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February 4th, 2016

Sharing personal information plays part in Neiman Marcus hack

Data that you share on social media could end up for sale on the Dark Web.

Adjust your privacy settings on social networks. You never know who may be watching!

Adjust your privacy settings on social networks. You never know who may be watching!

The luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is the latest victim of a data breach. At the end of January, Neiman Marcus notified their online customers that unauthorized individuals attempted to access customer’s online accounts by trying various login and password combinations using automated attacks. The hackers were able to accurately guess the username and password combinations and access some online accounts. Neiman Marcus reported that only a small number of these accounts were used to make unauthorized purchases.

Personal information shared on social sites combined with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and username and passwords for sale on the Dark Web, are making data breaches of this type more common.  Cybercrooks, terrorists, and nation states buy information from shady sites, then use it to break into banks, launder money, or make trouble for big U.S. companies like Neiman Marcus Group.

“These bad guys are assembling portfolios of individuals,” said Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner in an interview with DataBreachToday about the breach. “They’ve got a big database of American citizens and all the data associated with their identity, and lots of different people are buying up this data on the Dark Web. And they’re using this data to get to their targets.”

Unsafe practices make hacker’s jobs easier

Responsibility for customer safety belongs heavily with the organization. They should encrypt any customer contact information and use stronger authentication methods than just a username and password. But, we as consumers make the hacker’s job easier by using the same username and password on multiple accounts. Once one set of credentials is compromised, then hackers will test them to get access to other websites.

We can take steps that make it harder for a cybercrook to gather information on us and break into our accounts.

Read more…

February 3rd, 2016

How to create strong, unique passwords for all your accounts (and remember them!)

One of the best ways to protect yourself online is by using strong passwords. Yeah, right.

Do you write your passwords on sticky notes?

You’ve seen the rules before

1. Use long, strong passwords that mix letters, numbers, special characters, and capital letters

2. Avoid using the same password on different websites.

But since we have so many to remember, the average is 19 per person, then most people default to using easy-to-remember passwords. The most popular passwords for the past few years have been 123456 and password.

 Is it safe to store my passwords in the browser?

Most browsers offer to store your passwords, and on the surface it seems like a convenient way to keep them handy. But the problem is, when you store passwords in your browser, they are stored on your device along with the information necessary to decrypt them – which makes them easy to hack.

One password to rule them all

What if you could remember only one password, but still follow the rules for creating strong, unique passwords? Cue the angels, because Hallelujah, you can!

Avast Passwords is a password manager free to all Avast 2016 users. Avast Passwords helps you manage passwords across all your devices and all you need to remember is one main password! Read more…

February 1st, 2016

The cat and mouse game of internet security

Virus Lab analysts can see real-time threats on the monitoring wall

Virus Lab analysts can see real-time threats on the monitoring wall

Security is an evolutionary business rather than a revolutionary one.

“Computer security has been around for 25 or 30 years and the threats keep evolving,” Avast CEO Vince Steckler in a video interview with ValueTech.

The solutions keep evolving too. “If you go back 20 years ago, the big issue was script kiddies and big public splashes of viruses that frankly didn’t cause any harm. These days, things are much more complicated. You don’t have big flaws, big loopholes for bad guys to take advantage of. What this turned into is a cat and mouse game.

Read more…

January 28th, 2016

What you share online may be revealed to others

Every year we celebrate Data Privacy Day by thinking about what we post online, what methods we use to connect, and the security of the devices we use.

Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day  (DPD) is an international effort held annually on January 28 to create awareness about the importance of privacy and protecting personal information. Avast knows that security these days means more than protection against viruses. Online threats put your security and personal data at risk. You not only have to protect your desktop PC, but also your mobile devices. Your privacy can be violated by the apps you use, and bad guys can even invade your home through your home router.  

Fortunately, these threats can be managed when you take the advice of Data Privacy Day: 

STOP. THINK. CONNECT.

Here’s some tips and solutions from Avast to help you manage all the privacy needs on your devices.

Share with care

Think about the consequences of what you post online, especially in social networks. Think about what others could learn about you and who might see your posts in the future ‒ teachers, parents, colleges, and potential employers.

Read more…

January 27th, 2016

Avast for Business makes life easy for IT professionals

Businesses and organizations use Avast for Business, the security solution that’s easy to deploy and manage (and free!).

Business sectors such as education, retail, healthcare, IT consulting firms love and use Avast business security solutions for their ease-of-use and effectiveness against threats. In less than a year, more than one million devices have been secured by our cloud-managed security solution.  A reason for its success is because many businesses, schools, and other organizations lack the IT resources to install costly and complex security solutions.

Read more…

January 26th, 2016

AV-TEST rates Avast Free Antivirus 2016 as a top security product for Windows Home Users

Avast Free Antivirus 2016 obtained highly positive ratings in AV-TEST's recent Product Review.

Avast Free Antivirus 2016 obtained highly positive ratings in AV-TEST’s recent Product Review.

AV-TEST, the leading and worldwide operating service provider for IT security testing services, has recently revealed the results of their Product Review and Certification Report for November-December 2015. AV-TEST describes the details of the review on their website:

Read more…

January 23rd, 2016

Avast’s new Prague headquarters is set to attract the most talented people

Avast's new headquarters are located in Prague's Enterprise Office Center.

Avast’s new headquarters are located in Prague’s Enterprise Office Center.

The opening of Avast’s beautiful new headquarters, Prague’s Enterprise Office Building, is a pretty good cause for celebration. At last night’s Grand Opening event, a few of our executive team members shed light on the moving process, as well as specific details about the building and its potential to open new doors for the company. Avast COO Ondrej Vlcek described the initial concept behind the building:

We modeled the design after some very successful Silicon Valley companies and are bringing that entrepreneurial spirit and drive for excellence to the team.

The building has an impressive collection of features:

  • 45 meeting rooms that provide both formal and relaxed environments.
  • 6-meter-wide stairs thoughout all six floors that serve as a meeting spot for employees.
  • A canteen with free food served daily from the morning until late afternoon. This supports informal contact between groups that traditionally wouldn‘t have lunch together as well as increased cross-departmental communication.
  • A fitness area, hammock room, pool tables, cinema, and library for enrichment and relaxation.
  • A children‘s room that works to support (and lend a hand to) each of our working parents.

 

It’s not hard to believe that such a spectacular working space draws in top-notch talent from across the globe to work at Avast. Current Avast employees also have a lot of positive things to say about our new workspace:

When I saw our canteen, I couldn’t believe it. So many varieties of food, from healthy light salads to breakfasts of champions. — Tomas Penka (eComm Specialist)

It’s fresh and unique, and it provides an atmosphere that invites creativity. – Che Johnson (Corporate Tech Support)

The central staircase impels employees to make use of it and walk more, which has been a healthy surprise. – Petr Prusa (QA Engineer)

Moving into the new year, we’re looking forward to thriving in our new building and seizing the opportunity to demonstrate how we work to keep people around the world safe every day.


Follow Avast on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+ where we keep you updated on cybersecurity news every day.

January 22nd, 2016

Avast opens its new headquarters with a gala event

Avast Building exterior

New Avast headquarters

Avast Software celebrates moving into a beautiful Silicon Valley-style work place.

The grand opening of the new Avast headquarters, held in Prague on Thursday night, was a gala event for employees, friends of Avast, international journalists, his excellence Andrew H. Schapiro U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Chairman of the Board John Schwarz, our two co-founders, and other honored guests.

Opening the event on a stage set up in the expansive lobby of the new building, CEO Vince Steckler summarized his last 7 years with the company. When he started, Avast was still a start-up in many ways with only 3 products, 40 employees, and occupying a modest building. There was no board of directors or proper company structure in place.

Since Mr. Steckler took the helm of the company, Avast has become a global force in security software and delivered award-winning products to consumers, small businesses, and enterprise.

“We are extremely proud of how far we have come,” said Steckler. “Avast is on more computers than any other security software, and we are just getting started.”

Avast lobby

Guests gather in the lobby as the Avast Grand Opening begins

Looking towards the future, Steckler said to a rapt audience, “The Internet of Things has led to an entire new era of security concerns, which Avast is well-poised to address for our customers.”

Read more…

Categories: General Tags: ,
January 21st, 2016

AV-Comparatives report: Avast takes the gold for Overall Performance

Avast was awarded the title of Top Rated Product for 2015 by AV-Comparatives.

Avast was awarded the title of Top Rated Product for 2015 by AV-Comparatives.

Recently, AV-Comparatives released their 2015 Summary Report, an important resource for anyone who is interested in security solutions and antivirus software. Avast had a few exciting wins in this year’s report, which we plan to build upon as we continue moving forward into 2016.

Firstly, Avast was awarded the title of Top Rated Product for 2015 by AV-Comparatives. In their report, AV-Comparatives writes:

“Avast is a Top Rated Product this year, receiving five Advanced+ awards in the course of the year, including both Real-World Protection Tests. . . We feel its scan-results dialog box is equally well suited to expert and non-expert users.“

In addition to being a Top Rated Product, Avast also won the Gold Award for AV-Comparatives‘ Overall Performance Test, as well as a Silver Award for the Malware Removal Test.

In describing their Overall Performance test, AV-Comparatives adds that Avast demonstrates a significantly lower impact on system performance than that of other products. This means that Avast doesn’t disturb you while you browse, work or play on your PC.

How to make your PC’s performance the best it can be

If you’re experiencing a sluggish computer, there’s several things you can do to improve your system’s performance.

  • Make sure your software is up to date. The most up-to-date software contains fixes and patches that makes it run at its best. Avast 2016 products have enhanced features and the highest detection rates to protect your computer from malicious attacks. Software Updater is a feature in Avast 2016 that helps you ensure that your programs are up to date.
  • Old hardware. If you try to install modern software onto your old computer, it could start running at a snail’s pace, because the hardware simply is not capable of running the software. Ideally, buying a new PC with a multi-core processor is the best solution. However if your budget does not include a new computer, then you could add more RAM.
  • Stick to one security program. It’s not advised to run more than one security program with real-time protection at a time. Please uninstall any trial software that came with your PC before installing different protection. You can find a list and instructions to remove here. We recommend that you follow the vendor’s instructions before proceeding with the uninstallation.

Follow Avast on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Google+ where we keep you updated on cybersecurity news every day.

January 20th, 2016

Privacy on the Internet: There is no such thing as a free lunch

This is a reprint of The elusive “P” which appeared in the January 2016 issue of Indian Management.

Indian Management Privacy

There is no such thing as a free lunch, truly.

As we increasingly traverse the virtual realm, we are putting at stake a crucial aspect—our much-treasured privacy.

There is not a lot of privacy on the Internet today. Every place you go – websites, social networks, apps – all know your IP address and where you are located, which they can correlate with your demographics, age, gender, and the websites that you visit. Social networks can even tell advertisers what your political leanings are and which religion you practice, and the Internet knows which books you read, which cosmetics you use, and whether or not you are pregnant, getting married or divorced. At the end of the day, search engine companies and Internet Service Providers know everything about you. With the up-rise of the Internet of Things, Internet-connected devices can dig even deeper into our lives. Our cars remember when we drove where, how fast we went, and what music we were listening to, while our smart watch can tell us more about our health than our doctors can. Privacy is a thing of the past.

A trade-off between convenience and privacy

In our day-to-day usage of the Internet, each of us are either making a conscious or unconscious trade-off between convenience and privacy.

One example of this can be seen in Gmail, the hugely popular email service used by nearly one billion people around the world. Most people will, but others might not recognize that they receive advertisements which are somewhat related to the subject of their emails. This is due to the fact that the subjects of a user’s emails are sent to various advertising engines to come up with relevant content to serve back to the Gmail user. For someone who sent an email with ‘vacation’ in the subject line, this may result in the user receiving ads with flight offers during the following days.

Read more…