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Software & More => Web News => Topic started by: Corrine on January 27, 2020, 06:11:22 PM

Title: Free Version of Avast Reportedly Marketing User Data
Post by: Corrine on January 27, 2020, 06:11:22 PM
Although Avast implemented new security measures after Google and Mozilla removed temporarily removed the extensions, apparently that is not the end of the story.  Numerous tech articles have been posted today reporting that the anonymized web history data can still be picked apart and then linked back to individual Avast users.

Some of the articles published today:
Bottom line:  If you use the free version of Avast, you may want to consider a different antivirus.  (PC Mag has a collection of free A/V's here:  The Best Free Antivirus Protection for 2020 | PCMag (https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-free-antivirus-protection)).  For a licensed A/V, ESET remains a favorite.
Title: Re: Free Version of Avast Reportedly Marketing User Data
Post by: Pete! on January 27, 2020, 06:54:24 PM
Does this cause any reason for concerns about other Avast products, like CCleaner & etc.?
Title: Re: Free Version of Avast Reportedly Marketing User Data
Post by: Corrine on January 27, 2020, 07:44:40 PM
As I understand it, it is based on web data so that wouldn't include the Piriform products CCleaner and Defraggler.  From the above-referenced PC Mag article:

Quote
The data collected is so granular that clients can view the individual clicks users are making on their browsing sessions, including the time down to the millisecond. And while the collected data is never linked to a person's name, email or IP address, each user history is nevertheless assigned to an identifier called the device ID, which will persist unless the user uninstalls the Avast antivirus product.
Title: Re: Free Version of Avast Reportedly Marketing User Data
Post by: Boz on January 28, 2020, 03:22:51 PM
Is there any real reason to use ANY other/additional antivirus besides what is included in Windows?  I'm just wondering.

I removed the free antivirus software I was using back when Microsoft started including antivirus in Windows, and have had no trouble so far.
Title: Re: Free Version of Avast Reportedly Marketing User Data
Post by: Corrine on January 28, 2020, 09:39:09 PM
Everyone has a different opinion about the security programs they run on their device.  In addition, there is more involved than what A/V and firewall are being used.  Are all security updates installed?  If using a 3rd party browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Pale Moon) is it updated?  A safe surfer?  Knows not to open email attachments from an unknown source and recognizes phishing emails.  Etc., etc.  :)
Title: Re: Free Version of Avast Reportedly Marketing User Data
Post by: Corrine on January 30, 2020, 01:44:16 PM
via Bleeping Computer Avast Shuts Down Jumpshot After Getting Caught Selling User's Data (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/avast-shuts-down-jumpshot-after-getting-caught-selling-users-data/):

Quote
Protecting people is Avast’s top priority and must be embedded in everything we do in our business and in our products. Anything to the contrary is unacceptable.

For these reasons, I – together with our board of directors – have decided to terminate the Jumpshot data collection and wind down Jumpshot’s operations, with immediate effect.

Avast blog post:  A Message From CEO Ondrej Vlcek | Avast (https://blog.avast.com/a-message-from-ceo-ondrej-vlcek)
Title: Re: Free Version of Avast Reportedly Marketing User Data
Post by: plodr on January 30, 2020, 01:50:49 PM
I wouldn't trust Avast nor AVG, which is the same company.
Last month Mozilla and Google removed some extensions/addons because of "issues" involving collecting/harvesting user data.
https://www.pcmag.com/news/mozilla-removes-avast-and-avg-firefox-extensions
https://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/3084749/chrome-removes-avg-avast-add-ons-data-mining