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Avast Free - Spying & Selling Your Data :(

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Windows Defender does the job perfectly well, but is disabled if other AVs, such as Avast are installed.
On all new Windows installs for clients, I always recommend sticking with Windows Defender, but many of them install multiple AVs and many times without realising it, such as McAfee which comes bundled with Flash, not to mention bogging down the entire system on low-end machines.
 
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Stopped using avast personally about 5 years ago, and started purposefully cleaning up customer PCs of this crap 3 years ago, when it became worse than adware/spywre that it meant to protect from.
Resource usage became unreasonable, ads and nagging became more and more frequent, performance and actual proper detection became abysmal, while false-positives became more and more frequent (to the point of crashing my cousin's laptop or my PC every time we tried to compile something in C/C++ which involved memory operations or syscalls).
And, of course, their latest "Avast browser" and VPN service caused me tons of headaches in the workshop. Mostly customers would bring their devices saying "can't use internet".

KAV is still under sanctions in my country, to the point where it's not even possible to install it if you have a regular online installer, and on most networks it can't even update. After upgrading my SSD, I've decided to stick with the good-ole Defender for the time being.

Now that this thing popped up, I should probably double-check if I forgot to remove my account.
 

bug

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Not trying to defend Avast or anything, but did anyone notice this data collection is opt-in? Apparently only the usage of the data after submission wasn't properly disclosed.
 
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I have 2 run on avast free, if so i'll move
 
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Not trying to defend Avast or anything, but did anyone notice this data collection is opt-in? Apparently only the usage of the data after submission wasn't properly disclosed.
Now it is, it wasn't before.
 
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Yup, this really shouldn't be a surprise...
This. We should know by now that the 'free' sticker has that same hidden meaning everywhere. Data = money and ownership of data still isn't handled properly. My data still isn't 'mine'.

And this ladies and gents is why we need things like GDPR. And a much stronger version of it too.

If we get ownership of data straight and handle any theft of it as actual personal robbery, its a new internet bubble and we can see a quick demise of Google and all those other tech companies that have grown far too powerful. This is their wildcard and they keep abusing it, ever further on a daily basis. And with every breach, our freedom gets reduced, believe it or not. The rabbit hole is already far too deep and the majority has no idea. Its already bigger than themselves, too.
 

the54thvoid

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More reason to just use Windows Defender and Common Sense™ .
Where can I purchase this product called Common Sense? It seems many people need it these days.
 
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yeah basically every company is doing this, not sure why everyone feels the need to call out Avast for it. hell, even playing games collects and sells your data a lot of times now. I know Civ VI did until they removed it in a later patch.
Anonimized data is not the same thing as identifiable. The latter is in fact illegal in many countries and falls under GDPR.

Where can I purchase this product called Common Sense? It seems many people need it these days.
Its on the top shelf right next to 'Sanity' and 'Awareness', not to be confused with the box of 'Fact Checkers'.

Stopped using avast personally about 5 years ago, and started purposefully cleaning up customer PCs of this crap 3 years ago, when it became worse than adware/spywre that it meant to protect from.
Resource usage became unreasonable, ads and nagging became more and more frequent, performance and actual proper detection became abysmal, while false-positives became more and more frequent (to the point of crashing my cousin's laptop or my PC every time we tried to compile something in C/C++ which involved memory operations or syscalls).
And, of course, their latest "Avast browser" and VPN service caused me tons of headaches in the workshop. Mostly customers would bring their devices saying "can't use internet".

KAV is still under sanctions in my country, to the point where it's not even possible to install it if you have a regular online installer, and on most networks it can't even update. After upgrading my SSD, I've decided to stick with the good-ole Defender for the time being.

Now that this thing popped up, I should probably double-check if I forgot to remove my account.
Yeah I never quite understood why people liked Avast. It was always a bulky piece of crap... desperately trying to sell you a sub along the way with the idea you needed more protection in some way. Maybe because most other free suites do it too? Ahwell
 
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When you install Avast you can chose custom install and uncheck all the crapware except the main shields (file, behaviour, web, mail).
If this (and the opt-out) is enough to avoid data collection I'm not sure.

avast1.png

avast2.png
 

newtekie1

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Avast collects data from users that opt-in
Another mountain out of a mole hill. They aren't spying on you if you choose to give them the data.

And they aren't exactly hiding the Opt-In deep in the ToS, when you install Avast this huge window comes up to have you opt-in to the data collection:
avgoptin.png


I knew they were collection data and didn't agree to it right away. If you didn't read that and just hit agree, that's on you. This isn't a super long ToS that no one reads, it's a dedicated window with a small amount of text. There is no excuse for not reading it.
 
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I imagine Ccleaner and adblock also do this.

I always just assumed they do....nothing is free!
 
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It is always a good idea to read what you are accepting when you install software and also to check install options.
 
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Another mountain out of a mole hill. They aren't spying on you if you choose to give them the data.

And they aren't exactly hiding the Opt-In deep in the ToS, when you install Avast this huge window comes up to have you opt-in to the data collection:
View attachment 143478

I knew they were collection data and didn't agree to it right away. If you didn't read that and just hit agree, that's on you. This isn't a super long ToS that no one reads, it's a dedicated window with a small amount of text. There is no excuse for not reading it.
Apparently this is a new message and wasn't always there, so until they started using that they were in violation.
 

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Apparently this is a new message and wasn't always there, so until they started using that they were in violation.
That message has been there for a long while now, AFAIK it has been there since they started collecting data, it was always Opt-In. That's why out of their almost 500 Million users, they only have data from about 100 Million.

I haven't seen anything showing they collected data before that message was there.
 

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you mentioned you use Bitdefender Internet Security now. How's your experience been with it?
Very good! It isn’t intrusive and yet is also very alert to possibly infectious things.
I was surprised to see bitdefender still around, they were awesome back in the day, 2002 or so.
You really shouldn’t be surprised. They have consistently placed 1st or second in nearly every review roundup for the last dozen years or so.
They're not like Comodo, Avira or others who offset the costs of their free versions with their premium and business products.
Actually, Avast does offset the free with their consumer premium versions, business paid versions and server protection. They just decided to unethically take the extra step on the free models of selling information.
 
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@rtwjunkie - you mentioned you use Bitdefender Internet Security now. How's your experience been with it?
Can't speak for rtwjunkie but I switched from Avast/AVG on my PCs/laptops to Bitdefender Free around 2010 and it ran great with little to no annoying pop ups or ads. It will ask to scan email attachments when you download them which is fine. Then at times I would see it run in the background and be a resource hog for no apparent reason raising HDD use to 100% (no background scans or downloads at the time). I would have to manually shut it down and had this problem occur on three separate PCs. So I just went with Windows Defender/Malwarebytes free combo on my PCs/laptops and have yet to have any issues with zero annoyance from the antivirus.
 
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Anonimized data is not the same thing as identifiable. The latter is in fact illegal in many countries and falls under GDPR.
Yeah and when they get caught they get a slap on the wrist, so they continue to do it. lol Not sure what your point is. Nothing even happened to Civilization 6 company when they got caught red handed stealing peoples data. lol Nothing will happen to Avast either.
 
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Like 99.9% of people no lol
But it is in there, they collect datas and selling them to 3rd party. Well in my case it was there, so i can decide what next.
Well, people should when using 'free' stuff (well even paid one too, but), especially in todays environment like google, faceboook, etc. As someone write above in free stuff you pay with your personality (infos, datas, interests, habits, etc.) You have to aware of this, and than choose to use / not use that service/program.
Some company telling it, directly, some not, some are switching face on the fly.

On the pc from i write this, is with Avira. There was some hidden update/upgrade, because it has a smart scan, optimizen something and some realtime system speedup which i didnt select or install anytime and it wasnt here like a few days ago. There have new functions / options enabled which i didnt want or allow. But it is there and seems active, against my will.
 
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It really isn't. Avast's business model has to account for their free versions somehow. They're not like Comodo, Avira or others who offset the costs of their free versions with their premium and business products.


You may wish to consider the above mentioned Comodo or Avira. Both have been around for more than a decade, perform at top-tier levels and neither harvest peoples personal data for later sale.
You can download the premium trial and after 30days it reverts to the free version. Of you can buy it, it's worth the money.

Thank you for these alternatives. I'll check 'em out right away :)
 
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May I ask why I any of you feel the need to run any of these?
 
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^ Well, that's kind like asking why do people get vaccines -- because they don't want to get infected with some funky-ass, deadly disease. Same goes for computers. Unless there's some new anti-anti virus trend I'm not aware about, where people chose not to protect their computers from ransomware, trojans and whatever else is lurking out on the interwebs. A tech version of the dreaded "anti-vax mom" if you will :D
 
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yes and no, with todays O/S's we have build-in protection, with regular updates you can get away without 3rd party Internet security but then it depends what you actually do on the internet. for example do you use a VPN or encrypt your data etc.
 

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Sorry, I was going to say something smartarse about how linux doesn't have to worry about virii ect, so it doesn't even have an av program....
but using a VPN under any os is a good idea. Make sure your online data is encrypted and routed through protected networks. Make sure you
properly password your os and all accounts, and change passwords for sensitive accounts on a regular basis.
 
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