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.
- Clean out the clutter. Leftover files and registry entries, unneeded shortcuts, adware, toolbars, and bloatware can slow your computer down. Getting rid of the junk can bring new life to your machine. Get rid of the junk you didn’t know you had with Avast Cleanup and restore your browser to its initial, clean state with Avast Browser Cleanup.
Ad-injection is an increasingly annoying and dangerous problem
There are basically two reactions people have when they see ads in their browser. Some think they add interesting content and possibilities, insights and ideas or even, opportunities. The other group considers them as a distraction, an invasion and a disruption to what they were doing.
But most everyone will agree, once you begin something on your laptop or mobile, especially if it’s work-related task, you want to continue what you started. Lots of people get so into what they’re doing that they don’t see or think of anything else, and when an unwelcome ad comes through, it breaks the concentration. Some will say this is a man’s perspective. But even some women I talk to agree; even though they always say they are multitasking and (cough, cough) never lose focus.
When it comes to security, ads are becoming more and more a vehicle for malware. Ad-injecting malware is really a threat nowadays. Once on your device – computer or mobile – the malware will drop new ads into any (or most) sites you visit, sending ad revenue back to remote cybercriminals. For example, malicious porn ads use this type of redirection and clicking techniques.
Research conducted by Google from June to October of 2014 concluded that deceptive ad injection is a significant problem on the web today. They identified tens of millions of instances of ad injection and detected 5.3 million different IP addresses infected with adware, 5% of the total testing group. The research also found that Superfish, one of the notorious businesses that have ad injection libraries, was alive and well, not only pre-installed on Lenovo laptops, but breaking SSL protections for any other computer running it in background.
Ways to control unwanted ads in your browser
The nightmare is back! Your security could be seriously compromised if you do not act now. Install and update your Avast for PC before is too late. The original version of CryptoWall was discovered in November 2013, but a new and improved variant of the CryptoWall ransomware starts to infect computers all over the world last days. It’s the CryptoWall 3.0. Some sources estimate that it has already infected over 700,000 computers up to version 2.0.
CryptoWall is a malware that encrypts certain files in your computer (and secure delete the original ones) and, once activated, demands a fine around $500 as a ransom to provide the decryption key. You’re asked to pay in digital Bitcoins in about 170 hours (almost a full week). After that period, the fee is raised to $1000.
You could be asking why haven’t the authorities blocked the financial funding of them? They use unique wallet ID for each victim into their own TOR anonymity servers. For the user to be able to pay the ransom, he needs to use a TOR-like connection called Web-to-TOR. Each TOR gateway redirects the victim to the same web page with the payment instructions. The commands and communication control is now done using Invisible Internet Project (I2P) instead of Tor.
Infection could reach you in various ways. The most common is as a phishing attack, but it also comes in email attachments and PDF files. The malware kit also abuses various vulnerabilities in unpatched – read non up-to-date – Flash, Java, browsers and other applications to drop the CryptoWall ransomware.
How Avast prevents the infection
1. Avast Anti-spam and antiphishing protection prevents some vectors distribution.
2. Virus signature block all known ransomwares versions. Remember that Avast automatic streaming updates releases hundreds of daily updates for virus definitions.
3. Community IQ intelligence and sensors of our more than 220 million users that detects malware behavior all over the world. See how it works in this YouTube video.
4. Keeping your software updated is another security measure that prevents the exploit of their vulnerabilities. Learn how Avast Software Updater can help you with this job.
What more can I do?
Avast also helps in prevention of this disaster through its Avast Backup that allows you to keep all your important files in a secure and encrypted way. We also recommend local backup, as the new malware could also attack other drives and even cloud storage. Did you know that Avast Backup also performs local copies of the files? You can enable it at Settings > Options > Local backup, and configure the backup location (better an external drive) and also versioning of the files. Remember to disconnect the external drive from the computer (and the network) to prevent infection of the backups by CryptoWall and further encryption of the files.
Question of the week: I just updated my avast to version 8. The new look is great! There’s a feature called Software Updater that looks interesting. How do I use it?
Great question, and thanks for the compliment on avast! 8’s new look. To answer your question about the new avast! Software Updater, let me set the stage for you so you will understand why Software Updater is so useful for most users. You are a busy person juggling family and work, maybe even taking a few classes. You use your personal computer to pay bills, learn how to fix a leaky faucet, and email your child’s teacher. You are concerned with online security, but there are only so many hours in the day, right?
You heard about the latest Java exploit, but you’re not sure what it is, how to fix it, or if you even need it. Here’s some advice from Oracle, “In order to protect themselves, desktop users should only allow the execution of applets when they expect such applets and trust their origin.” Um…what?
And wasn’t there something about an Adobe Flash Player vulnerability? Adobe says, “Users of Adobe Flash Player 11.5.502.135 and earlier versions for Windows should update to Adobe Flash Player 11.5.502.146.” Um, OK…which version do I have? Where do I find it? HELP!!
When it comes to your computer’s security, you can be guaranteed that this or that exploit, vulnerability or hack is taking place. How can a normal person be expected to stay on top of it all? You can’t, and that’s where avast! can help. Read more…