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October 5th, 2013

5 questions with: Carlos Dreyfus

1267990_10100352145636202_1137362075_o „Carlos Dreyfus joined AVAST Software in January 2013, to support our multicultural marketing team. Carlos is American with a Colombian background. He moved to Prague from Berlin and before lived in a Sunny Florida, where he graduated from the University of North Florida. Carlos is a passionate football player, beer fan (Germany and Czech Republic are not coincident destination!) and a surfer. He brought not only great professional experience, but also energetic and optimistic Latino spirit into our team. We are very pleased to introduce Carlos to you!“

What is your role at AVAST Software?

I’m the User Experience Specialist for all things marketing.  The job role consists of listening to our users and modifying portions of our website using their feedback, also the position involves creating web things from scratch that give a more positive web experience.  Think of me as the person that makes portions of our website fun, educational, easy to use, etc.

How did an American get to Prague and find his niche at AVAST?

That question comes with a very long story, but I’ll try my best to keep it short.  While traveling the world while finishing graduate school I realized that I wanted to be in Europe, so than I pursued a profession in technology, specifically in web since the internet is everywhere.  After working as a consultant in UX and then as a product manager in eCommerce, I landed this cool job at AVAST Software.  What I’ve done in the past fits nicely with what I’m doing now, it couldn’t have worked out any better.

What do you consider the biggest and most exciting challenge at AVAST Software?

We have almost 200 million users, so the idea of being able to enhance their web experience on avast.com seemed like pretty fun challenge, so as the famous Barney Stinson would say: Challenge Accepted…

Do you have anything exciting coming up? Read more…

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March 5th, 2013

My favorite avast! user feedback so far in 2013, from a ‘moonshiner’ in Wyoming

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…

June 21st, 2012

Panda PR tells us avast! – and 7 others – rank better than “best”

 

A press release from Panda Security, dated June, 21, 2012, properly goes straight to the point in its headline:

Panda Internet Security 2012 Ranks as Best-Performing Antivirus in Recent AV-Comparatives Evaluation

 

What the headline and accompanying ‘news’ fail to mention is that Panda scored among best-performing antivirus software in the AV-Comparatives test, but still only tied F-Secure for seventh (7th) place – coming in under Tencent (6th), Qihoo (5th), AVIRA and Sophos (tied for 4th), ESET (3rd), avast! (2nd), and Webroot (1st).

Read more…

January 13th, 2012

From color pink to infectious binary

My daughter should be credited (or blamed) with the  Cute, Pink, and Infected release.

She was playing games on my computer and suddenly screamed: “The internet has stopped!”

Yes indeed, the browser had shut down on her. All I knew at the time was that this involved some online games and a google search using the word “games” or “hry” (games in Czech).

Back at the office, I started sifting through the list of infected sites for those with “game” or “arcade” in the URL and found quite a few. Even better, there were even two sites, cutearcade.com and hiddenninjagames.com, that looked something like the game sites she had been visiting. Read more…

January 5th, 2012

Some free-based music we play at work

Hello avast! Blog readers. Occasionally we hear from people who wonder how we can (or why we would) give away such great software for free – namely, avast! Free Antivirus and our Android offering, avast! Free Mobile Security.

My unofficial response is that we closely align ourselves to the principles of rock and roll. To keep ourselves in the right head-space in the Marketing/PR department, we listen to the following songs – every day – in constant rotation: ;)

 

Rolling Stones – “I’m Free”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FG7N09qjVQ
“I’m free to do what I want any ol’ time…”

The Who – “I’m Free”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjH8_y5JWnY
“I’m free…”

Pearl Jam – “Corduroy”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_kKPTo7EM4
“Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…”

Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Give It Away”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfsMQO12Hfc
“Give it away, give it away, give it away now…”

Read more…

November 9th, 2011

New AVAST-launched forum on CNET

 

Maybe you noticed that we have launched an avast! manufacturer’s forum on CNET.com. Please note that it is not intended to replace our long-standing avast! Forum (forum.avast.com), which will continue to be our main forum. Nonetheless, there is a huge community around CNET.com/download.com, of which many within the community are already avast! users. We are doing our best to be closer to our community and to help in the several main places they go for help. CNET members can find the CNET avast forum at http://forums.cnet.com/avast-forum

 

November 8th, 2011

Brazilian wins sweetheart deal

A Brazilian is the 160 millionth registered user of avast! antivirus and has won  a sweetheart trip to Prague for two.

In fact, it is such a sweet deal, it will be Fabricia’s honeymoon and she will come with her husband. It took so long to convince her that the offer of an expenses-paid trip for two to Prague was real – for someone who had just registered a  copy of avast! Free Antivirus and to arrange the trip for her and her new husband – that AVAST has almost added another 20 million registered users in the meantime. We just hope it will be much easier to give away the next trip to Prague.

But, just the facts.

On May 27, Fabricia downloaded and registered a copy of avast! Free Antivirus for her home computer. That’s all. And she went on with her normal life with its facets of work (health sector), love (fiancée), and life together (planning a wedding). And she had absolutely no idea of the commotion that her simple registration would cause over 10,000 km away in the Czech Republic.

In Prague, Julia Szymanska, our AVAST Community Manager, had been getting ready for the registration counter to reach the 160 million mark. With around 100,000 registrations a day, these numbers change quickly. Thankfully, Fabricia had registered with a valid email address. But communication was not easy as there was no response to the first few emails.  For starters, she does not speak English and then she thought the emails were spam.

While some of us were ready to give up, our Brazilian colleague in AVAST took over the task. Marcus  Googled her email address and name to find her work address and then gave her a direct phone call. After several rounds of communication, he succeeded in convincing her that the AVAST offer was real and that she should really accept it. And when we learned that she would be soon be getting married, this put the expenses-paid trip into a new, very romantic perspective.

In two days, our newlyweds will arrive in Prague.  For the two of them, we hope this will be the sweetheart trip they  remember for the rest of their lives. And for the rest of the world, it should be a reminder that a free antivirus can be very good to its users AND please pay attention to your emails. After all, we are about ready to notify the 180 millionth user.

 

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October 18th, 2011

Back to the Future?

I bet most of you have seen the ‘80s Back to the Future trilogy.  Back then it had great special effects, hi-tech equipment, impressive cars and tricks, but there was also a great theme in which the main hero goes back to the past…

You might be wondering how does it relate to avast! antivirus? Well all of us have a bit of nostalgia for the past, a time when we didn’t use PCs and there were no viruses. :)

So, the other day I asked my colleagues in our marketing/PR department: do you remember your first PC or the first virus you caught?

I was surprised what kind of discussion it has opened and how excited everyone was about it. So here we go (in alphabetical order):

Jason – Copywriter

First pseudo-computer I owned was Atari 2600 (circa 1984-5).

First real computer I ever used (at school): Commodore 64 (circa 1986-7) with a cassette-tape drive.

First real computer I actually owned was an HP desktop I bought in 1997 (with Windows 95 and McAfee antivirus (avast! engine!!)). I had it until 2002, when I upgraded to a Gateway desktop with Windows XP, which I think came with Symantec/Norton(?)… which I did not renew, instead using free antivirus software (ZoneAlarm, AVG, avast!) from then on.

Milos – Marketing Director

I was a poor kid from a poor village.  No computers.  Just socialism.  Left and right… everywhere you looked. Firsthand experience was the computer lab at school when I lived for a while in Modesto, California, in 1992/1993.   PC,  Macs and – listen carefully – Amiga.

I hated Mac because the only way to get the floppy disk out was through the software-eject button.  So when it crashed – and it was crashing all the time – your disk was in there and impossible to get out.

The PC on the other hand was excellent.  Crashed equally as often as the Mac, but there was a miracle hardware button, and when you pushed it the disk was out!  Lovely.

And of course the Amiga… I learned how to animate and draw on it.  It was THE computer for graphics!

Read more…

October 11th, 2011

Distributing antivirus by taxi?

Last Monday, the TV signal coming going into our TV disappeared. “No signal” was the error message displayed quite prominently on the TV screen. Well, since there is no Ice Hockey World Championships at the moment, I thought that fixing the antenna was not an issue of vital importance – a decision that my family disagreed with. So to keep the domestic peace, I called the service, they came the next day, fixed it in about 30 minutes, and all was fine until yesterday.  That is when the invoice for the service arrived.  Note, I don’t mind the cost of fixing the antenna, but I DO mind a lot the cost the repair service charged for COMING to our house. The distance is only 17 km (10 miles) but they charged 50% more than a taxi would! And, taxis in Prague are darn expensive. Which brings me to the benefits of free delivery. Read more…

October 4th, 2011

Building Permits? More leftovers on rooftops

Yesterday’s post about how difficult it is to get a building permit for even a neon sign sparked some interesting Facebook discussions. Clearly getting any sort of building permit is not an easy task in the Czech Republic. Our own experience at AVAST shows that getting a permit for a small sign can easily take 3 months. But, we should not be unthankful. At least at AVAST, we did GET the permit.

I mentioned AVG in my blog yesterday as the other well-known antivirus brand from the Czech Republic. In case you don’t remember, some time ago AVG was actually called Grisoft after its founder Mr. Jan Gritzbach – GRItzbach SOFTware. And the Grisoft company was located here: 49°12’9.262″N, 16°36’23.723″E  (view the satellite image).

Since then, the company has changed its name. They have even moved their offices. But the GRISOFT logo is still there, laying flat on the roof. I wonder if it was ever mounted and visible or if it is still waiting for the official building permit.  ;)