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April 23rd, 2014

Facebook is spring cleaning your News Feed

Facebook spam blocks relevant News Feed posts

Spam blocks news Facebook users want to see

Last year, Facebook had the dubious honor of containing more spam than other social networks.

In order to combat this scourge, Facebook recently announced a series of  improvements to the News Feed to help ensure that spammy content does not drown out the posts that people really want to see from friends and Pages they care about.

“The goal of this spring cleaning is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important and relevant to them,” said Facebook.

The clean-up targets three areas: Like-baiting, frequently shared content, and spammy links

Like-baiting is one of the sneakiest scams on Facebook. It’s when a post explicitly asks readers to like, comment, or share the post in order to increase the number of likes and/or shares; in other words, to “Go Viral.”  As we have described in previous posts, the page usually collects the likes, then sells it to the highest bidder to re-purpose for new annoying posts and scams.

Facebook uses this cute animal survey image to illustrate what it considers to be like-baiting.  The text asks the reader what their favorite animal is, with pictures asking for likes, comments, and shares.

Like-baiting is one of the sneakiest scams on Facebook

Facebook found that there was an over-abundance of frequently shared content.

Read more…

March 27th, 2014

Pretty women. Which one will infect you?

which_one_will_infect_you

Malware which opens pictures of attractive women to entice its victims has been around for some time. Last month there were more than usual, so I decided to research malware that pretends to be a regular picture, and the results are pretty interesting.

We looked for executable samples with two distinct characteristics: 1. .jpg in their name, and 2. no older than the last three months. About 6,000 unique files which matched this criteria were found. From these samples, we noticed that pretending to be an image is not a family specific criteria but we identified that Win32:Zbot is represented more than other malware e.g. MSIL:Bladabindi-EV, Win32:Banker-JXB,BV:Bicololo-CY, etc.

The important message is that most of these samples are distributed by scams which are sent by email or posted on social media sites. An example of an email scam is pictures below. If you are interested in what the social media scam looks like and how to protect yourself, you should read one of our previous blog posts.

scam_mails

Read more…

March 13th, 2014

#avastSelfie photo contest

We celebrated the 106th annual International Women’s Day last Saturday and it became an occasion to organize a fun #avastSelfie photo contest.

You have submitted cute, funny and great #avastSelfies, so those who haven’t submitted yet – don’t miss the fun. Contest ends on Sunday, March 14, 2014, at 16:00 p.m. CET.  Get inspired by others and check the simple “How to participate”  instructions below the photo gallery.

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

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 Sunday, March 14, 2014, at 16:00 p.m. CET. 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.

 

 

 

Categories: Social Media Tags: , , ,
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! :)

blog

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.

DSC_0196

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 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 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 13th, 2014

AVAST Referral Campaign brings 145,000 new members to the community

More than 20,000 people entered our Referral Program last month, giving us a lot of entries to go through and a lot of data to tally. In the end, our grand prize winner came from Brazil, bringing in the largest share of the more than 145,000 new people who joined the AVAST community as a result of your efforts.

We also had winners from Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, the U.S.A, and Vietnam. All of these winners have been notified by email, so please make sure that any messages from AVAST are not in your Junk, Spam, or Bulk mail folder.

We created this infographic to show the impact of the program worldwide. As you can see there were a large number of participants, consequently we are still evaluating the creative entries. Part of the challenge involves translations of more than two dozen languages so that the judges can evaluate each entry fairly. We will be posting those winners as soon as we can.

 winners

While the contest is over and the ruling of the judges is final, anybody can still win free Internet Security licenses for recommending AVAST to your friends. Remember that every time anybody joins the AVAST community, it helps all of us by increasing our network of malware sensors.

Congratulations to all of the winners. We wish we could have declared everybody who entered a winner, but that’s not really practical. So we offer a hearty thank you to everybody who participated. AVAST is grateful for all of your support.

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 9th, 2014

You’ve Got Mail!

We email, chat, Tweet, Facebook , and IM to simply communicate in a digital world with other people. Our communication is speeding up and we use more channels to receive information we are looking for. And there is nothing wrong with it, as the Internet helps us to communicate faster, cheaper and obviously more efficiently. However, isn’t it nice to receive a real postcard sent from holidays? Or come back from work and find a note “Stop by for a coffee, I got your email” left on our door from a neighbor?

Last week, at AVAST Software we have received a letter. No, no, this is not what you are thinking of. A real LETTER delivered by the postal service! A handwritten letter from 9-year old Polish boy, living in Ireland. Hubert send us not only greetings, but also a request for Virus Lab analysis! He made our day and his letter has been circulating around the company for the last few days.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here we go:

 

letter from hubert

 

Hubert, we have your address and these fun AVAST souvenirs will be sent to you! :)

 

present for Hubert

But, if you read this message meanwhile, please contact us at wannabesocial@avast.com and write us in English or Polish! I will be waiting for your email in a virtual world. :)

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 4th, 2014

Happy Birthday, Facebook!

Remember when throwing a sheep at your friend was one of the most fun things to do on Facebook? Well, today the world’s largest social networking site is all grown up and celebrates its tenth year in existence. Happy Birthday, Facebook!

fb-birthday


Here are 10 fun facts you can think about while Facebook’s 6,300 employees worldwide eat birthday cake:

1. Facebook has more than 1.2 billion users worldwide. If it was a country, it would be the 3rd largest.

2. A vast majority of Facebook’s daily active users (972 million) live outside the U.S. and Canada.

3. Last year, the most popular event that Facebook users added to their Timeline was their relationship status, and if they got engaged or got married.EM Piercing

4. The 9th most talked about event in Facebook users lives was about a piercing they got.

5. More people were talking about Pope Francis than any other topic in 2013.

6. More than 350 million photos are uploaded each day, making Facebook the most popular photo uploading service on the web.

7. The Newsfeed was introduced in 2006, the Timeline in 2011, and Graph Search, which lets you use simple phrases like “Photos of my friends in Paris,” to find people, places, photos and other info is being rolled out to mobile and international audiences.

8. Facebook says that the total volume of any government data requests of any kind, national security-related or otherwise, was a small fraction of one percent in the first half of 2013.

9. Revenue for 2013 was $7.87 billion, an increase of 55% year-over-year.

10. avast! antivirus is Facebook’s most popular antivirus page with over 3.7 million fans. Help us get to 4 million by joining us there.

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.

 

Categories: Social Media Tags: ,
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February 1st, 2014

Oversharers: The NSA Loves Your Openness and the Data You Share via Apps

“It has become second nature to connect various apps like Instagram, SocialCam, Angry Birds, CityVille, and Spotify to your Facebook ID. You just click ‘agree’ without even really knowing what you are agreeing to. What you don’t realize is that social apps linked to your Facebook profile can pretty much track your and your friends’ whole life.”

postThis quote, from Christian Sigl (co-founder of secure.me, which is now part of AVAST), originally appeared in Mashable in September, 2012.

Back then, we wanted to give users a heads-up and create awareness to think twice before sharing personal data with apps – regardless if via smartphone or the Web. Part of the message was that you never know what can happen with your data and in whose hands it could end up in.

Today, we know where the data went: The NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, have accessed data from Angry Birds and other smartphone and tablet apps, including sensitive information like age, location, education level and sexual orientation. The data accessed was collected directly from phones including geolocation, handset model, handset ID, software version and more – but personal information like sexual orientation, age and education level probably came from social media connect options.

Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, has reacted and denied that they provide data to the NSA. Instead, they point out that they will rethink relationships with the ad networks they work with. “The alleged surveillance may be conducted through third party advertising networks used by millions of commercial web sites and mobile applications across all industries,” Rovio announced.

Regardless of how this data landed on NSA desks, giving away your customer’s personally identifiable information to a third-party organization is never a good move.

Users couldn’t really have done anything to avoid their data from ending up with the NSA, the only preventative action that could have been taken would have been limiting the amount of personal data that could be collected from social networks. Social network data isn’t meta data, this is information people share voluntarily. So of course, we know today that the NSA can access very sensitive and personal information if they want to – they will find a way if you’re of interest to them. Most of us aren’t though and one thing you can do to limit the amount of data that’s collected is to avoid online oversharing with apps and social networks.

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.