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Archive for November, 2012
November 9th, 2012

The Queens of the FREEks aka your avast! social media team

Earlier this week, we announced that Avast teamed up with Socialbakers to create a social media “listening post” for Avast. You may be wondering just who is doing all that listening and responding to your questions, comments, and suggestions. Today we want to introduce you to our two Queens of the FREEks, also known as the avast! social media content and engagement team.

First Responders

Deborah S. is Avast’s U.S. Marketing Manager and Social Media Manager based in our east coast U.S. office. She does much of the blogging for Avast, as well as working closely with her fellow queen, Julia, to build social media into an important communication channel for the company.

Here are some fun facts about Deborah:

  • She is a Master Scuba Diver and once got attacked by a Titan Triggerfish in the Philippines. There are teeth marks on her beanie to prove it!
  • She plays clarinet in a wind band and has performed for Olympic teams, presidents, and Mickey Mouse. ♫
  • She lived in Europe and Asia for many years, and traveled all over the world. Next stop – Nepal!
  • She runs marathons for fitness but mainly so she can eat cookies constantly and not gain weight.
  • Before joining the Avast team, she worked at a successful start-up company that does crowd-sourced website reputation rating.

Julia S. is Avast’s Community Manager based at our headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic. Julia worked in different areas of the company before taking the role of community manager. For a few years she did it by herself, learning about social media and working to build and nurture the community.

Here are some fun facts about Julia:

  • She is a fanatic about languages, speaks four and currently studies Brazilian Portuguese! Julia adora Brasil. ♥
  • She loves salsa, and the spirit, mentality and vibe of Latin America.
  • She loves traveling. Sightseeing, history, meeting new cultures, people, testing local food – brings spice into her life. If you have a tip for a next trip, drop her a line on Twitter:
  • She doesn’t run marathons, but she still enjoys eating, so in order to stay fit she must…dance more salsa.
  • Before joining the Avast team, she worked in many different places, supporting herself as a student.

Follow avast! on social media

You can talk to the Queens of the FREEks (our Facebook fans know what that means :-) ), ask questions, make comments, learn about security issues, or just say hello on social media.

Like the avast! Antivirus page on Facebook

Tweet at us on Twitter

Join us on Google+

Watch avast! videos on YouTube

See some pretty pictures on Pinterest

Where in the world?

This wouldn’t be social media if we didn’t try to get you talking. ;-) So here’s a question for you – both Deborah and Julia like to travel. Where in the world do you think they were in these photos? Make your guesses in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

November 9th, 2012

When installing avast! Antivirus, do I have to remove old antivirus software?

Thanks for asking this question. Lots of people don’t realize that it’s not a good idea to run two antivirus programs simultaneously. In fact, many antivirus programs will not install if another antivirus is detected on your system. Running multiple antivirus programs on the same computer can cause conflicts resulting in false positive detections, a slowdown in performance, or system instability.

Therefore it is strongly recommended to uninstall all other previously installed antivirus applications before installing avast! on your computer. Most antivirus companies produce a special uninstaller program to remove the antivirus software. It’s best to use these removal tools because typical uninstallation from the Control Panel in Windows can be insufficient in some cases. Some records may still remain in the system and prevent avast! from being correctly installed.

You can find a list of vendors, from Avira to ZoneAlarm, that provide a special removal tool to uninstall their antivirus software on the AVAST FAQ page. We recommend you follow their instructions before proceeding with the uninstallation.

Like us on Facebook

You can ask questions, make comments, learn about security issues, or just say hello on our avast! Antivirus page on Facebook. Over 2 million people have “liked” us. Will you please Like avast! today?

November 7th, 2012

Avast ramps up Facebook and Twitter engagement using Socialbakers

In October 2012, the same week that Avast reached the milestone of 2 million likes on Facebook, Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast Software, approved the creation of a social media “listening post” using Socialbakers powerful suite of analytical, listening and publishing tools. Avast is Socialbakers 1000th customer. A small, but dedicated, community team works on communications, content creation, customer care, and marketing from Avast headquarters in the Czech Republic and a satellite office in the United States.

“Socialbakers helps us monitor thousands of online conversations about our products and services on a global scale in real time,” said Steckler. “This allows for timely review and response to social media posts and content. We look forward to a long, productive relationship.” Read more…

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November 7th, 2012

Just in case… before you pay (!)

The phishing scam creators are really getting creative.  Of course one could question their targeting such in this case.  Czech republic is known for our quite lenient view of laws and rules and – especially – the need to pay (or the lack of there off) of any fines especially when imposed by so called municipal police.  Who would bother…   Hence, an email urging to pay a fine is normally filed directly into the ‘round file’.   Known as trash.  Well in this case… there actually might be a good reason to look at this closely ;) Read more…

Categories: analyses, lab, Virus Lab Tags: ,
November 6th, 2012

Who are the AVAST Bugbusters?

On October 17,  I have received the invitation for the event: Win8 BugHunt. As the only lady invited to this event I felt really flattered. However I had no clue what is this event actually about … :D So I did my “InfoHunt” and this is what I have discovered:

Instead of running a “boring” test on a compatibility between avast! Antivirus and Microsoft® Windows® 8 operating system, Lukáš Hasík (director of QA team*) along with Michal Vaněk (Senior Quality Assurance Engineer) decided to organize a competition.  They invited, exclusively selected, eleven AVAST employees to the internal test called Win8 BugHunt. The goal of a test was simple: find as much bugs as possible in the shortest period.

All eleven participants had to install the latest version of Windows® 8 OS and start testing the latest internal built of avast! Free Antivirus. Each participant was given two hours to pass 10 assignments. The idea was to follow a “regular avast! user experience”. I myself decided to participate as a neutral watcher and follow others struggling with their ten tasks, which were following:

  1. Provide a custom installation of avast! Free Antivirus in a trial mode
  2. Install selected browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari)
  3. Test a functionality of a Browser protection: WebRep, SiteCorrect, Phishing
  4. Test Remote Assistance feature
  1. Read more…
Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
November 5th, 2012

100,000 Voter Survey: Romney ahead but more believe that Obama will win

In a survey of 100,000 Avast users this past weekend, Avast users have shown just how close the upcoming Presidential Election is. The survey shows a narrow preference for Romney in the popular vote resulting in a large advantage for Romney in the Electoral College Vote. At the same time though, a clear majority believe that Obama will actually win:

  • 48.9% of users who are registered voters said they will definitely vote for Romney, compared to 46.1% who will vote for Obama. Interpreted by electoral votes, this is 290 votes for Romney and 230 for Obama.
  • As to who they think will actually win the election, however, 47.6% think Obama compared to 39.6% in Romney’s favor. Interpreted electorally, this gives 349 to Obama and only 189 to Romney.
  • New Mexico and Virginia are dead heats—46.9% for each candidate in New Mexico and 47.6% in Virginia.
  • The other tightly contested states in the survey are Florida with 49.2% for Romney and 47.5% for Obama; Ohio with 48.8% for Romney and 46.3% for Obama; and New Hampshire with 48.2% for Obama and 45.3% for Romney.


Of course, this has nothing to do with security, we don’t mix politics with business, and we have not taken any position on the election. Furthermore, we are based in the Czech Republic so any position we took would be meaningless anyways. But still, we have a large base of users in the USA—about 11 million—and we thought it could be insightful if their collective opinion could predict the election results as well as the professional polling firms. Read more…

Categories: CEO's corner, Uncategorized Tags:
November 5th, 2012

avast! is first Free Antivirus to be Windows 8 Compatible

Avast! is the first free antivirus software to be offered in the Windows store after being tested and passing the rigorous requirements for Microsoft® Windows® 8 operating system compatibility. Avast! Free Antivirus earned the coveted compatibility certification and the right to display the “Windows 8 Compatible” logo.

“Avast has a track record of receiving Microsoft Windows certifications, and Windows 8 is not an exception,” said Ondřej Vlček, Chief Technology Officer of Avast. “Having avast! in the Windows store provides Windows users with a certified PC security solution that is far better than what they would have with the pre-bundled Windows Defender antivirus previously known as Microsoft Security Essentials.”

Windows Defender is basic virus and malware protection that provides similar protection, uses the same antimalware engine, and has a look akin to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).  Performance tests by AV-Test, a respected antivirus software testing lab, show that avast! Free Antivirus has notably surpassed that of MSE in all 2012 monthly Real-World tests. While it does a good job on common widespread malware, as do most good brands, MSE lacks the cutting edge protection against new unknown “zero-day” attacks of which avast! Free Antivirus excels in detecting.

Earning the certification gives avast! Free Antivirus the right to display the “Windows 8 Compatible” logo after passing Microsoft’s technical requirements for compatibility and reliability with Windows 8.

“The logo is an indication that the app has been developed and fully tested to work great on a given platform. Because of all the innovations in Windows 8, getting the logo this time was not simple, but getting it early on shows a clear dedication of my team to our users, making sure they can start moving to this new exciting platform immediately,” said Vlček.

Windows® is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies.