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March 8th, 2014

A conversation with AVAST women – Part 2

goofy AVAST girls

They’re talented, but a bit goofy too.

Happy International Women’s Day! This is part 2 of the conversation some of the women of AVAST had together this week. We talked about women in technology, careers, daily challenges, and who inspires us.

DEBORAH We’ve been talking about the challenges of working in the male-dominated tech industry (see part 1). Do you have any role models in tech?

ANNA  Oh, yes. Marissa Mayer. It is cliché, but she is simply awesome! I like her time management skills: She leads Yahoo!, has photo shoots at Vogue, and changes clothes in the car between meetings.
JULIA If I had to name some, it would be an unusual mixture of politicians, successful businessmen and creatives. All of them however had one thing in common: Thinking out-of-the-box. Audrey Hepburn,  Angela Ahrendts, Coco Chanel, Margaret Thatcher, Steve Jobs, Woody Allen, Rembrandt, Albert Einstein, or Martin Luther King.
CAROLINE I admire people who give back.  Bill Gates took a while to do it, but he is now and with a vengeance through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I think tech masters like Bill can set a good precedent for contemporaries today.  I’ve read Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook and his wife are generous benefactors to various causes and charities.

DEBORAH Besides these role models, what or who inspires you on a daily basis?

The-Four-Agreements

“Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less.”

MAGDA People who were able to make a living from their hobby. I really admire people who are passionate and determined. It’s fantastic for example to become popular blogger and describe the world around you and inspire others to follow their dreams.
ANNA Young entrepreneurs, talented and creative people. The way their brains work and ideas they bring to life just simply amaze me.
STEFANIE My mom inspires me, she is my hero. She is strong, hardworking, loving, and has always taught me to do my best, respect others and to have fun. She has always and continues to support and encourage me to chase my dreams.
JULIA People give me new inspiration! Social media are perfect tools to connect with people and get inspired. Within minutes I can learn, connect, discover new things – breaking cultural, geographical and time zone border – people in real life and on social media share things that influence and inspire me greatly.
PAVLA It would be probably a long list. It starts with my family and continues with my schoolmates and friends. As I can see what their successes are, it inspires me to reach my own goals and work even harder.
PETRA I really like book The Four Agreements (A Toltec Wisdom Book) written by Miguel Ángel Ruiz. Any time I feel unsatisfied with myself in personal or professional life, I try to perceive in my mind all these four rules:

  • Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  • Don’t Take Anything Personally.
  • Don’t Make Assumptions.
  • Always Do Your Best.

DEBORAH What project or initiatives are you most excited about in 2014?

JULIA We have initiated a huge project with Fnatic. eSports and professional video gaming is an exciting new field.
CAROLINE We have the spotlight on the U.S at AVAST and it’s exciting to be able to champion our offering in a marketplace where many people still don’t know about us. There are boundless opportunities to explore to help them discover AVAST and why they should use us.
JULIA Also, our success on the Social Media (4 million fans / followers of avast! on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels) brought us several opportunities to share our experience and knowledge at various of conferences and Universities. My partner, Deborah Salmi ,and I are very proud of it and pleased to share our knowledge with students and other professionals. [High fives]
DOMINIKA I am excited about organizing press conferences for new releases of AVAST solutions, and also about communicating all news we are going to introduce to the public. Our Social Media Team is constantly coming up with fun contests and other activities, and I am very happy I can communicate it “to the world,” especially to the Czech fans!

Read more…

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March 7th, 2014

#avastSelfie Photo Contest

Happy International Women’s Day!

As we celebrate the 106th annual International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8th, it is an occasion to thank women everywhere who trust us to protect their devices with avast! Antivirus products. To acknowledge women’s contributions to information technology, we took a closer look this week at women’s role in the IT industry, and had a few chats with AVAST female employees to talk about women in technology, careers, daily challenges, and who inspires us.

Now it’s time for fun! The #avastSelfie Photo Contest: Special female edition begins Saturday! :)

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Why should you participate?

Because it is fun! We all take “Selfie” photos! Ducky lips, smiley faces, cool poses: We just love Selfies! Now you can have fun with your girlfriends and win our cute avast! teddy bears or free licenses for avast! Internet Security.

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Tag your photo #avastSelfie and you could win!

How to do it?

Snap an “avastSelfie” of yourself (or Gentlemen – take a Selfie with your female friend, sister, daughter, wife, or girlfriend) together with an avast! Antivirus protected device, tag it #avastSelfie, upload it on our Facebook contest app, on Twitter or Instagram! Smile for the camera and show us which device is protected by avast!

• Your laptop

• Your smartphone

• Your tablet

• Your desktop

How to enter via Facebook?

1. Fill in your contact details in the app (contest begins Saturday)

2. Submit your best “avastSelfie”

3. Tell your friends about avast! and invite your friends to vote for your image!

How to enter via Twitter and Instagram?

Tag your photo #avastSelfie and post it on Twitter or Instagram. It will be automatically upload to the gallery here.

The #avastSelfie photo contest begins on Saturday, March 8 and ends Friday, March 14. Eight (8) free licenses for avast! Internet Security will be given to those Selfies with the most votes, and eight (8) avast! teddy bears will be given to our favorites. Have fun, and happy International Women’s Day!

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.

 

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March 7th, 2014

A conversation with AVAST women – Part 1

IWD2014

Some of the talented women of AVAST.

AVAST Software is officially a great place to work. One of the reasons it’s so enjoyable here is because of the women we work with. Like most technology companies, AVAST is male-dominated. Our male colleagues are the best at what they do, but since International Women’s Day is on Saturday, March 8, some of the women of AVAST sat down together to have a chat about women in technology, careers, daily challenges, and who inspires us. This is part 1 of that conversation.

Coffee and conversation

DEBORAH Thanks for joining in on the Women’s Day conversation. Most of us had a winding career path that lead us to work for this great technology company. What were some early experiences with technology that influenced your career?

tin-can-string

How do you send text messages?

CAROLINE I’ve always been proud that I’m one of the first people to try new technologies.  I remember when I was working for a subsidiary company of recruitment juggernaut, Monster.com, that I was one of a handful in our 200+ employee office to jump right on email when it was being introduced.  And some 17 years later, look where email has us now? Everyone uses it – a business mainstay.
MAGDA I worked at Cisco in the past, and I was really amazed by the media which allows you to communicate. My first interview was done via Telepresence, and I was really excited about how easy it was to just connect anytime without spending hours on a plane.
CAROLINE  As well, during my time at Porter Novelli – a global public relations firm – I was part of the team that championed and recognized the power of the web (the Internet had only come about in the mid-90s).  Websites were big business for PR firms back in the day – we wrote copy, designed the look and feel, advised on messaging, etc.
MARCELA My background is pure social, and when I was offered a role in an IT Company 8 years ago, I worried about how I can learn and understand an IT technical world. It took a few years of listening, Googling, and studying to catch up on core technical things to be able to understand and see the whole picture but it was definitely worth it.
MAGDA Working in technology gives you a lot of useful and interesting skills, which you can apply in your private life as well.

DEBORAH The curiosity and creativity you describe seem to be a trait among pioneers, women and men, in any field. What technologies do you ladies use today that allows you to express who you really are? Read more…

March 6th, 2014

Who owns the Cyber-World?

Who owns the (cyber) world: GIRLS!

female expert

Well, maybe not exactly (YET), but the female presence and expertise should not be underestimated! :)

I bet you heard of  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When the movie came out, we published a fun blog post about the main character, Lisbeth Salander, who was a problematic, but brilliant female hacker. In fact, in the cyberworld among gray and white hackers, those good ones who help to disclose security gaps, are filled with women, for example: Raven Adler, Gigabyte or  Joanna Rutkowska.

So let’s take a look on the cyberworld from the security perspective. Inspired by the following article, I figured out how many women are actually knowledgeable cyber security experts. Breaking stereotypes, like Adeanna Cooke, former Playboy model and hacker, women have broken into the geeky world that seems to be male dominated. Women are not only exploring different IT specializations, but exceeding as world class experts as white hackers, journalists, bloggers, speakers, consultants, virus analytic, developers,  all fighting cyber-crime. Strong, intelligent, all of them are great experts (and since we also love social media), we would like to recommend you to

Follow female security experts on Twitter

  • Erin Jacobs @SecBarbie
  • Charlie Osborne @ZDNetCharlie
  • Natalie Sambhi @SecurityScholar
  • Katie Moussouris @k8em0
  • Beth Pariseau @PariseauTT
  • Helena Edelson @helenaedelson
  • Aliya Sternstein @Aliya_NextGov
  • Kim Komando@kimkomando
  • Jennifer J. Minella @jjx
  • stacythayer @stacythayer
  • Mary Landesman @marylande
  • Patricia Rykiel @ComputerTweety

AVAST Software is also proud of its Ladies. You will find women across different departments of the company starting from the accounting , HR, support, sales, marketing.  But among us there are real security experts: Jana and Barbora, Analysts from the avast! Virus Lab; Alena, a developer focused on providing new technologies in the Virus Lab Systems;  and Jenefer from the Quality Assurance department, testing avast! solutions. All of them work as professionals in a very male environment delivering security solutions to the AVAST users.

We’ll be interviewing them in the next few days in celebration of International Women’s Day. Come back to the AVAST blog, and read about them. Meanwhile, say hello on Twitter to some of our great ladies!

AVAST ladies:

  • Alena V. @alenkacz (virus lab)
  • Deborah Salmi @deborahsalmi (social media)
  • Julia Szymanska @Dzulaya (social media)
  • Anna Shirokova @AnnaBandicoot (social media)
  • Marina Ziegler @Marina_Z (PR)
  • Caroline James @cazjames (PR)
  • Dominika Kalasova @DKalasova (PR)

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.

 

February 28th, 2014

How do I handle files that avast! can’t scan?

howto2_enQuestion of the week: Last week I ran a complete avast! Antivirus scan on my desktop computer and when it finished, it gave me the message that some files could not be scanned because they were password protected.  They all had the extension of .png, so I did a search of all programs by typing *.png and the items that came up were photos our grandson had posted to Facebook from his recent trip to Thailand.

My question is, are the .png files innocuous?  If not, what should I do?  I don’t really like to have files on my computer that Avast cannot scan.

Thanks for your question. This is one that is commonly asked on the avast! Forum, so it’s useful to post the answer here too. Take a look at AVAST evangelist Bob G.’s answer:

Files that can’t be scanned are just that -  files that for one reason or another cannot be scanned. It’s not an indication that those files are suspicious or infected; it simply means that these files need another element before they can actually be opened and examined by avast! Antivirus.

Many programs (often security-related) password protect their files for legitimate reasons. Avast! doesn’t know the password or have any way of using it even if it did. Once the password is supplied by whatever program is using these files, avast! will check the files when they are actually run. If it turns out that something is hidden, avast! will block it. While they are in their password protected state, the files pose no threat to you or your system.

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 FacebookTwitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.

February 27th, 2014

Sex, lies and videotapes aka Celebrity scams

Famous people – movie stars, athletes, politicians -  are the favorite subject matter of scammers. Using modern technologies and communications channels, scammers and social engineers come up with sophisticated methods to trick people and grab their attention. Social channels offer a perfect environment to create buzz, grab users’ interest with shocking content, and eventually make people share the scams themselves! Behind different types of scams stands different motivations; collecting likes (likes farms), spreading malware, or installing malicious applications that will steal your credentials. Whatever  those motivations, the intentions of scammers ain’t for your benefit!

We monitor social media to pick up those dangerous scams, warn our community, and report it to our virus lab. There are plenty of users who still become victims of scammers. We are convinced that it is more efficient to avoid problems, than to fix them.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure ~ Benjamin Franklin

Let’s take a look at a few types of scams and patterns that will help us to recognize them ahead. STOP – THINK – AND DON’T CLICK (YET)

Celebrity_sex_scam“Sex tape” scam 

Celebrities are in the constant spotlight, followed not only by the paparazzi and tabloid magazines, but fans as well, observing every step they take. The more unusual and shocking the story is, the better it sells online. Is there any better way to attract humans’ attention than with sex? If you know of some, please let us know! :) Meanwhile, let’s learn how those scams work and mainly -  how to recognize them!

Red flags:

  • Rouge visuals, shocking copy, and very strong call to actions. If the status contains any of following: OMGYou must watch itLook what she/he has done! NEVER click on this link!
  • Message leads to a shortened URL, so you can not recognize the link that doesn’t lead to any well- known source (celebrity fan pages or blogs, entertainment websites)
  • The hosting server is unknown source

Would you click on the video saying “OMG I can’t believe Rihanna did it with a…” Read more…

February 26th, 2014

Lost your phone? avast! Anti-Theft helps get it back!

Our AVAST mobile security developers labored over an ingenious feature that we hope you will never have to use. Losing your mobile phone may cause you to have a panic attack and cry uncontrollably, but if it happens to you, you can dry your tears because you have tools to find your phone when you install avast! Free Mobile Security with Anti-Theft.

What is avast! Anti-Theft?

avast! Anti-Theft is a separate program included in avast! Free Mobile Security. You can install it at the same time as the avast! Mobile Security product, or later as a separate installation. Its unique capabilities help you recover your phone by controlling it remotely with SMS commands or via the internet by logging in to your AVAST account.

Since Anti-Theft is a stand-alone application, once its launched, it hides itself, making it completely invisible to a potential thief. Read more…

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February 26th, 2014

Mobile Security: Your best protection is constant protection

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avast! doesn’t stop the NSA, but it helps you BE COOL about it

More than one billion people nowadays use smartphones devices and this number is growing rapidly. With the growing numbers of mobile users accessing the internet on Android smartphones and tablets, and iOS iPhones and iPads, the number of mobile threats and attacks is rising progressively.

Mobile users store sensitive data, and engage in online banking operations, exposing devices to the modern mobile threads. You need constant protection. Not even these big names were immune from attack: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s smartphone was hacked; Rovio, creator of popular game Angry Birds, reported that the personal data of its customers might have been accessed by U.S. and British spy agencies;  and recent news of other leaky phone apps have caused people to look for ways to protect their private mobile communications.

Unprotected WiFi presents a real and present danger

Edward Snowden’s recently leaked documents revealed that the Canadian government’s intelligence agency, CSEC, collected data from travelers who connected to unprotected WiFi at Canadian airports. Read more…

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February 24th, 2014

AVAST demonstrates everyday security techniques at Mobile World Congress!

MWC2014Mobile World Congress (#MWC14) starts today in Barcelona, Spain! It’s an exciting and must-visit event for the entire mobile industry, and of course, the AVAST mobile security team is participating.

Between February 24th-27th, visitors to AVAST booth – 5K29 in Hall 5 will learn how to stay safe from spying eyes and rampant security flaws including Apple’s recent exploit. We have prepared an interesting program, including live previews of all avast! SecureLine VPN and avast! Mobile Security features.

At the booth, the multi-lingual team will educate visitors  about how AVAST’s various security products (for PC, Android, and iOS) can protect you from malicious programs regardless of origin or type, including malware from governments and official institutions. Products on display are:

avast! Secureline VPN

Visitors will learn how to use avast! Secureline VPN to anonymize public WiFi browsing.  SecureLine is effective protection against hackers and spies accessing personal data and browsing activities as well as the threat of “man-in-the-middle-attacks” from the recent Apple SSL encryption bug.

avast! Mobile Security

The AVAST team will teach you how to use avast! Mobile Security to protect your Android devices from spies and hackers, avoid data loss, as well as defend against device theft, and malicious programs – including spy-agency malware that is whitelisted by others.

avast! Anti-Theft

The team will also explain how avast! Anti-Theft works. You will learn how to view the location of a lost or stolen phone, activate an alarm, delete personal data to prevent unauthorized access, and even take photos of any thief and record their voice in order to recover a stolen device.

For the press

Journalists interested in speaking to an AVAST expert at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, can meet up with our Security Experts.  To arrange a meeting, contact our PR manager Marina Ziegler via email at ziegler@avast.com or tweet her at @Marina_Z.

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February 24th, 2014

avast! SecureLine VPN protects you from the Apple Exploit

A major Apple security flaw allows cybercrooks and spies to grab personal information like email, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data. Apple confirmed researchers’ findings that the same SSL/TSL security flaw fixed with the latest iOS 7.0.2 update is also present in notebook and desktop machines running OS X.

Please apply the patches as advised in this post.

It is clear that we need constant protection to cover flaws that will always exist; flaws that we are not even aware of. Reuter‘s reported that

The bug has been present for months, according to researchers who tested earlier versions of Apple’s software. No one had publicly reported it before, which means that any knowledge of it was tightly held and that there is a chance it hadn’t been used.

But documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden showed agents boasting that they could break into any iPhone, and that hadn’t been public knowledge either.

It’s very public now, and that means the race is on between cybercrooks to exploit the flaw and Apple to fix it. You are exposed until the bugs are identified by the vendor, a patch is created, and it’s pushed out or you install it. Your vulnerability increases when you use public WiFi Hotspots.

Your best protection is constant protection

ios-vpn (1)

 

It’s precisely because we put ourselves at risk by using free WiFi, and we don’t know when the next security crisis is coming that we need constant protection. SecureLine VPN is that protection. Read more…

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