Avast Caveats

Do you use Avast antivirus programs? It has come to light that they harvested user data and sold the information collected to a firm called Jumpshot who in turn sold to other companies: Google, Microsoft, Intuit, to name a few. This pertains to both PCs and Macs. This includes both free and premium services. So while you are trying to protect your privacy and data, Avast is going behind your back and selling your data and privacy.

To be fair, you have the option to opt-in to allow some user data to be collected, but you are not really told how or what is being used. The data collected includes location lookups, searches, YouTube video listings, Google Maps, LinkedIn, and various others.

Think twice before you download a free or even paid software. Don’t allow them to collect information.

Source

In the News …

Some items the Victor crew came across this week:

Netflix
The government has now ruled that sharing passwords for Netflix can be considered a federal crime in the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Netflix already allows two screens to play in a regular account with two household users. It costs another $2 per month to add two more household members.

The sharing limitations also apply to HBO go.

Avast
Avast just acquired AVG. For the uninformed, they are both computer security companies that you can run for free. The companies have been confused with each other in the past because of the similarities of their names (both start with AV.) (There is yet another free antivirus program starting with AV – Avira started in the 1980s in Germany.) Both were originally from the two different cities in the Czech Republic. AVG came first; both were started in the late 1980s.

Antivirus Extensions

The Victor crew came across an article that seemed to be interesting … and disturbing. If you are using an antivirus program or security suite and use their browser extensions, you may be more susceptible to attacks. Many antivirus toolbars are actually rebranded Ask Toolbar extensions that add another layer on the top of your browser, change your search engine and homepage. All it does is make the antivirus company more money.

The article goes on to detail AVG, McAfee, Norton, and Avast problems.

You can read the article here.