things to all security needs” turned me off. Have you ever tried to use a Leatherman-style multi-tool to do serious work? I prefer picking a high quality, made-to-purpose specific tool from my toolbox. Same with software.

      Those things alone pushed me away – let along the dystopian move toward “surveillance capitalism”.

      Win7 Pro x64(Group B), Win10 Pro x64 1903, Win10 Home 1903, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110824 Reply

      Charlie
      AskWoody Plus

      I tried Avast years ago and didn’t like it.  So I then went with AVG (then not affiliated with Avast) and I liked it very much.  And I still do even though it’s owned by Avast.  I find even the basic Free version gives me a lot of control over many things.

      As is always the case, your experience may differ.

      Win 7 Still Alive, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

    • #2110831 Reply

      alkhall
      AskWoody Lounger

      And who believes Avast is the only one?

      W10 is all about data mining and selling information.

      Users are not customers, they are the product.

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by  alkhall.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2110874 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        W10 is all about data mining and selling information.

        Microsoft does not mine data or sell information.

        Windows 10 Pro Version 2004: Group ASAP (chump/pioneer)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2110959 Reply

          Noel Carboni
          AskWoody_MVP

          Microsoft does not mine data or sell information.

          They most certainly do collect data about all sorts of things, because the data is valuable to them. If it’s valuable to them it could certainly be valuable to others.

          And let’s not forget that anyone could lose control of what they have collected at some point in the future. It can happen to anyone. Nobody’s perfect.

          People concerned about privacy are not necessarily accusing anyone of malice or misdeeds. They simply know that if someone doesn’t have their information, no one else can get it from them.

          -Noel

          10 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110912 Reply

        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        If we want to consider all telemetry as data mining, we are missing the point. What third party “security” applications are doing is far more than anything Windows 10 by itself does. Microsoft, as @b notes, does not sell its telemetry data to outside parties.

        -- rc primak

    • #2110864 Reply

      AlexEiffel
      AskWoody_MVP

      To present a different perspective, I think the data gathering is opt-in according to the article, though, which in my book makes it much less problematic.

      We are asking for an off-switch to Microsoft and we don’t even get that, and here we are talking about a company that tried to render opt-in data both granular and anonymous and just failed at it. Their reaction to this is I think more important than what happened that could have been predicted. That is why I just don’t opt-in to data gathering. What’s in it for me for the risk of exposing my data except maybe giving more money to the company providing the “free” antivirus, which could maybe be a good reason if you thought your data was really safe and anonymized.

      Like a lot of you, I really don’t like where Avast have headed in the recent years and its use of cheap tactics to profit from its users, the auto-startup of their browser which makes no sense except for them tricking users into feeding them more data, plus the dumbification of its product, to name just a few things. But I think they at least are still on the surface respecting user choice and offering an opt-in choice in the first place. That is sadly much better than the practices of many other companies.

      • #2110877 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        I think the data gathering is opt-in according to the article

        Only since last week. Not last year, until their browser extension was removed from three stores.

        So their behavior only changed after they got caught. (Sounds familiar somehow, right now.)

        Windows 10 Pro Version 2004: Group ASAP (chump/pioneer)

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110897 Reply

      Zaphyrus
      AskWoody Lounger

      How unexpected is to hear this

      fortunately I stopped using Avast 4 months ago, and not because I wanted to stop using it, but because I keep getting errors on event viewer and it crashes alot (Had to replace it with Avira)

      I am happy to learn I made the right choice by dropping that antivirus

      Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2110899 Reply

      warrenrumak
      AskWoody Plus

      The last time I installed CCleaner about a year ago, it silently installed Avast AV and disabled Windows Defender, which is my preferred AV product.  I didn’t even know that this had happened until I ran CCleaner and it showed be the Avast AV processes.

      That’s when I knew something seriously stunk about this company.  I’d already known that CCleaner is itself mostly snake-oil…. no, your computer doesn’t run faster because you deleted 300 registry keys, but you’re going to want to believe it does because you just spent $25 on it…… but installing software I didn’t ask for is not something that above-board companies would ever need to do.

      This news doesn’t surprise me one bit.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110904 Reply

      warrenrumak
      AskWoody Plus

      And who believes Avast is the only one?

      W10 is all about data mining and selling information.

      Users are not customers, they are the product.

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by  alkhall.

      Microsoft has had data-collection programs in their products since the introduction of Windows XP and Office XP in 2001.  The “Customer Experience Improvement Program”, they called it.

      Almost 20 years in and we still haven’t heard a single case of data collected by Microsoft through CEIP or telemetry being sold out to third parties.  None.  Surely someone would have snitched by now, right?

       

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2110915 Reply

      rc primak
      AskWoody_MVP

      All of this having been said, many antivirus products install some sort of browser extension, and these are often opt-out, not opt-in. Avira has done this to my Windows 10, and I still have to use AdwCleaner from Malwarebytes even after uninstalling Avira with Geek Uninstaller.   I still haven’t figured out how to completely remove the CCleaner Browser Processes and Services from Windows 10.

      -- rc primak

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2110946 Reply

      anonymous

      We jumped the ship and abandoned all Avast products 3+ years ago, when the company took a completely wrong direction. Bloating products with useless junk, flooding with upsell advertisements, abandoning “forever free” Avast Business cloud, focusing on wannabe “fancy” GUIs instead of functionality…

      Good decision, apparently. What a shame, they used to be top notch. 🙁

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2110951 Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody_MVP

      Avast became predatory around 2015. It didn’t take a rocket scientist back then to realize they needed to be shooed out of the henhouse in a hurry.

      I shudder whenever I perceive that most folks seem convinced they NEED an antivirus program, as though it’s a certainty that malware is going to get in. It’s just like taking antibiotics continuously to ward off infection. What a gargantuan waste of resources is being expended on tiger repellent.

      -Noel

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110955 Reply

        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m not completely sure about this but it seems like Windows, starting with Win XP puts up one heck of a fuss if you don’t have an Antivirus Program installed.

        Win 7 Still Alive, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

      • #2111000 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Anti Virus (AV) may help reduce the dangers presented by an old threat in the Internet, that of… viruses, as well as of worms, trojans and root-kits. Other anti-malware software helps users protect themselves against older threats: worms, trojans, root-kits again, and the new and particularly intrusive forms of surveillance and exploitation of personal information, targeted to exploit people’s need for accessing the Web, for many of us an inescapable part of daily life, these days.

        It is true that, over the years, the various antivirus applications I have used have detected a rather small number of items provided with no good purpose in mind by those trying to plant them inside my HD, and who knows how many were missed and are still lying low in there. But I can’t see the harm and appreciate the slight upside of using AV.

        I don’t allow any add-ons in my browsers that are not strictly needed, and that includes all those provided by the makers of AV and other forms of protection. While I think AV has a place in my menu of defensive software, I don’t think that they belong in my browsers. For that I count on those defenses offered by the browsers themselves. In particular, my default browser in Mac, Windows 7 and Linux is Waterfox, that is known for being well put-together and for being developed by reasonably decent people.

        How effective are my protective measures? Well, how long is a piece of string?

        I take those measures I’ve mentioned in the middle and at the end of my daily session and that is as far as I am prepared to go. Then I wish myself good luck and am done for the day. Taking my own temperature every fifteen minutes is not my idea of how to live a good life, so I don’t.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group B & macOS + Linux (Mint) => Win7 Group W + Mac&Lx

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2111065 Reply

        anonymous

        Antivirus software is 100% needed on Windows platforms. It’s the accepted wisdom even by Microsoft. The tests like AV-test.org and such show that they are still effective at their job.

        If you don’t run an antivirus and don’t use some other much more intrusive form of protection, I invite you to actually get an anti-virus and run a scan. Even just switching from MSE to Avira resulted in finding several bad actors on my computer.

        The accepted wisdom on a subject is accepted for a reason. You are making an extraordinary claim — that all of the experts are wrong — so you need extraordinary evidence.

      • #2111409 Reply

        Sessh
        AskWoody Lounger

        Yup, and thanks again for nudging me to ditch my AV years ago. I remember I had to pry Avast off my system because it refused to uninstall properly even using their tool. Had to manually delete all Avast registry entries, delete files manually etc… that was, what, like three years ago now? No problems.

        They really don’t do anything. Using browser extensions (uBlock, uMatrix), a host file or DNS server to blacklist questionable sites, not clicking on weird stuff in emails and just not being silly about what you download and install on your system mitigates most of the risk really. It is better to prevent things from getting in in the first place. Couldn’t be happier. I occasionally run a MWB scan and nothing ever turns up. Defender never finds anything, either. Nothing gets in. I am very satisfied with my security setup which will soon include a Pi Hole to replace my current DNS blacklisting solution.

        All my AV ever did was get in my way and annoy me. Good riddance. Of course, people should do whatever they feel is right for them, but this idea that you “need” an AV is bogus. I am reminded of a quote I once heard: “Nonsense is still nonsense even when spoken by world-famous scientists” .. the same holds true for tech experts that insist you need an AV.  They are wrong, I prove it every single day now for three years running.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2111005 Reply

      alphacharlie
      AskWoody Plus

      I have to assume that many other add-on products might follow Avast in harvesting our data to make extra money.

      For example, a friend asked me to look at their brand-new Win 10 machine, and mentioned that the pre-installed McAfee anti-whatever was generating popups warning that the user would be “unprotected” if they did not sign up for a subscription.  So, first I did the normal Win 10 uninstall, but still downloaded McAfee’s own removal tool and ran that as well.  I expect that their machine will be fine with Windows Defender.

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks, 1 day ago by  alphacharlie.
    • #2111050 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      Almost 20 years in and we still haven’t heard a single case of data collected by Microsoft through CEIP or telemetry being sold out to third parties.  None.  Surely someone would have snitched by now, right?

      No.

      Microsoft, according to its privacy rules does SHARE our harvested data with 3rd parties and affiliated… so it is no different then selling data (Microsoft gets paid in other ways).

    • #2111080 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      I’ve never used Avast on any machine.  The last third-party AV I used was NOD32, which I uninstalled after Microsoft offered MSE.  I added MBAM to scour for PUPS, and later upgraded that to the paid version for live scanning.

      The only virus I’ve ever had was in the days of Windows 95 and came from a floppy disk with a utility app given to me by an IT pro.  He was quite embarrassed by the whole thing.  I restored my Windows 95 from a Colorado Tape Drive backup, and that was that.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

    • #2111113 Reply

      LoneWolf
      AskWoody Plus

      Note that Avast owns AVG too.  Something to think about.

      I used Avast when it was free for education, and perhaps a decade ago for personal use.  Since then, it became a pile of multiple modules that take too much resources, when you really only want the program to do one or two things well. They make it deliberately difficult to tell which module you need for what.

      When Avast! stopped its free-for-education, I stopped using it; by then, I had long since stopped using it or recommending it for personal use.

      We are SysAdmins.
      We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
      We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
      We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
      We live for the LAN.
      We die for the LAN.

    • #2111150 Reply

      Pepsiboy
      AskWoody Lounger

      This information needs to be widely shared, so others can see how slimy Avast actually is. Are there any good third party AV programs left that don’t monetize you to the extreme?

      I’m not POSITIVE, but i don’t think that Vipre Advanced Security sells the data that they collect. I personally have had nothing but the best results and customer service with them. I got lucky about the time I retired and was able to get a lifetime no cost account with them. I had been infected with some low life malware, and it took them about 2 hours to fix it. A few hours after that, I got an e-mail from them offering the lifetime service. I jumped on that and have not had any problems since then.

      Just my 2 cents worth.

      Dave

    • #2111214 Reply

      LoneWolf
      AskWoody Plus

      I’m not completely sure about this but it seems like Windows, starting with Win XP puts up one heck of a fuss if you don’t have an Antivirus Program installed.

      Windows Defender is present in Windows 10, and holds that function.

      Microsoft Security Essentials (or its descendant) has gotten an extended lifespan for Windows 7 through 2023, although it is no longer available for download (I’m sure several OldApps type sites still make it available)

      As both are no cost, it’s relatively easy to get around needing a paid antivirus.

      We are SysAdmins.
      We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
      We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
      We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
      We live for the LAN.
      We die for the LAN.

    • #2111216 Reply

      Ricard
      AskWoody Plus

      Look, just PAY for your antivirus!  Antivirus programs need continuous work to deal with constantly emerging threats and the people who do that work need to eat and have a roof over their heads – somebody has to pay the piper.  Even the folks who create free open-source software will have some job that pays the bills and allows them the time to do the side projects, and there will be companies that support that overall project.

      I do NOT want to rent software, but I’m willing to pay for new efforts to extend antivirus protection and remove the temptation to monetize the effort some other way.

      (Personally, I use ESET Internet Security and have for many years – lightweight, hardly noticeable and never an infection on any computer I’ve been in charge of.)

      Win 7 Pro, 64-Bit, Group B,Ivy Bridge i3-3110M, 2.4GHz, 4GB, XP Mode VM, WordPerfect
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2111245 Reply

      Julia
      AskWoody Plus

      I’m not completely sure about this but it seems like Windows, starting with Win XP puts up one heck of a fuss if you don’t have an Antivirus Program installed.

      Windows Defender is present in Windows 10, and holds that function.

      Microsoft Security Essentials (or its descendant) has gotten an extended lifespan for Windows 7 through 2023, although it is no longer available for download (I’m sure several OldApps type sites still make it available)

      As both are no cost, it’s relatively easy to get around needing a paid antivirus.

      Just meant as an info…

      Microsoft Security Essentials is still today available for download…

      https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5201

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  Julia.
    • #2111252 Reply

      nazzy
      AskWoody Lounger

      Look, just PAY for your antivirus!  Antivirus programs need continuous work to deal with constantly emerging threats and the people who do that work need to eat and have a roof over their heads – somebody has to pay the piper.  Even the folks who create free open-source software will have some job that pays the bills and allows them the time to do the side projects, and there will be companies that support that overall project.

      I do NOT want to rent software, but I’m willing to pay for new efforts to extend antivirus protection and remove the temptation to monetize the effort some other way.

      (Personally, I use ESET Internet Security and have for many years – lightweight, hardly noticeable and never an infection on any computer I’ve been in charge of.)

      Also remember that AV (whether paid or free) will not protect against zero-day attacks.  Some people layer their defenses with additional firewall software or security programs like OSArmor (which I use, and it’s free).   I also hear people liking Voodooshield for those more technically inclined, which is not exactly the same, but OSArmor is MOSTLY “set and forget “, which I prefer.

      • This reply was modified 4 weeks ago by  nazzy.
    • #2111254 Reply

      Pepsiboy
      AskWoody Lounger

      Look, just PAY for your antivirus!  Antivirus programs need continuous work to deal with constantly emerging threats and the people who do that work need to eat and have a roof over their heads – somebody has to pay the piper.  Even the folks who create free open-source software will have some job that pays the bills and allows them the time to do the side projects, and there will be companies that support that overall project.

      I do NOT want to rent software, but I’m willing to pay for new efforts to extend antivirus protection and remove the temptation to monetize the effort some other way.

      (Personally, I use ESET Internet Security and have for many years – lightweight, hardly noticeable and never an infection on any computer I’ve been in charge of.)

      Ricard,

      Please explain to me HOW someone is supposed to pay a monthly or yearly fee out of the $550 per month that I get for my TOTAL retirement income??? I HAVE to take advantage of ALL the free stuff I can.  IF you can, please SHOW ME how I can afford $49 per month for antivirus software?????

      It really irritates me when someone simply says “Buy it” when they hae no idea what the other person’s financial status is.

      Anyway, sorry about the rant.

      Dave

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2111277 Reply

        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        please SHOW ME how I can afford $49 per month for antivirus software?????

        There is no AV that cost $49 per month. Per year maybe.

        You have to balance paying for an AV vs your PC getting virus, ransomware, botnet… and then spending hours cleaning, restoring… or paying $200+ to a technician to recover the data you lost…

        I pay $35 annually to renew my Kaspersky AV. I create twice a month a full image + daily incremental updates + daily File History backups.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2111292 Reply

          John
          AskWoody Lounger

          Yeah you can typically find deals on paid security suites for a small price. Overall will probably offer you a better experience and a few more features then the free ones. I like Windows Defender myself, I am very mindful of my web use and don’t have a problem with a minimal security option. There was a time when AVG and Avast were very good options, but those days seem to have been over awhile ago.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2111692 Reply

        Ricard
        AskWoody Plus

        I apologize. I should have phrased it differently, if you CAN afford to buy antivirus, do so, in which case, I think my argument holds.

        I do take advantage of free stuff on the internet, and am glad of it and am thankful to the individuals who are able to provide free stuff without needing to monetize it, especially for others who can not afford it.  But I think it is a pernicious trend for people to think that everything should somehow be free, because, again, as the saying goes: one way or another, somebody has to pay the piper.

        Win 7 Pro, 64-Bit, Group B,Ivy Bridge i3-3110M, 2.4GHz, 4GB, XP Mode VM, WordPerfect
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2111288 Reply

      John
      AskWoody Lounger

      Freeware is certainly not free and getting worse. No guarantee paid software isn’t sucking data from you anymore.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2111437 Reply

        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Freeware is certainly not free

        This is not true for the free software I use.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2111961 Reply

        anonymous

        There’s still plenty of good free software out there. The free and open source community is hard at work proving that.

    • #2111330 Reply

      alkhall
      AskWoody Lounger

      W10 is all about data mining and selling information.

      Microsoft does not mine data or sell information.

      W10 does not have ads?

    • #2111728 Reply

      b
      AskWoody Plus

      Windows 10 Pro Version 2004: Group ASAP (chump/pioneer)

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2111745 Reply

      anonymous

      What if you have Avast just for the mere basic file protection, thus excluding the internet/browser module?

      • #2112013 Reply

        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        It would probably be better to keep the internet/browser module but uncheck the options to allow data gathering if you still trust Avast enough to have it on your computer, if the module does anything useful, which is not clear at all.

        It is not clear to me if their browser add-on is required to do https scanning and what exactly the add-on add as protection vs only the web shield. I wouldn’t be surprised it doesn’t add anything.

    • #2112010 Reply

      anonymous

      Some antivirus software will ask or turn back on web shields when the program updates.  If you keep it off, there are still automatic sample submission features that could harm privacy.  Antivirus software runs with top secret clearance on your computer, the highest permission levels.  You want it to keep you secure, to not worsen your privacy, and to not make your system unreliable.   About privacy, can Avast/AVG (same company) be trusted to stop taking your data?  Now that they have been caught and announced they are shutting down Jumpshot, I kind of trust that they will stop.  It feels more likely that with the eyes they will have on them that they will be less likely to do this than competitors.

      You decide who you trust to be good for privacy, security, and computer reliability.  With the talk of no boot computers caused by non-Microsoft antivirus software conflicting with updates, if you are one person on Windows 10, I would recommend Defender.  Check the settings about sample submission if you want extra privacy.  And if you like, sometimes do a scan with Malwarebytes.

      1 user thanked author for this post.

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