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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.

 

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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.

January 29th, 2014

AVAST team at FETC 2014 conference in Orlando.

While most of the AVAST team is located in freezing Prague, some of us are enjoying sunshine in Florida. The AVAST Free for Education team is excited to be attending FETC 2014 in Orlando, Florida for the first time! Check out the preparation progress and don’t forget to follow AVAST on Instagram and stop by at the Booth 356!

avast team1

AVAST Free for Education team is FREEking awesome!

avast_team2

Getting ready: booth 356 already looks pretty!

avast_team3
Why pay for Antivirus, if you can get one for free? Read more…

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January 23rd, 2014

Facebook music theme scam hits a sour note

FB_Theme

Facebook Music Theme

By now, we are all familiar with Facebook scams that claim to give your Newsfeed a designer look. Remember Facebook Red or Facebook Black? Those pretty themes ended up spreading spam and malicious links via online surveys and fake videos. Today, the AVAST Virus Lab experts discovered a unique variety– the Facebook Music Theme Scam.

The Facebook Music Theme Scam is supposed to change the theme and add a song to your Facebook page. But when our Virus Lab expert, Honza Zika, investigated, he got more than danceable music tracks, “What this code does is modify Facebook.  It automatically liked 32 photos, people, groups, … See my activity log, that is just half of it.”

Read more…

January 14th, 2014

Meet Paulius Yla AVAST Evangelist

Lithuania is a small European Union country, located in Northeastern Europe. Nearly 10% of 3,000,000 Lithuanians are protected by avast! Antivirus. Among them is one special person: Paulius Yla, an AVAST Evangelist.

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Evangelist” is the term we use for those people who willingly volunteer their personal time and expertise to help others benefit from avast! Antivirus. The most active place for evangelists is on the AVAST forum.

NuotraukaFour years ago, we organized a big meeting for AVAST Evangelists in our Prague headquarters. It was a unique, emotional meeting for both sides: The AVAST team and the AVAST Evangelists. It was an opportunity to meet people we knew only from the cyberworld – The AVAST forum. This is when I met Paulius in person. Paulius, who under the username “YLAP”  on the AVAST forum, has been helping users precisely since  January 20, 2005, 02:48:04 PM. :) During his years on the forum,  Paulius has generated over 1,800 posts and helped countless of people. But the forum is not the only space where Paulius is active. You can also meet him on Facebook sharing useful tips, so do not hesitate to follow him, as Paulius is a great AVAST expert.

We value our evangelists greatly and there are no words to express our gratitude to Paulius and the others for all their work and for being “AVAST ambassadors” all over the world. In the past we have introduced you to Bob Gostischa (USA), Lisandro Carmona (Brazil) and Charlie O. Prince (USA). It’s time to meet more of the AVAST Evangelists and welcome them officially, and thank them for helping you also on social channels. Please say “Labas” (hi in Lithuanian) to Paulius and get to know one of our experts. 
Read more…

January 10th, 2014

Influence what we will share on avast! Facebook page!

2013 was a very productive and successful year at AVAST Software. We released two versions of the consumer products: avast! V8 and avast! 2014, celebrated our 25th anniversary, and are protecting an incredible 200 million devices!  It was a wonderful year for us, and we shared a summary of our milestones in December’s post.

2014 is already kicking and most of us has started it with great New Year resolutions: “Eat healthy”, “Regularly visit gym”, “Call your family and friends once a week”, “Quit smoking”… We, at AVAST made our New Year resolution as well. Here it is:

resolution

While the developers, Virus Lab researchers, and Quality Assurance teams are working towards this goal, we in the marketing team do our best to communicate to You -  the AVAST users – what we are working on.

You can influence what we will be talking about on our Facebook page with over 3,6 million fans! Read more…

January 7th, 2014

AVAST (teddy) has conquered Brazil!

blogBrazil is the only Portuguese speaking country in both South and Latin America. It is also fifth biggest country in the world, according to its geographical size and in terms of population. Brazilians represent a fascinating ethnic and cultural fusion, influenced by indigenous, European, African, and Asian cultures. With the upcoming World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic games in 2016, Brazil has become a center of interest from the economical and touristic perspective.

For AVAST Software, Brazil is the most important market. An incredible 28 million users (over 10% of entire population!) use avast! Antivirus to protect mobiles, notebooks, PCs, and Mac computers. avast! Free Antivirus is well recognized, popular and a much-loved brand in the country.

For me personally, Brazil was always a country of very friendly people, beautiful language, fantastic music (samba, bossa nova, forro), and fascinating cultural mixture. It was always on my traveling A-list.  I finally took the opportunity, and the avast! teddy bear :),  and went on my dream trip.

Below is short photo diary from all the gorgeous places, we had a pleasure to visit! I hope it will inspire you to:

a) Start following avast! teddy on Instagram

b) Discover Brazil :)

c) Recommend avast! Antivirus to your friends, as the Brazilians do! :)

We started our tour visiting the most popular site in Rio Corcovado. One of the World’s Seven Wonders, Christ the Redeemer was however hiding in the clouds.  It didn’t prevent our avast! teddy from enjoying it though!

 

Rio christ

The gorgeous Botanical Garden in Rio hosts thousands of exotic plants and animals. One of them was curious Macaca, who definitely became friends with the avast! teddy! Read more…

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