As most of our readers and fans know, we now protect more devices (PC, Mac, and Android) globally than any other antivirus provider.
As our business model is such that our freemium software serves as our ‘advertising’ (we don’t do traditional advertising), and most of our users come to us via referrals, we receive quite a bit of thanks from avast! users around the world.
And as our software is available in about 40 languages, we hear from grateful people in Spanish, German, Russian, French, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Polish, English, and of course, in addition to a few others, the native Czech of the land where we are headquartered.
For years we put selections of this positive feedback on our webpages at avast.com. But recently the world has been shifting toward social media based feedback, which means we don’t hear as much from avast! users through our web contact form (and that’s ok!).
But now and then we still do. And occasionally a message really catches our eye. Today, that message came from Wyoming, USA, in perfect ‘cowboy’ speak. Read more…
Make sure you friend Avast on Facebook so you won’t miss our original comic strip, MALWARE ATTACKS!!. Here’s a quick catch-up in case you missed the first installment -
We meet unfortunate aliens fleeing their embattled home world in search of help against the evil Malware Empire. The fate of their planet rests on their success.
Alien visitors come to Earth seeking help from Avast against the evil Malware Empire.
The desperate aliens visit Avast headquarters to ask for help to defeat the evil Malware Empire. Just like 177 million Earthlings who use Avast to protect themselves, the aliens find what they are looking for.
Armed with avast! Free Antivirus 8, the aliens race back to their home planet. Victory against the evil Malware Empire is assured.
Thanks to avast! Free Antivirus 8, the galaxy is once again protected against Malware. Our heroes are awarded with the medal for bravery, and avast! 8 takes its place of honor in history.
Protect your world with avast! 8. From avast! Free Antivirus to our newest top-tier suite, Avast Premier 8, it can all be found on http://www.avast.com
Today teachers and students celebrate Safer Internet Day in 90 countries worldwide, and across six of the world’s seven continents. This year the theme for the day is Online rights and responsibilities, when we will encourage users to ‘Connect with respect’.
Whether you like to use Facebook, share photos, upload movies, blog, game, play or network, follow a few basic rules to keep yourself safe whenever and wherever you go online. This includes when you connect with your computer, your tablet, your mobile phone, and your games console.
Online Safety Information for Children and Young People
- Be responsible online – do not hide behind your screen
Use good ‘netiquette’. This means that you should treat others on the web as you would want to be treated yourself. Don’t let yourself bully or harass someone or create a false identity.
- Do not circulate messages, pictures or other material that can be hurtful
When you share stories, pictures, movies or blogs posts online that normally means that you lose control over it. The information could be there forever and will be there for anyone to see. Read more…
It’s that time of year again for Americans. You have received your W-2 and are eager to file your tax return, especially if you anticipate a refund. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns taxpayers to beware of phishing scams used by con artists to steal your identity, cash, and sense of security. This year is no different.
Phishing takes many forms, but usually involves unsolicited email or messages via social media and a fake website that poses as a legitimate site. The danger is that if you follow the link the scammers provide, you could end up with a malware infection, such as a Trojan that logs your keystrokes and allows a hacker to gain access to your bank accounts, or you could provide valuable personal and financial information that exposes you to identity theft. Here are some recent examples:
Classic phish: Last tax season, a bogus email warned recipients they would be penalized up to $10,000 for not filing their taxes by a false deadline of January 31st. They were instructed to follow a link which went to a phony site that appeared to be the official IRS website. They were asked to provide personal or financial information that could be used by scammers and identity thieves.
Don’t be misled by sites claiming to be the IRS but ending in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. Read more…
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.
AVAST typically has a lot of great news to report and we’re looking for a full-time native speaker of English — with a background in IT journalism (this is important!) — to join our team in Prague.
For more information, please visit our job description for PR News Writer – English native speaker (click link).
Please note that questions about the position will NOT be answered here. Thanks.
Today, I received an email from one of my coworkers (yes, even careful employees of security vendors are in danger:) ). This email has more recipients and contains only one link, without any text or subject.
Fortunately, I am a really paranoid person about emails containing only a link to an unknown site. At this link, you can notice two really suspicious things: The directory is images and there’s a file called yahoo12.php. That should warn users to avoid clicking on this link.
A serious new vulnerability notice about Java exploits has been issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Division. Java 7 Update 10 and earlier contain a vulnerability that can allow a remote attacker to execute malware on vulnerable systems.
A French researcher called Kafeine discovered that a number of websites using the exploit are able to download files directly to the victim’s computer, and execute actions such as installing ransomware. “Hundreds of thousands of hits daily where i found it,” he wrote on his blog. “This could be a mayhem.”
Disable Java in web browsers
Some webpages may include content or apps that use the Java plug-in. There is no fix for this yet, so it is recommended that you protect yourself by disabling Java in your particular browser. Please see our previous blog How do I disable Java in my browser for instructions.
For a higher level of security, it is possible to entirely prevent any Java apps from running in a browser by de-selecting Enable Java content in the browser in the Java Control Panel under the Security tab. Disabling Java through the Java Control Panel will disable Java in all browsers.
Security experts agree that enterprise security is growing more complex this year with the continued development and growth of big data, mobile useage, BYOD (bring-your-own-device), and cloud computing. The impact that malware had across the financial and business sectors in 2012 even have IT pros rethinking traditional models of security.
Jonathan Penn, Avast Software’s Direct of Strategy, looks at some of the security trends that will put pressure on IT professionals in 2013.
Mobile as an attack vector
As business use of smartphones and tablets increases, attackers will target your employees’ mobile devices; not to compromise the device itself, but to gain entry into your corporate IT environment for purposes of data theft.
Big Data = Big Target
Many “big data” analytic efforts are maturing, and with that they are starting to migrate to the cloud and are being opened up to use by 3rd party partners. All this means more opportunity for inappropriate access and compromise of treasure troves of data.
Growth in security outsourcing
Use of managed security services (MSS) is an ever-expanding trend, but is being further propelled by corporate BYOD challenges and by advances in security analytics that bolster the case for having MSSPs monitor your IT environment for signs of attack.
Shift in endpoint security perspectives
IT security professionals look at iPhone and iPads and wish that their corporate systems could be as trustworthy. While there are many reasons why you can’t draw an equivalence between Windows and iOS, we will start so see organizations try to bridge this gap by shifting to a more “default-deny” attitude. In 2013, we will see notable strides in enterprise use of application whitelisting, virtualization and sandboxing, and other techniques that either assume programs are malicious unless proven otherwise or simply isolate them as a just-in-case measure.
Last month we wrote about a flaw in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that could allow cybercrooks to take control of a Windows-based computer if the user browses to a malicious website. The website making news for that attack was the US-based think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Avast Virus Lab has since discovered that two Chinese human rights sites, a Hong Kong newspaper site, a Russian science site, and weirdly, a Baptist website (see the recent tweet) are also infected with the Flash exploit of IE8.
You can imagine the interesting audience that frequents sites such as these. The CFR, for example, attracts high ranking government officials including former presidents and secretaries of state, ambassadors, journalists, and leaders of industry. These sites were chosen on purpose; instead of targeting the general masses, like in a phishing attack, the perpetrators of a so-called “watering hole attack” target specific topics like defense or energy and lie in wait for persons of interest to visit, similar to a predator at a watering hole waiting for its victims to come to it. Read more…