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Archive for September, 2013
September 10th, 2013

Congrats! Your Mobile Number was selected as a winner of £2,000,000.00!

Yes! What a lucky day! I’ve just got a message that I won 2,000,000.00 British Pounds (2.4M EUR/3.1M USD), an Apple laptop, a T-shirt, and a cap emblazoned with a logo of The Free Lotto Company.  Pretty awesome you might think, but appearances are deceptive. Unfortunately, this is just one of the ways bad guys try to get some of our money.

Well, I was thinking, it‘s worth a shot. So I decided to write to the email address and see what would happen. Actually, the hardest part was a making up a fake name for myself! You would never believe how rough this might be. In the end, I decided to call myself Robert Konmed.

smstextUSED

Here’s how the conversation went down.

Me: Hello, I’ve got a winning message with information to contact your email address. How can I pick up my prize please? Thank you, Robert Konmed

Bad guys: Please find attached document for info to contact courier delivery company:  EMAIL:rdsdeliveryservices@hotmail.co.uk Regards Brian Calton

textWinningcertifita

Me: Hello guys, I’m really excited about a winning prize. But would be possible to tell me how much I should prepare for a delivery company? And also I’m curious if there is possibility to charge delivery from my winning prize? Thank you & have a nice day! Best regards! Robert Konmed Read more…

September 9th, 2013

Write a #SecurityTip and Win a Nexus Device!

post_mainsmThe AVAST #SecurityTip contest has begun, and everyone is invited to participate. It’s easy! Just write a security tip that we can share with other computer and mobile users and you’ll get the chance to win a Nexus device or a free 1-year license for avast! Internet Security!

Read more…

September 6th, 2013

What’s Hot on Social: Security and privacy update

Millions of users access social networks every day in order to share, engage, and look for information as well as entertainment. The transparency of social networks come with a risk and we very often expose ourselves to hackers and scammers that can take advantage of information we share. Social platforms constantly improve security and privacy settings, to deliver a safe experience to the users, but who has time to follow all this news? Well, you can relax and rely on us. AVAST specialists are here to deliver this information in an accessible way.

Last month we prepared a security and privacy update following the most important changes on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Check what has changed since than to enjoy a secure social media experience!

shutterstock_113587513Facebook updated its Privacy policy   

At the end of August, Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan published an official blog post, as a response to rumors and extensive discussion on the company’s Data Use Policy. One of the biggest concerns were related to how Facebook displays our data to its clients advertising on the social network. Currently pages can target us even by our name.

Advertisers may also be able to reach you on Facebook using the information they already have about you (such as email addresses or whether you have visited their websites previously).

#AVASTtip: There is not much space for us users to really influence it, but Facebook is open to user feedback. If you would like to comment or express your opinion, you can do it here .

Read more…

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September 4th, 2013

96% of US schools facing huge cost of Windows XP upgrades

blog_image_XPIn a recent survey, we found that over 96%[1] of schools in the United States are likely to face a major technology crisis in the new year when Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Educational institutions of all sizes around the world are going to have to foot the bill of upgrading not only their operating system but also their hardware.

Schools that don’t upgrade to a new operating system by the April 2014 cut-off could be at risk. The withdrawal of support means that there will be no updates such as security patches, driver refreshes, or bug fixes — all of which are essential for networked personal computers, where protection of children and information is especially important.

At AVAST, we took a closer look at the costs schools will face: The cost of upgrading from Windows XP to a more recent operating system is approximately $200 per computer and it is not likely to stop there. Many schools are also facing the expense of upgrading their hardware as well since hardware older than three years is unlikely to be able to support Windows 7 and beyond. The cost to schools in this situation could run into tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To help alleviate some of the burden, we created the Free for Education program which provides bullet-proof antivirus protection completely free to schools in the United States. Institutions can save an average of more than $14,000 USD per year by taking advantage of this program.

A great example of how AVAST’s Free for Education has benefited a local school system is the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos, California. With the program, they have saved over $40,000 USD. “With AVAST Free for Education we were able to take some strain off of our budget,” said Joe, Machado, Network Analyst at ABC Schools. “Our savings in licensing alone will be at least $20,000 USD per year. And, our savings in time from cleaning up outbreaks from unprotected or under-protected systems is easily another $20,000 USD per year.”

Since launching in November 2012, the AVAST Free for Education program has protected over 2.8 million computers and servers belonging to over 1,800 education institutions. If you are interested in more information or to participate in the program, please visit: www.avast.com/education

[1] AVAST Software survey amongst 164 educational institutions, July 2013

September 4th, 2013

How to keep your Windows system running like new

speed computer

The top active members in one of our largest and most active communities, the AVAST forum, are called evangelists. These evangelists are technically skilled people who love to help and guide our users, free or paid, through the technology and security jungle. They try to keep things simple for all levels and in this blog, they want to share with you how to keep your Windows system running like new indefinitely. Isn’t it a dream of all of us? Let’s go!

A clean machine is a fast machine

  • Keep your computer clean and vents unobstructed: If it overheats the performance decreases. If you haven’t looked at the bottom of your computer since you took it out of the box, chances are that the vents are filled with dust bunnies. Turn off your computer and carefully use your vacuum cleaner attachment to suck the dust out.
  • Clean your disk of temporary files and defragment to help with your computer performance. We suggest CCleaner for both file and Windows Registry cleaning. It’s safe and removes registry entries left behind after simple uninstallation of programs. Windows has a built-in defragmenter and there are many other free ones on the internet.
  • RAM (memory) is cheap nowadays and worth every cent you pay for the memory sticks, especially if you use memory-intensive programs like Photoshop or a video editor. Before you try to give your machine a faster, smoother ride, you need to know your hardware limits.

Multi-tasking slows you (and your machine) down

  • Keep in mind that you do not need to multi-task all the time or, in other words, do not run many programs at the same time. For multi-tasking,  split your work between your smartphone or tablet, for instance, listen to music, browse or read mail on your tablet while you work on an your laptop. Read more…
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