AVAST Software has teamed up with Facebook to help you and your friends stay safe. AVAST is sharing its Virus Lab data with Facebook in the combined attempt to prevent malware being shared unknowingly by Facebook users. Whenever someone clicks a link within Facebook, Facebook checks the URL in the AVAST cloud, in real time. If the URL is infected, the user sees a message warning of the potential threat.
Nearly half of the world’s Internet users log onto Facebook each month to share interesting things, play games, check in to shops and restaurants, tag photos, and most of all, connect with their friends. Facebook’s networks of more than a billion people make it attractive to cybercrooks who try to gain access to our accounts and passwords. Once in, crooks use our connections to spread hoax messages or malicious apps to our friends, attempting to trick them into sending money or sharing personal information. Who among us hasn’t been curious about celebrity death rumors, tempted by free gift cards, or concerned because our friend was mugged and stranded in a foreign country?
“We’ve seen that the most prominent way of spreading malware now is through links to infected websites, rather than the traditional method of emailing infected files,” said AVAST Software CEO Vince Steckler. “Our Virus Lab has tracked about 2 million infected websites just in the last 12 months and the best way to stop these infections is to prevent links to them being shared.”
Over 160 million people use avast! for their PCs, Macs and Android devices, and they work together in a vast network of anonymous security sensors called CommunityIQ. These sensors provide information about possible suspicious files which allow new threats to be detected and neutralized almost as soon as they appear.
“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our users and their data. Beginning today, Facebook will be able to leverage Avast’s feed of malicious URLs to augment our existing site integrity systems and those in our community will be able to download Avast’s software to better protect themselves and their devices. We look forward to working with Avast to provide an even more secure experience for those who use our service,” said Joe Sullivan, CSO of Facebook.
Who will it be?
When Martin Zima of the Avast Marketing team established the avast! Facebook page on December 2nd, 2008, he could not imagine, that nearly four years later this page would have two million fans! That’s a 2 with six zeros – 2,000,000. None of us could imagine it. And now, we are waiting in anticipation to welcome our 2 millionth Facebook fan.
Who will it be?
Let me give you the bigger picture: avast! antivirus is a Czech product; AVAST Software has it’s HQ in Prague; Prague has less than 1.3 million inhabitants, and the entire Czech Republic struggles to reach 11,000,000 people. Having a Facebook page with 2,000,000 fans is an outstanding result, and we can say that we are likely the biggest Czech-founded page in the world.
This however is not our success alone, but YOURS too. Without your LIKES, we wouldn’t be getting ready for this celebration. Therefore we are preparing some nice surprises for you. Every celebration however requires some preparation. This “for play” can sometimes be even more enjoyable than the actual party.
We estimate that we will reach 2,000,000 fans around October 27th. Maybe the 2 millionth fan will be one of your friends. YOU can help us speed this process up, so we can celebrate sooner. How? Every day we will have a little quiz, poll, or question for you. Every day you will get a chance to win a license for avast! Internet Security or avast! Pro for Mac. Every day you will get a chance to have your picture on our cover image along with your “FREEky Security Tip of the Day.”
Invite your friends to become avast! fans and participate as well, as the most active fans (check your position as avast! TOP FREEk here) will be awarded with… No, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. We will keep you posted.
Follow our Facebook page, answer our quizzes, invite your friends. Simply have fun celebrating 2,000,000 fans with avast!
Have you received an email saying a friend tagged you in a photo on Facebook? Use extreme caution before clicking to see photos in the attachment. In a typical phish, cybercrooks are using a fake Facebook photo notification email designed to spread malware allowing them to gain control over Windows-based computers.
Avast Virus Lab detected the malware as Win32:Trojan-gen and added the definition to the database yesterday, so all avast! users are protected.
The email looks innocent enough with the familiar blue header and logo. Serious Facebookers may know that Facebook never sends you photos that you’ve been tagged in as attachments; rather they send links to the photos. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy to notice the difference.
Please share this warning with your Facebook friends, and recommend that they get avast! Free Antivirus, so they’ll always be protected. You can share avast! by clicking on our recommend avast! app here.
Our 190 millionth registered avast! user, Julie P. and her friend Steve, were given a free trip to Prague, home base of AVAST Software, in appreciation of Steve’s recommendation. Steve recommended that Julie try avast!, and it turned our better than she expected.
“Since three out of every ten new users come because of a friend, it’s time we also recognize a recommender,” said Vince Steckler, CEO of AVAST Software. “I am pleased we have been able to identify both the 190 millionth registered user and the friend that recommended avast!.”
Julie is a British national living in Spain. She decided to get avast! Free antivirus on the advice of Steve, a helpful retired friend. And when it came time to install avast! on her computer, it was Steve that downloaded and installed it.
“As a recommender and IT helper, people like Stephen have a big impact on AVAST and have helped drive growth last year from 141 million to 189 million registered users,” said Mr. Steckler. Read more…
AVAST Software Announces Winner of its Latest Facebook-Based Promotion
To promote the release of new avast! version 7, AVAST Software ran a promotion for a lucky user to win seven days in ‘paradise’, an all-inclusive holiday for the winner to a destination of his or her dreams. To win, participants had to enter the promotion on www.facebook.com/avast and estimate correctly what the avast! active user base would be two months later. Surprisingly, eight participants actually got the correct number of 150,107,324 active users.
However, it was Daniel Santos do Nascimento from Maceió in Brazil who picked the correct number nearly 7 weeks earlier. “I thought of it like a maths test,” explains Daniel, “I looked at the last 6 months number of active users and used the approximate growth to estimate the probable next number – but to be honest, I was just lucky!”
Daniel, an avast! user for over three years, decided to let his wife choose the destination, “My wife has always wanted to go Rio de Janeiro and this opportunity has allowed her dreams to come true,”
Daniel, his wife and son are now planning their all expenses paid trip and avast is now planning a bigger competition to coincide with the registration of the 200 millionth user which based on strong growth could well take place in 2012.
avast! Free Antivirus for Mac was launched a mere week ago, and it only took three days to reach the #1 position on CNET’s download.com. avast! Free Antivirus for Mac fulfills the need for quality security just as the Mac community is recovering from the high-profile Flashback Trojan that infected 600,000 Macs. Many people realize now that OS X is not immune to attack, and new OS X malware is demonstrating how unprotected Macs can be infected when a user simply visits a website.
avast! Free Antivirus for Mac contains the same light, award-winning, certified, and highly acclaimed antivirus and anti-spyware engine as its avast! version 7 Windows counterpart. Learn more about it here.
Win a MacBook Air
Thanks to loyal avast! users like you, avast! is the most liked antivirus on Facebook. As of this writing, we have over 1.1 million likes and rising. Thanks, avast! fans.
Like avast! on Facebook and enter to win a MacBook Air! Take a photo of yourself with an apple and submit it to our contest by Friday, May 18. You must be a registered avast! user and a fan of avast! on Facebook. After the photos are in, the fun begins when all the participants vote for their top 5 favorite photos. Those five will each win a MacBook Air! So get those apples polished and cameras snapping. We want your best photo!
Yes, most of us complain about all the seemingly unnecessary changes that Facebook initiates far more often than we’d like (just about the time we figure out how to navigate everything)… but it’s good to remember that Facebook is a free service. Of course some will argue that nothing is really ‘free’, but at least +140 million active avast! Community members know differently.
Some of you will remember the days of Rolodex. Mine was typically overfilled with business cards and scraps of paper – taped, glued, or even stapled in place. Sometimes a few ‘creative’ oversized business cards or paper scraps would clog up the ‘machine’, and maintaining changes to phone numbers, addresses, and job titles was always a major problem.
So Facebook, for me, was a welcome change. All my contacts keep their own info updated, and I can find them at any time via the search box. And my Facebook account serves 4 key purposes:
T minus 8 hours until we see if the threats of the hacktivist group Anonymous are fulfilled. November 5 is the scheduled demise of Facebook, according to a YouTube “press release” published months ago, and since removed. Last August a rally cry went out to willing hacktivists or guys who want “to protect the freedom of information” to “join the cause and kill facebook for the sake of your own privacy.” It seems that this group has the technical chops to do it too – these are the same folks who brought us publicized attacks on the IMF, Sony and the Iranian government.
However, there is an indication that the big take-down won’t happen. The OP_Facebook account which was fairly active in the beginning has been pretty dead since last month. And the larger group has distanced themselves from the threat. Earlier today on AnonOps, one of the Twitter accounts regularly used by the Anonymous group, they tweeted, “We told you many times ddosing Facebook was a fake operation.”
So the world’s most popular social networking site will probably live to see another day. But maybe the threat of attack issued by Anonymous was designed to make us think about Facebook and their dalliances with individuals’ privacy. Facebook admitted this September that they had been tracking their 750 million users, even after they logged out of Facebook, using browsing monitoring cookies. The stated reasons were for security and fraud prevention.
We hope to see Facebook survive, if only for our thriving avast! antivirus page. It’s a great way to interact with like-minded people and learn a thing or two from you and share things about avast!. If Facebook is still around tomorrow, please share http://www.facebook.com/avast with a friend.
I’ve seen this happen many times, but this time I decided to get a screenshot of it. In a small box, facebook recommends that I add a friend because we have friends in common… or I get a direct friend request from someone I don’t know. I click the profile to investigate and, indeed, we have several friends in common. But an instinct triggers that something isn’t quite right.
Example 1 – Notice:
- New profile
- No personal information other than “Single”
- Only 17 friends
- All 17 friends are male
- Only 1 photo, with a focal point of breasts and eyes (maybe I should have titled this post “Why men are easy targets for spammers”)
We are happy to announce that our Facebook fan page for avast! antivirus has reached a whopping 300,000 fans!