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August 9th, 2014

Our pressing need for ‘now’ does not translate to a want for security breaches

instant-gratificationRecode is running a series leading from its “I want it now” piece about people who have grown accustomed to having their desires met on a whim through the aid of savvy entrepreneurs and tech innovators eager to cash in.

We can all relate to “I want it now”.

I feel myself growing impatient in coffee shops when someone has found a spot to connect their laptops or mobile devices to power points – and I have not. As we often spend hours in the one coffee shop sipping from the same latte we ordered more than an hour ago, it’s inevitable from time to time that we’ll want to check our personal affairs.

What’s happening on facebook? I should message my friend. Let’s browse my favorite news and music sites – that concert looks good, I think I’ll buy a ticket. What, my credit card has been rejected? Best do some online banking.

This type of activity in public spaces can be open playing field for the ill-intentioned: The hacker or the “steal your data” money or identity thief.

We would all agree the “I want it now” mentality does not include: ‘I want’ cyber snoops and criminals ‘now’.

We’ve heard the warnings about our mobile devices – the smartphone is a walking computer in your back pocket, and yet one that can easily be lost or stolen. The plethora of text messages, contact lists, photos, online search history – all this information can be found and used against us if it falls into the wrong hands – even when wiped (as our recent blogpost shows).

Hackers are also targeting our mobile devices with malicious malware. Read more…

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June 16th, 2014

INFOGRAPHIC: Ole Ola! America will play World Cup soccer on mobile devices

The U.S. is on the soccer field: Our own triple-threat celebrity, Jennifer Lopez, performed at the opening ceremony; Facebook set up a special “Trending World Cup” news feed; Twitter predicts the most tweeted global event ever; Google search features a daily soccer doodle; and the U.S. is playing its first game in the tournament today.

The 2014 World Cup is more digital than any other soccer World Cup. At AVAST, we wanted to understand how people will watch and participate in the tournament this year. In a survey of more than 3,000 AVAST users in the U.S., we discovered mobile devices will play a big part: Two out of three American soccer fans will use their smartphone or tablet to enhance their World Cup experience. 

World Cup 2014, USA, soccer, mobile

Soccer news, live scores and vuvuzela sounds on smartphone

Highest priority for Americans is to stay on top of the game results with more than half the fans reporting they will check the live scores from their smartphone. One-third said they will read news about the games on their smartphone or tablet and one-fifth will live stream the games on their mobile device. Many will certainly be interested in the results as they placed a bet. The best strategies to bet on the winning team have been discussed and people are already well into betting fever. One out of ten survey respondents will use or have already used their smartphone or tablet to place bets. 

There is even more that can be done on mobile. For six percent of respondents, collecting and trading stickers of the players has moved from the paper booklet to digital albums in the cloud. And what would a World Cup be without the famous BZZZZ vuvuzela sound? Cover your ears – this year you can expect to hear a cacophony of digital horns: One in 20 intend to use a mobile app to sound the vuvuzela.

Instead of just following the games, every eighth American fan wants to become a world champion themselves – and will play soccer games on their mobile device. 

For all mobile activities, nearly half of Americans stick to the official FIFA apps, the majority mixes official with unofficial apps or only go for unofficial apps. It’s great for fans to have a wider variety of apps to choose from, but beware, we found some gaming apps that are fake, they won’t let you play and instead just want to collect your data and show you ads.

One out of five will live stream the games on smartphone or tablet

The majority of Americans will still watch the games the traditional way – eight out of ten – on the TV at home. However, digital sources are slowly taking over:  40 percent will watch the tournament on PC  and on the smartphone and tablet 21 percent will watch. 

Now who do Americans think will win? 

Americans’ faith in their own team is low!  Only eight percent think the U.S. team will win. Instead, all bets are on the World Cup host: One-third of Americans pick Brazil to take home the cup.

World Cup safety tips

At AVAST, we think we can all be winners if this will be a safe World Cup. Using your smartphone and tablet during and after the soccer World Cup, make sure you are protected:

  • Only download apps from the official Google Play store
  • Choose apps from official sources and read what others are saying about them
  • Take a close look at the permissions an app requests and question if they are necessary for the apps’ functionality   
  • Use antivirus on your PC, smartphone, and tablet
  • If live streaming the games on public Wi-Fi, make sure you are protected with a VPN solution encrypting your communications such as avast! SecureLine


World Cup 2014, mobile, USA, soccer

April 7th, 2014

New AVAST survey shows people not so smart with smartphone security.

Smartphone owners are careless about security, says survey.

Guys are more likely to get a virus on their smartphone than girls (36% vs 32%), and more than one third (34%) of survey respondents don’t have any anti-theft or antivirus security on their smartphones. Add to that nearly half of the people AVAST polled in the US said they did not back up their data or know if they did on their mobile devices. This is despite nearly one in ten saying they had lost their phone or it was stolen in the last 12 months. These results are from a recent smartphone survey conducted for antivirus software company, AVAST.

AVAST Software mobile security survey

AVAST surveyed 9,060 people earlier this year in the US about smartphone ownership and use and have released the results today. Read more…

February 13th, 2014

‘Stop Mass Spying’ cause


The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance event in San Francisco

Hundreds of people concerned for their privacy and opposed to NSA spying practices descended on the courtyard of the AT&T building in San Francisco last night on a clement winter evening.

The well-organized event, The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance, was flanked by police ironically attending to keep surveillance on the amassing crowd.

Former AT&T technician and government whistleblower, Mark Klein, took to the stage sharing his story of how he discovered his employer was in cahoots with the NSA.

Mr Klein told the assembled crowd that he had been tasked to work on the wire that would stream documents into a secret room and was shocked to find that both domestic and international customer activity was being tracked. “Here I am being forced to connect to a Big Brother machine,” he said.

The evening’s proceedings included ample video footage projected onto a windowless side wall of the AT&T building. The popular Police song: “Every Breath You Take” (I’ll be watching you) played and people sang along as the lyrics were displayed before them.

Media clips of TV news interviews with Mark Klein were shown as well as a clip of President Barack Obama’s address about the NSA which was robustly heckled.  Passing cars during the city’s peak hour tooted their horns prompting an explosion of cheers and waving.

Read more…

January 31st, 2014

AVAST polls its U.S. community of users and more than 45,000 come through with their Sunday prediction

It’s cold in New Jersey but football fever is HOT with only two days before the Big Game and showdown between the two championship teams.

Who will win?

AVAST has joined in the football hysteria by leveraging its vast number of users across the U.S. to help us determine a winner.

Denver or Seattle?

We posed this question early in the week and more than 45,000 people have since cast their vote.

The result?

Denver vs Seattle

“AVAST has built a large community of people based on its sharing our free and premium antivirus software products, so we turned to our users to help us predict a winner and our AVAST friends in the U.S. responded with gusto,” AVAST product manager, Martin Zima, said.

The result is consistent with current polling predictions which place Denver ahead of Seattle for a win on Sunday but not so consistent with picks from furry friends Teddy Bear and Eli who have made accurate choices in the past.

Denver has many formidable players, the spotlight of course on quarterback Peyton Manning. Richard Sherman has been the darling of Seattle and arguably the number one defensive player in the league.

Some say the outcome for Sunday will be down to the weather and which side best handles the inclement conditions.

Here at AVAST‘s headquarters in Prague, we know all about competing in the face of snow, sleet and rain.

AVAST wishes both teams good luck on Sunday, and we look forward to a great game.

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November 13th, 2013

AVAST helps celebrate Czech company achievements in Silicon Valley


Naturally, no one objected that Czech beer tastes better than most American beer. Jonathan Penn, from AVAST, on the ‘red carpet’ holding a Czech beer.

AVAST was invited by the Czech School of California to participate in a panel discussion on Saturday 9 November about Silicon Valley Trends for 2014.

The panel consisted of three successful Czech companies operating in the US and featured Jonathan Penn, Director of Strategy from AVAST, Martin Viktora from KERIO Technologies, which distributes software that allows businesses to connect, communicate, and collaborate securely, and Hubert Palan from GoodData, a nextgen data analytics company.

The panel was moderated by Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovič  and drew several questions for AVAST around online security and cyber crime from the interested audience.

One member asked for AVAST’s tips on how the audience would be able to better protect themselves from online security threats.  Jonathan cautioned to be wary about things that may seem unusual or that cause worry as well recommended the audience install an antivirus software on their PC, Mac and mobile devices saying the current themes in security tend to concern privacy issues.

Panel discussion covered thoughts on benefits and challenges of being a Czech company in the United States where all three speakers spoke of the advantages of having talented Czech engineers working for them. It was noted the Czech Republic is renowned for its strong grounding in math and science and provides highly skilled software engineers.

Company and job loyalty and a lower cost of wages comparable to living costs were also noted as providing significant advantage in the context that Silicon Valley is full of start-ups where company loyalty is fickle and employee salary expectations higher.

All agreed their companies were adept at collaborating diverse perspectives with a world view that they saw as an advantage to their company’s business edge.

Disadvantages were cited in terms of the time zone difference that can make contact with people challenging as well the need to travel long distances for face to face meetings.

They all saw a bright future for their company’s success in the US and predicted more Czech companies will begin to realize business success and growth in Silicon Valley.

More than 60 business people, with an interest in the Czech Republic, attended the panel session.

Deviating from the standard dress standard one grows accustomed to seeing in Silicon Valley (jeans, sweatshirt and sneakers), the guests looked smart and elegant dressed in black tie for the inaugural Czech Gala Event that followed the panel.

The Gala celebrated the best of the Czech Republic in California and was to honor the former U.S. Secretary of State, George P. Shultz, the highest award of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his role in implementing foreign policy that led to the conclusion of the Cold War.

The Gala was a benefit for the Czech School of California, headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The School, which opened in 2012, is the largest accredited Czech charterschool in the US with four Bay Area locations.

Both the Panel and Gala were held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City, California.

Photo – L to R:  Moderator Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovič  with Martin Viktora, The Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Kerio Technologies; Jonathan Penn, Director of Strategy, AVAST; and Hubert Palan, VP of Product Management Good Data wearing their ‘’ vests presented by (far right) Richard Pivnicka, the Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic in San Francisco.

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