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31 Jan 2020

“Nothing in life is free.”

A lot of people use Avast’s antivirus to protect their computer.  It costs you nothing out of pocket and it’s a pretty effective little cybersecurity tool.

Sound to good to be true right? That’s because it is.

Did you know that, by default, Avast not only collects your browser activity, but it also sells it to marketers via Jumpshot? A company that (according to its Linkedin profile):

“Provides insights into consumers’ online journeys by measuring every search, click and buy from more than 150 marketplaces across 1,600 categories, including Amazon, Google, Netflix, and Walmart.”

In other words, if you use Avast, companies can view your “clickstream data” to learn your online behaviors, down to the literal millisecond!  And while the company buying your data doesn’t have access to your other personal information, you are assigned a “Device ID,” which is a number assigned to your browser data.

And, think about it… If they can see what you’re doing and you go to Facebook or any other social media site, it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who you are.  So even though Avast states that your data is anonymous, if you go to a personal site or check your email, they’ll be able to figure it out pretty quickly

Is My Data Being Sold?

Did you install Avast with the default settings and click “I agree” without looking at what you’re agreeing to?

If yes, then at the very least your browsing history is being sold via Jumpshot.

That being said, it’s the main desktop app that collects your data, not the browser extension.

How Do I Stop This?

Our best advice to you is to:

  1. Uninstall Avast.  Once it’s uninstalled, they can no longer harvest your data.
  2. Use more reputable cyber security software.  Cyber security is no joke, ESPECIALLY if you run a small business. Schedule a free consultation with Craig, who can help you choose the cyber security that best fits your needs.

 

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