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January 19th, 2011

avast! evangelists go to the community

avast! evangelists have started speaking directly with community groups – in addition to their traditional activities at the User Forum – about security risks on the internet.

The first evangelist to take the avast! message outside of the Forum is Bob Gostischa, better known by his username of “bob3160”.

Bob spoke to 28 community groups in Arizona, with a total audience of over 1,200 people during December, giving examples of infected websites and describing current security issues facing web surfers.

“I am often clarifying what they have heard elsewhere,” says Bob. “It’s been a truly enjoyable to meet so many friendly and interested people – in person – and share with them why avast! Free Antivirus is such a vital part of their computers’ overall protection.”

The User Forum (forum.avast.com) is an integral part of the avast! community, a  place where people gather online to discuss antivirus software, ask about malware, and help out newcomers. During December of 2010, there were 12,735 posts on 1,788 new topics. Evangelists are simply active Forum members with over 300 posts. Bob is one of the most active, with over 14,000 posts during the past six years.

The success of the avast! Evangelists, as a volunteer group of online helpers and brand ambassadors, resulted in a second idea: Could these individuals take their message about computer security offline to a much wider audience of community groups? The first evangelist to go outside of the Forum is Bob.

“Bob comes with an interesting personal story and a long history of helping others. So we just put him in touch with to community groups in the United States about online safety issues,” said Miroslav Jirku, brand manager at AVAST Software.

With computer experience going back to a Commodore VIC-20, Bob believes in giving simple, visual answers. Forced into an early retirement by health issues, the Forum – and now his presentations to community groups – have given him another way to help people. “I’ve been able to use some of the knowledge I’ve gained to try and help others,” he explains.

Helping others, for both Bob and his wife, has become their passion: “Neither of us should still be here. Hopefully we are making, in a small way, a difference in the lives of others.”

If you would like to organize a presentation for your association, hobby group or club, you can find more information here.

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  • http://forum.avadas.de DrWhiz

    Hi,

    there is also a huge German avast! user community and support forum at http://forum.avadas.de or http://forum.avast.de (redirect link). It is sponsored by the avast! Reseller for the year PROCELLO Informationssysteme GmbH.

    I think it is a good resource for German users who are searching for support as well as interesting discussions about pc security in general.

  • Tech

    Congratulations Bob for the presentations and also avast for the idea itself!

  • Gina Farber

    Have you thought of speaking at Middle Schools about Avast (which is a godsend and joy since I am a shut in on limited Income) But my Nunchkin comes home and talks about what they do at his computer classes and it would do them good to hear how viruses are so easy to end up with and give them a head start on being Virus prepped to help protect themselves and as time goes on to protect their own computers or company computers. I love Avast and keep praying for extra money but usually my meds take that but at least the Free avast keeps me safe and this blog rocks too, Cordially, Keep up the good work

  • Jason Mashak

    A great quote on this topic:

    “I personally like to think of the Internet as a parallel universe, a cyber-world as opposed to the real-world. In cyber-world people do much the same thing as in the real-world, such as chat, work, or go shopping. And, as in the real-world, there are dangers. In the real-world, we spend years as children learning about the world and all its dangers before we can safely go out on our own. This is not the case in cyber-world. People wander into cyber-world as cyber-toddlers or even cyber-infants. How can these people be expected to look after themselves in this strange new world? … I believe that education must be the first step to computer security. Cyber-world is too complex and dangerous to jump into without understanding the dangers.”

    — Jimi Loo, in Comments & Feedback to Noam Eppel’s Article, “Security Absurdity: The Complete, Unquestionable, and Total Failure of Information Security. A long-overdue wake up call for the security community.”

  • http://bob3160.googlepages.com/ bob3160

    Thanks you Avast for the nice writeup and compliments.
    It’s always easy to do something you really enjoy. Telling people how to secure their computer and stay safe while browsing the internet is easy when you use avast! 5.1 as a major part of your overall security protection.
    If you’re a home user, that protection is even FREE. That fact makes it even easier for me to talk about avast! and security related items in general.

  • http://www.ppinfotek.com yanto chiang

    I like you Bob…keep the great job to share about network and security threats….i hope Indonesia can reach by you as well…

  • Basanta kumar

    Avast internet security is best security software.Thanks Avast.