Question from Mandy G.: I’ve been using Avast Antivirus for several months after reading how you recommend it, and so far I really like it. Something has me worried though.
A friend of mine told me that Avast uses their software to snoop on our browsing habits. Is that true? And if it is, why do you recommend it?
Rick’s answer: That’s a really good question Mandy, and I’m glad you asked it because it gives me a chance to clear up any misconceptions that others might have about Avast and the privacy of their users.
While it’s true that Avast does collect some information about our browsing habits and any malware that it finds on our system, that data is only used to help them develop stats on the number of malware infections that are being discovered by their software as well as the origin and nature of those infections.
They don’t collect any identifying information or any personal information from the scans they perform. The only info they collect is what they need in order to compile their stats and help them improve their software.
Bottom line: Avast respects the privacy of their users and does an outstanding job at detecting malware and removing it from our systems. That’s why I use it myself and recommend it to others.
All of that being said, you can easily change a setting that will prevent Avast from collecting any information whatsoever from your computer. Here’s how:
1 – Open the Avast dialog box by clicking the round Avast icon that’s located in your PC’s notifications area.
2 – Click the Settings link that’s located in the the left-hand column of the window.
3 – Scroll down and click the word Privacy to display the Privacy settings options.
4 – Uncheck the box beside Participate in data sharing, then click OK.
That’s all there is to it. After you have unchecked the box in step 4, your PC will no longer send ANY data back to Avast.
Note: I prefer to leave that box checked on my computers because doing so helps Avast monitor what’s going on in the world of malware and enhance their software’s ability to detect and remove similar threats.
I hope this helps Mandy. Good luck!
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