Do I really need security on my computer anymore?
Over the years, web standards have improved and the security of operating systems and browsers have become better. Because of these advances, some people question whether they need security protection at all. But you need to remember that in parallel to positive advances in protection, cybercrooks have improved their skills and become more stealthy and targeted.
Hackers are no longer mischievous kids breaking into government agencies because they can. “These days, cybercrooks have to make business driven-decisions like the rest of us because their resources are limited,” said Ondrek Vlcek, COO of Avast.
Current malware is often disguised as legitimate applications, malicious Android apps sneak by protocols of the huge download sites, and home and business networks are being attacked via weakly protected routers.
“Threats are no longer just targeting devices, but accounts and routers. A recent example is the iCloud hack where cybercrooks stole personal photos of more than 100 celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton,” said Vlcek. “This attack happened via their account and can as well be the result of a router hack. No matter which device you use, all Internet traffic flows through your router so you have to make sure it is secure. You don’t have to be Jennifer Lawrence to be attacked.
Not your father’s antivirus protection
Antivirus protection has come a long way since it scanned individual files. Avast has taken modern virus protection to a high art with real-time updates and heuristic scans that detect new threats it’s never even seen before.
Avast performs so well in protecting against “real-world” threats such as Trojans, worms and viruses as well as web and email threats, that it just received the AV-TEST certification for our home user products.
Avast scored perfectly in the detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks, and had very little incidence of disruptions caused by false positives. Our consumer products have basically no measurable impact on the performance of the computer while doing things that the average user does on a daily basis: Visiting websites, downloading software, installing and running programs and copying data.
Compared to Windows users, Mac users have been relatively unaffected by malware attacks. Cybercrooks, however, are just as aware as antivirus vendors are about Mac vulnerabilities. With the growing number of Mac users, cybercrooks see more potential for malicious activities, especially as Mac users tend to have a false sense of security and not usesecurity software. You only have to read this blog to learn that cybercrooks are adapting Windows malware to target their Mac counterparts.
We should never underestimate Mac security. Avast! Free Antivirus for Mac offers free protection against the latest malware designed to attack Mac operating systems. As all other Avast security products, the Mac version participates in frequent, independent tests. Recently avast! Free Antivirus for Mac was not only certified by AV-TEST but it also received 100% in the latest Mac Security Test & Review conducted by AV-Comparatives in July-August.
We are proud to share the results with you!
More about AVAST’s performance in both tests.
avast! Free Antivirus blocked 100% of malware attacks in AV-Test’s “Real World” detection test.
Respected IT Security and Antivirus Research lab, AV-Test, put 23 antivirus products designed for the home user to the test for real-world malware blocking and detection of false positives in June. The testing scenario replicated the set-up of almost a quarter of AVAST’s 200 million users who still use Windows XP (SP3, 32-Bit, English). Just like your antivirus protection at home, the products were allowed to update themselves at any time and query their in-the-cloud services.
Avast! Free Antivirus scored 100% in protection against malware infections, such as viruses, worms or Trojan horses. AV-Test used widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks, including malicious email attachements.
Avast! Free Antivirus had zero false positive detections, giving it a perfect score of 100%. False positives happen when your antivirus software erroneously identifies a file or a download as being malicious. The test included false warnings or blockages when visiting websites or when installing and using legitimate software.
Our customers are concerned about the impact antivirus protection has on their computer speed when visiting websites, downloading software, installing and running programs, and copying data. AV-Test measured the influence of each product in daily usage. On a scale with 5 being the lowest possible impact and 25 the highest impact, avast! Free Antivirus has minimal impact on system performance, scoring a very low 8.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.
We all see the reminders to update Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Java frequently. There is good reason not to put this task off: The trusted researchers at AV-TEST Institute found that 66 percent of affected Windows systems are victims of malware that took advantage of exploits found in Reader, Flash, and Java.
During the 10-year study, they found that Adobe Reader has nearly 37,000 recorded variants that exploit user machines with “high levels of precision.” Java gets the top spot for exploit attacks with a whopping 82,000 attack variations available against the multiple versions of software on 3 billion devices worldwide.
Can I just stop using Java or Flash?
Does avast! Antivirus provide protection?
AVAST is trusted by nearly 200 million people worldwide, and the trifecta of protection, performance, and usability work together to make it the most recommended antivirus protection in the world. If you don’t trust the experiences of 200 million people, how about research from an independent testing lab?
During July and August, when the rest of us were taking vacations at the beach, German lab AV-Test was busily testing 26 home user security products. They focused on realistic test scenarios and challenged the products against real-world threats like detecting brand-new malware, email threats, downloading software, and installing and running programs.
“Avast, once again, has an impressive performance in our tests,” said Andreas Marx, CEO of AV-TEST. Our Facebook fans agree.
Avast! Free Antivirus was pitted against mostly paid-for products, and earned the coveted “AV-TEST CERTIFIED” seal for its stellar performance. AVAST scored perfectly in protecting home users from zero-day malware attacks, and identified and blocked all the malware samples AV-Test threw at it.
“The free edition of Avast has shown stellar performance,” said Marx, “The offered protection was a lot better than many commercial anti-malware products. Avast is one of the top products when it comes to malware detection and blocking of known and unknown threats.” Read more…
In an article explaining the differences between antivirus and anti-malware, and which tools protect you from both, Lifehacker recommends that you install their favorite, avast! Free Antivirus. AVAST “scans for as much as possible, and has an on-access scanning engine that protects you from threats while you surf the web, install applications, and open files.”
Viruses, Malware, and Trojans…Oh, My!
The name “Antivirus” became popular over a decade ago, when computer viruses were making headlines and being featured on nightly news broadcasts. Consumers became aware of the term, therefore marketers adopted it to describe the protection security software offered.
“Today viruses are the minority when it comes to malware,” explains Jiri Sejtko, Director of the AVAST Virus Lab. “More common than viruses is malware like Trojans, Worms, Backdoors, Exploits, Adware, and PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs), which can include communication clients, remote desktops and password revealers, just to name a few.”
Cybercrooks are driving the change. Back in the day, it was enough for a hacker to have his ego stroked by playing practical jokes, but the diversity of the early market and platforms kept early viruses from spreading far and wide.
“The focus of online criminals has shifted and therefore malware has changed, “ said Sejtko. Read more…
There are lots of Android security apps to choose from, but avast! Free Mobile Security has got the goods compared to many paid-for solutions, and it’s FREE. Independent German testing lab AV-Test evaluated 30 mobile security products for Android and awarded AVAST with its coveted certification for the product’s excellent protection against malicious apps (99.8%) and outstanding performance and usability (100%).
Great, but does it slow down my phone?
Smartphone owners are concerned about the impact security software will have on the use of their phones. Here are some commonly asked questions along with the results of AV-Test’s analysis:
- Will security software make my battery run down? avast! Mobile Security does not impact the life of your battery.
- Will security software slow down my smartphone when I’m using it to text, send email or access the internet? avast! Mobile Security does not slow down the device during normal usage. Read more…
Avast Software received an “AV-TEST CERTIFIED” seal for avast! Free Antivirus in the latest test-round from the AV-TEST Institute, an independent testing lab in Germany. Avast! Free Antivirus detected 100% of widespread and prevalent malware (such as viruses, worms or Trojan Horses), and its cumulative score earned it the top spot for overall performance among other free and a number of paid-for solutions competitors.
During September and October 2012, the Institute evaluated 24 home user and 8 business internet security products covering a range of metrics, including protection against ‘real-world’ zero-day malware attacks ( very simply, a previously unknown vulnerability) , detection of a representative set of malware discovered in the last 2-3 months, false positive rates, and scanning speed.
The results in three tests for detection of malware were outstanding, especially in a field crowded with paid-for alternatives. Avast! Free Antivirus was equal to expensive security suites and outshined the majority with a score of 100% in October “real-world” detection rates, and achieved a perfect 100% in tests to detect widespread malware. Read more…
avast! Free Antivirus outperformed multiple free and paid-for antivirus products in AV-TEST’s analysis of thirty-one consumer and business internet security products. The test, which concluded in June, included familiar names in the antivirus sector. Even a well-known paid-for ‘Internet Security 2012’ product which sells for $79.99 a year, was bested by AVAST Software’s free antivirus product.
Both home-user and corporate products analyzed by AV-Test.org cover a range of metrics, including protection against ‘real-world’ zero-day malware attacks, detection of a representative set of malware discovered in the last 2-3 months, false positive rates, and scanning speed. avast! Free Antivirus detected 100% of widespread and prevalent malware (such as viruses, worms or Trojan Horses), and its cumulative score earned it the top spot for overall performance among competitors.
AV-TEST uses specially developed processes to examine products in accordance with the high standards of the IT security field. The aim of the research work carried out by AV-TEST is to directly detect the latest malware, to analyze it using state-of-the-art methods and to inform consumers of the results obtained.
Avast! Free Antivirus 7 has the distinction of being the only free antivirus to receive the Advanced Plus certification rating from the annual “On-Demand Detection of Malicious Software” test from Anti-Virus Comparatives.
Approximately 300,000 pieces of malware were used in the testing, and avast! Free Antivirus 7 detected 98% of them; the highest detection rate of all tested free solutions which outperformed a number of paid-for products from other AV vendors. Complementing the high malware detection rate, avast! was also recognized for detecting few false positives during the test. The number of avast! false alarms was 14. The average was 48 false positives. Avast! Free Antivirus 7 is the only free antivirus to receive the Advanced Plus certification rating.
AV-Comparatives chooses which antivirus products are to be tested from a field of internationally well-known, up-to-date antivirus products. In order to ensure that test results give a complete and accurate picture of a product’s capabilities, AV-Comparatives has strict rules about which tests every product must take part in, and which tests are optional. A dynamic “real world” protection test is conducted which measures file-detection rates, the number of false positive alerts raised, as well as other tests that cover different features of the products.