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August 5th, 2013

PC Backup Tips: What, Where, When, and How

backup_imgAVAST Evangelists’ share tips about backing up your PC.

This time of the year – summer in the Northern Hemisphere – is the time to enjoy yourself while traveling. You  want to protect those precious photos and videos that you take of your children or friends having adventures. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s winter. For students, it’s time to do a little computer housekeeping that was avoided during the year. Backing up your PC is not hard, and the tips you get here from the most active Evangelists on the 300,000 member AVAST Forum community will have you backing up your PC with ease.

The Four Ws of Backup

What to backup: Types of documents and data. The first suggestion from our evangelists is that you organize your files into intuitive folders that are easy to find and easy to backup. Establish priorities. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

  • Decide which things you don’t want to lose… Documents, spreadsheets, email account details, registration keys, address book, bookmarks, photos, etc. If you identify what’s important to backup first, not only is it easier to do the backup task, but you also avoid increasing your internet traffic with big files that do not need to be restored. Read more…
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July 19th, 2013

Top 7 tips when traveling with your computer

The AVAST forum is one of our largest and most active communities, with more than 300,000 users. The most active people on the forum are called Evangelists. They spend quite a lot of their free time helping and solving issues for our users, not only related to AVAST, but also with overall security. We asked them to share their top tips for keeping your computer and other devices safe from cybercrime while traveling. Let’s go!

travel tips

 

1. Use your own devices (mobile phone, laptop, tablet) to go online rather than a public library’s or café’s computers. Some of the new smartphones allow password tethering. Always enable the SSL connection in your online accounts when offered, for example by Facebook, Twitter, and Google. You can enable it in many other sites using special add-ons which encrypt your communications when using Firefox or Chrome.
2. Connect to a VPN when traveling for business to get a secure, encrypted, and anonymous connection. Avoid free VPN due to ads and adwares like mentioned in our previous blog article. AVAST users can subscribe to avast! SecureLine  through both free and paid-for versions of avast! Antivirus. If you’re not a continuous traveler, you can go for a single month license. Learn more about VPN and  avast! SecureLine, here.
3. Never do your online banking while using a free/open or ad-hoc WiFi connection. To be more secure, remove any insecure/open WiFi connections in your network connections. If you’re on a Mac, take care of any Bonjour discovered items on the public network. It’s also a good practice to setup your own home network with an unique name. Read more…

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July 8th, 2013

Security tips from AVAST Forum Evangelists

The AVAST forum is one of our largest and most active communities, with more than 300,000 users. The most active people on the forum are called Evangelists. They spend a great deal of their free time answering user questions and helping to sort out issues of all kinds. You can meet them on the AVAST forum, where you can get assistance and support any time.

forum evangelists

Because of the Evangelists’ extensive experience and knowledge, we asked them to share their top tips on maintaining a secure computer or device. Here are their main tips:

  • Keep Windows and all other programs up-to-date (especially browsers and avast! Antivirus) and use only official sites for updating. For more convenience, you can use the avast! Software Updater feature to do it. Avoid P2P, cracks, patches and pirated software. On Android, use Google Play as the app source.
  • Don’t be a happy clicker, especially on social media sites and while installing programs. Always install programs via the custom mode and read the screens before clicking next. If something looks fishy, it probably is.
  • Take care about the sites you visit, knowing that legitimate websites can also be hacked. Use avast! SafeZone for web browsing whenever possible, especially while using online banking.  AVAST also provides a full isolated environment called avast! Sandbox.
  • Use different and strong passwords: Numbers, upper and lower case letters, symbols, etc. avast! EasyPass could help you manage this.
  • Keep your anti-malware protection always on, for instance, while gaming and installing programs. Community games are usually safer than the supposed official games you find online. Take extra care – or avoid completely – free public cheats for multiplayer games, especially downloaded from third party URLs.
  • Be alert for social engineering scams and emails. Do not open attachments from an unknown sender. Remember that not everyone is really your friend. Always use common sense.
  • Have backup strategies: When, what, local and remote. Remember: Better safe than sorry. AVAST offers an online backup solution too.
  • Use a firewall that manages the access of applications to the internet. Take care on open WiFi hotspots. At home, be sure to use strong WiFi passwords.

Special thanks to our AVAST forum members who have contributed these tips: Bob, Charyb, Essexboy, Omid, George Yves, Iroc, Donovan, Polonus, Ylap, Mac, Para-Noid, Coolmario, Dwarden and Jeffce. If you ever have a question, please log on to the AVAST forum and ask. Our forum evangelists are happy to assist you.

Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun, and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.

February 8th, 2013

Malware infects Android and Windows at the same time

Android & WindowsThousands of new malwares come to our virus lab daily. The target could be both Android devices and Windows computers. They’re being detected under the Android:Ssucl-X name. The malwares are being spread through false apps to free up memory of the devices and enhance their performance. They were available at Google Play as Superclean (published at January 3rd and got 4,5 stars with more than one thousand installations) or DroidCleaner, both from Smart Apps developer. Both apps were not blocked by the protection system of Google Play, although they were removed some time after that. They still could be available for download in smaller stores.

When installed, the apps ask for a group of permissions from sending SMS to enable the WiFi network, handle the owner personal data including SMS, photos, contacts, GPS coordinates and also any data or file in the SD card!

After installed in the Android device, the apps download files to the SD card (autorun.inf, folder.ico and svchosts.exe). When the device was connected to a computer as an storage mass media (USB), the file svchosts.exe could be automatically executed in the computer, spreading the infection. Once in the system, the malware could activate the microphone and store the surroundings audio, encrypt it and send it to a FTP remote server.

The infection scheme is old, but the infection migration from mobile devices to the computer could be a new headache. The better would be stay protected by avast! Free Antivirus in the computer and avast! Free Mobile Security in the Android devices.

Some technical info about these malwares:
SHA-1: 183d694cc6b1565fce318531b56a6e9ce9f79149 – MD5: 89d71ec272778910941d2cd28a4cf776
SHA-1: 2853d37fbc729cd43ab7d12b5899edda9e59693e – MD5: f5546f1d7e5cd2b43cb81197d85ac0d3
SHA-1: 30e0b93c36afca1da5db5e11ba0b5f00a8401c7d – MD5: c293bc5cd1101b5b648b9ba92edf1994

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February 2nd, 2013

avast! Mobile Security makes another user happy!

Celebrar! avast! Mobile Security made an user happy!We got extremely happy and satisfied when our work helps the others. Some days ago, avast! Mobile Security made an user happy. Antonio Fagner Ramos lost his phone and could get it back later. Working in technical support at a security company, we face problems every day: viruses attacks, personal data stolen, data and financial losts. With the mobile technology taking more and more space nowadays, to lose our mobile could be a headache: personal data, time, money, phone plan suspension, change the passwords saved in the local browser… When we face a successful story like this one, it makes our day, it makes us happy and gives motivation to our work.

Let’s give the word to our hero Antonio.

1. Fagner, how did you get in contact with avast! at the first time?

When I start in computer technology world, I always liked the computer most and, because of this, I’ve used a lot of protection and security tools, lots of free antivirus and always got troubles. I finally found avast! in a download site, one of these respected and well known sites. I’ve installed the avast! Free Antivirus in my desktop and the first thing that got my attention was the interface and the voice of the lady saying my avast! got updated… Since then, I’ve got no more issues with virus, spyware and things like that, and each time I format my disk I quickly install avast! again.

2. Can you tell us your experience of losing your phone?

Depressing… I’ve bought my phone two months ago, a LG Optimus. Like any other Brazilian, I’ve payed in easy installments. I used it not only to make calls, but also for a lot of things. My work demands GPS and remote connection, because I work outside, giving software support to the others. So, I’ve got depressed… I’ve gave the phone myself and I’m not that kind of guy that buys many things for myself easily, because I think more in my own family.

3. And so, how could you get your phone back?

In the same night I’ve lost the phone I’ve entered the avast! portal with my login and password to get access to my phone data, specially the GPS location. At the beginning, I felt frustration because the mobile did not answer to any command. I thought I’ve made some wrong configuration and got skeptic of recovering it. Two weeks later I’ve got a message from avast! Mobile Security with the SIM card number that was changed in my device along with its GPS coordinates. I’ve collected all these data, the police report and other evidences that could help me get my phone back. I’ve decided to call that number. Someone was answering it… We talked friendly each other. I’ve explained that my phone was being tracked and to save problems I’ve suggested him to give it me back. We manage to meet each other in a public place and he gave it back to me.

4. Where do you look for avast! support when you need it? Forum, Facebook, FAQ…

Frankly, I’m an advanced user and I have to be well informed about technology, and up to now, I did not need any help with avast! The application is very intuitive and I do not have any trouble. I believe that, if I need it, I’ll be very closely followed by avast! team wherever I am…

5. How did you describe your perfect day?

Well… a perfect day… For a guy that works very hard all the year, looking for happiness, health and prosperity, to be side by side with my wife and daughter is a perfect day for me… So, in my life, there is not only a perfect day… There are many!

Got into this happy story too! Download the avast! Mobile Security in your Android devices.

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