It all went upside down when Motherboard’s report stating Avast’s stance on digital piracy came into the limelight. Users felt betrayed when they came to know Avast sells user analytics to big brands. Amidst all of this, we are here to discuss whether Avast is still safe to use or it’s time to consider doing business with someone else.
Let’s find out!
1. Avast User Data Setting
It’s not uncommon for companies to track and sell their customers’ data to third-parties. This is where Avast can offer you full privacy protection.
Most of you don’t know but Avast comes with a unique setting where you can disable the app to harvest your personal data.
How To Disable Your Usage Data Being Shared With Third Parties?
I. From the Avast App
First, you have to launch the Avast Anti-virus app on your device. Then, go to ‘Settings’.
In the ‘settings’ windows go to the ‘Privacy’ tab. If you look closely, you will see a lot of options for ‘data collection’.
Then you have to uncheck all the boxes disallowing Avast to harvest and store your personal data.
II. From Browser Extensions
Open the browser in which you have installed the Avast extension. Then you have to tap on the Avast icon to enter the settings.
Once you access the settings, start scrolling till you find “allow usage data to be shared with Third Parties for Analytics”. Now all you have to do is disable the feature.
We all deserve a unanimous browsing experience and Avast undoubtedly respects customers’ boundaries.
2. Is Avast Safe for Gamers
Gaming with full online protection without hampering system’s performance is a tricky affair. Most top-level games like GTA V, Witcher 3, Overwatch, etc are undoubtedly gripping but unsparingly sensitive to system performance.
Regardless of your system’s specification, a small activity in the background can lead to lags and hacks. Most of you turn off their real-time protection to enhance their system performance while playing high-end video games.
However, by doing this you are only inviting more threats to your system.
This is where the Avast’s Game Mode comes to the rescue. The feature is specially designed for avid gamers who crave a fast-paced gameplay experience without losing their online safety and security.
Its advanced design let you play any high-end games without facing those annoying fps drops and lags. The best part is that, by switching ON the Game Mode, you can play relentlessly while letting the Avast Antivirus realtime engine run in the background.
DLP is a tool used by large companies to store highly sensitive data like social security numbers, credit card details, etc. The tool allows enterprises to scan word files as well as run OCR on PDFs to detect numerical strings.
How DLP in Avast Helps You As a Consumer?
The DLP tool in Avast scans your system and identifies vulnerable software, weak passwords, and unprotected documents. The tool can easily detect all your old sensitive documents, which would take you hours to find them.
Then, it sorts out your sensitive documents into categories and allows you to lock those files using strong passwords, providing proactive protection against ransomware and zero-day attacks.
4. How Avast Fights Malware?
Keeping aside all the additional features, let’s focus on the core element of Avast, i.e., malware detection. We can gladly say that Avast contains one of the most proactive and strong antivirus engines in its category.
The app shows a great detection rate and zero false positives when checked under a highly vulnerable environment. From effectively detecting ‘drive-by downloads’ to eliminating ‘code injection attacks’, the antivirus does what it promises.
The application constantly scans the background for malware. On detecting any sign of malware, the app immediately puts the system in quarantine and deletes the file.
Overall, the free version of Avast almost offers similar security and privacy feature usually found in most Premium Antivirus apps.
However, the paid version brings some exclusive security features on the table as well.
5. What is Avast Free Antivirus?
Avast’s Free version is an intuitive and all-advanced security platform for normal users. It is equally loaded with a wide arsenal of threat-detection and automatic machine-learning virus protection features. To avoid people forcefully purchase its premium version, Avast launched the free version way back in 2005.
With regular software updates being launched, you can get a lot from the free program. Some of these include:
i. Intelligent Scan
You can leverage from its smart analytics to detect viruses, malware, spyware, phishing, and ransomware hiding in your PC and network. The free program runs regular scans to detect abnormal behavior and block any threat before any damage occurs.
ii. Nominal Security
With a very powerful security system, the free program protects everything, starting from your password to the home wifi network. In case a suspicious file is found, it is quarantined to the cloud to avoid it from interrupting the system.
iii. Uninterrupted Gaming or Movie time
Say goodbye to pop-up ads when using full-screen while gaming or binge-watching movies. Turn on the ‘Do not Disturb Mode’ in your software’s settings, and enjoy an uninterrupted experience.
iv. Wi-Fi Inspector
Detect weakness in your Wi-Fi and produces a detailed report on the root cause. You can also come to know who is downloading from your unprotect WiFi, under Avast’s free version.
Now you can see, the free version is more than enough for users having minimal exposure to the internet to manage their life. However, if you earn your bread and butter from the internet, the free version may not save you from phishing websites and hackers- it will be safe no more. You will need a premium version.
With that being said, let’s see the features offered under the premium version.
6. What is Avast Premium Security?
Avast Premium Security is a paid version with more striking security attributes. Backed by numerous advanced protection features, it can support up to 10 devices (both Windows and Mac) at a time.
For premium subscribers, Avast offers overall internet security with additional features. Some of the best-in-class options are:
i. Protection against spoofed websites
You can secure critical user data from hackers trying to steal information through fake websites and tampered payment-gateways. The program offers a complete pre checkup of every website you visit and instantly blocks the site while restricting further action in case something is wrong.
ii. Advanced Firewall
A feature missing from the Free version of the program, the Advanced Firewall aids to keep hackers at bay. It smartly recognizes phishing attempts and instantly sends them to the cloud for closer inspection while alerting the user at the same time.
iii. Support for more devices
One of the best features of premium subscription is its multi-device support. You secure up to 10 devices under a single premium plan and thus can shield your mobile, tablets, PCs, Laptops, etc. from the outside threats at a reasonable price.
Is Avast safe to use? The detailed discussion shows Avast stands in the grey zone of keeping user information private. But, it stands tall in terms of providing 360 degree security to your online business. That implies, all you have to do is customize your privacy boundaries with few changes in settings to draw it from grey to green zone.