CAUTION with Avast Free Antivirus


S

Stan Brown

Today when I connected, Avast popped up a blue message that there was
a new version. I clicked to update. After it rebooted my system
(with my permission), I found it had installed Google Chrome!

I know that many programs want to install Google products --
IrfanView does it, for example. But in all such cases up to now
there has been a reasonably prominent box that one can uncheck to
avoid getting the unwanted software. If Avast displayed any such
option, I sure didn't see it. But I'm used to trusting Avast
updates, which have never before installed any ride-along-ware, so I
didn't scrutinize the screens the way I would have with a new
product.

Conclusion:

When you upgrade your Avast Free Antivirus, scrutinize the screens
such carefully and uncheck the option if you don't want Google
Chrome.

That's assuming that there *is* an option, of course. I'd be pleased
to hear from anyone either way.
 
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B

Bob Henson

Today when I connected, Avast popped up a blue message that there was
a new version. I clicked to update. After it rebooted my system
(with my permission), I found it had installed Google Chrome!

I know that many programs want to install Google products --
IrfanView does it, for example. But in all such cases up to now
there has been a reasonably prominent box that one can uncheck to
avoid getting the unwanted software. If Avast displayed any such
option, I sure didn't see it. But I'm used to trusting Avast
updates, which have never before installed any ride-along-ware, so I
didn't scrutinize the screens the way I would have with a new
product.

Conclusion:

When you upgrade your Avast Free Antivirus, scrutinize the screens
such carefully and uncheck the option if you don't want Google
Chrome.

That's assuming that there *is* an option, of course. I'd be pleased
to hear from anyone either way.
There was an option which you had to *untick* to avoid the download. A
tad unethical - they should have a box that requires a tick to opt in.

--
Bob
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK


Failure is not an option - it comes bundled with your Microsoft product.
 
A

Ant

Also, there seems to be a lot of bugs/problems in the brand new v7
release according to its public forums. Some people had no problems
though. So, prepare for any problems when you install and use v7.


Today when I connected, Avast popped up a blue message that there was
a new version. I clicked to update. After it rebooted my system
(with my permission), I found it had installed Google Chrome!

I know that many programs want to install Google products --
IrfanView does it, for example. But in all such cases up to now
there has been a reasonably prominent box that one can uncheck to
avoid getting the unwanted software. If Avast displayed any such
option, I sure didn't see it. But I'm used to trusting Avast
updates, which have never before installed any ride-along-ware, so I
didn't scrutinize the screens the way I would have with a new
product.

Conclusion:

When you upgrade your Avast Free Antivirus, scrutinize the screens
such carefully and uncheck the option if you don't want Google
Chrome.

That's assuming that there *is* an option, of course. I'd be pleased
to hear from anyone either way.

--
"Fall in those single lines like army ants..." --unknown
/\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
/ /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
| |o o| |
\ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
 
S

Stan Brown

There was an option which you had to *untick* to avoid the download. A
tad unethical - they should have a box that requires a tick to opt in.
Thanks for the quick response. I'm glad there was a box, and I agree
with you that it would have been better to make it an opt-in. Maybe
on a new product an opt-out is more defensible, but on an update to
an existing product, particularly a security product, I think it's
inappropriate to foist an install of a new product on us.

I'd try complaining to Avast if I thought there was the slightest
chance they'd listen. But since they're providing the product for
free I don't have a lot of ground to stand on. :)

I *do* blame Google, which has been doing this on a lot of software.
For a company with the motto "don't be evil" they certainly do a lot
of shady stuff. I try not to use them for anything but Web searches,
though even that means giving up some privacy.
 
A

Ant

I *do* blame Google, which has been doing this on a lot of software.
For a company with the motto "don't be evil" they certainly do a lot
of shady stuff. I try not to use them for anything but Web searches,
though even that means giving up some privacy.
Lots of comppanies are doing this with their programs (even when not
free) and are doing this. You just have to be careful. :(
--
"We're all ants. I'm a glittery little ant." --Alanis Morissette
/\___/\ Ant(Dude) @ http://antfarm.ma.cx (Personal Web Site)
/ /\ /\ \ Ant's Quality Foraged Links: http://aqfl.net
| |o o| |
\ _ / If crediting, then use Ant nickname and AQFL URL/link.
( ) If e-mailing, then axe ANT from its address if needed.
Ant is currently not listening to any songs on this computer.
 
B

Bob Henson

I *do* blame Google, which has been doing this on a lot of software.
For a company with the motto "don't be evil" they certainly do a lot
of shady stuff. I try not to use them for anything but Web searches,
though even that means giving up some privacy.
Have you seen Ixquick?

https://www.ixquick.com/uk/aboutixquick/

If you're concerned about privacy, it's probably the one to use. I quite
like the idea of it's star rating system.

--
Bob
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK


Failure is not an option - it comes bundled with your Microsoft product.
 
V

VanguardLH

Stan said:
Today when I connected, Avast popped up a blue message that there was
a new version. I clicked to update. After it rebooted my system
(with my permission), I found it had installed Google Chrome!
There is an intervening screen asking if you want to include Chrome.
Alas, some users have reported that the installer doesn't wait on that
screen and proceeds with the install so the user doesn't get to make a
choice. I didn't see sufficient analysis in the forum posts to suggest
why the installer wasn't waiting on the foistware selection screen.
Their installer is supposed to stop on the election screen but it
doesn't for some users and skips ahead to completing the installation.

That the foistware is enabled by default is why Avast is rated an adware
product. It has been that way since, I believe, v3 or v4. Lots of the
free AV products are adware by including AND enabling by default some
foistware they include in the installer.

I didn't run into this particular problem. What I did get nailed by is
the v7 installer didn't obey my prior configuration in *NOT* installing
the WebRep add-on to Internet Explorer. I've used WOT, SiteAdvisor, and
other similar reputation add-ons and ended up always discarding them as
their ratings are outdated (bad sites that fixed their problem and are
good sites but still listed as bad, bad sites not yet listed, and a vast
majority of unknown/unrated sites), plus I'm not into community voting
on trust level for sites since that community doing the voting are NOT
expert users. So I didn't have their WebRep add-on installed. After
the V7 update, it was installed again and I had to uninstall it. So far
from what I've seen, all my other config has remained the same.

There is insufficient information to determine that Avast's new anti-
phishing filter (part of their WebRep add-on) is any better than
Microsoft's SmartScreen in Internet Explorer or the one for Firefox.
They don't list the source for their list, like saying if it's
compilation of anti-phishing.org, phishtank, and others, so I have to
assume it's Avast private list that will only be useful as more user
vote on it or their developers add to their own list.
 
E

Ed Cryer

Stan said:
Today when I connected, Avast popped up a blue message that there was
a new version. I clicked to update. After it rebooted my system
(with my permission), I found it had installed Google Chrome!

I know that many programs want to install Google products --
IrfanView does it, for example. But in all such cases up to now
there has been a reasonably prominent box that one can uncheck to
avoid getting the unwanted software. If Avast displayed any such
option, I sure didn't see it. But I'm used to trusting Avast
updates, which have never before installed any ride-along-ware, so I
didn't scrutinize the screens the way I would have with a new
product.

Conclusion:

When you upgrade your Avast Free Antivirus, scrutinize the screens
such carefully and uncheck the option if you don't want Google
Chrome.

That's assuming that there *is* an option, of course. I'd be pleased
to hear from anyone either way.
Google has probably included Google Update with Chrome. Have a look in
Task Manager/ Services; and then in folders {user name} AppData/ Local &
LocalLow. If found stop it in Services and delete the folders.

Ed
 
W

Wolf K

On 26/02/2012 12:13 PM, Stan Brown wrote: [...]
When you upgrade your Avast Free Antivirus, scrutinize the screens
such carefully and uncheck the option if you don't want Google
Chrome.

That's assuming that there *is* an option, of course. I'd be pleased
to hear from anyone either way.
There was an option which you had to *untick* to avoid the download. A
tad unethical - they should have a box that requires a tick to opt in.
That's "negative option", which was outlawed here in Ontario when a
cable company sent renewal notices that included an upgrade to a more
expensive package. If you didn't read the bill carefully, and tick a
tiny box, you had "agreed" to accept the package.

HTH
Wolf K.
 
R

Roy Smith

Today when I connected, Avast popped up a blue message that there was
a new version. I clicked to update. After it rebooted my system
(with my permission), I found it had installed Google Chrome!

I know that many programs want to install Google products --
IrfanView does it, for example. But in all such cases up to now
there has been a reasonably prominent box that one can uncheck to
avoid getting the unwanted software. If Avast displayed any such
option, I sure didn't see it. But I'm used to trusting Avast
updates, which have never before installed any ride-along-ware, so I
didn't scrutinize the screens the way I would have with a new
product.

Conclusion:

When you upgrade your Avast Free Antivirus, scrutinize the screens
such carefully and uncheck the option if you don't want Google
Chrome.

That's assuming that there *is* an option, of course. I'd be pleased
to hear from anyone either way.
I saw the option for adding Google Chrome, it came up after the reboot
if I remember correctly. Funny thing is it still came up even though I
already have Google Chrome installed.


--

Roy Smith
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
Thunderbird 10.0.2
Sunday, February 26, 2012 9:24:55 AM
 
K

Ken Blake

On 26/02/2012 12:13 PM, Stan Brown wrote:


There was an option which you had to *untick* to avoid the download. A
tad unethical - they should have a box that requires a tick to opt in.

In my view, it is certainly unethical, but a lot more than a tad. And
they aren't the only ones who do it. I've seen similar things on
several other web sites.
 
B

BillW50

In Ed Cryer typed:
Google has probably included Google Update with Chrome. Have a look in
Task Manager/ Services; and then in folders {user name} AppData/
Local & LocalLow. If found stop it in Services and delete the folders.
I am sure that works fine Ed. But wouldn't it be better to remove it
through Add/Remove? That is if it is listed there?
 
B

BillW50

In Ken Blake typed:
In my view, it is certainly unethical, but a lot more than a tad. And
they aren't the only ones who do it. I've seen similar things on
several other web sites.
While I have Avast6 on all of my Windows machines, I haven't switched
any of them to Avast7. But it is interesting to know all of this before
I ever do install the newer version. At least I don't have to worry
about this machine. As Chrome won't install on anything older than XP
SP2 anyway. ;-)
 
C

chicagofan

Bob said:
There was an option which you had to *untick* to avoid the download. A
tad unethical - they should have a box that requires a tick to opt in.
That was my experience when I downloaded a new version on my new Win7
laptop.

I had to UN-click the option to install Chrome. I agree it should have
been the opposite.
bj
 
N

Nil

Also, there seems to be a lot of bugs/problems in the brand new v7
release according to its public forums. Some people had no
problems though. So, prepare for any problems when you install and
use v7.
When I let Avast 6 update itself on my Vista system, the computer would
no longer completely boot up. It would get part way into it then hang
forever. I had to start up in Safe Mode, use their special Cleanup
Utility (regular uninstall didn't fix the problem), and then reinstall
ver 7 from scratch. It seems to be working OK now, no better or worse
than ver 6. The install problem really annoyed me. This happened last
time they had a major upgrade, too. They should know better than to
release an upgrade that can kill people's computer. I know how to fix
it, but the typical user may not.
 
B

BillW50

In Nil typed:
When I let Avast 6 update itself on my Vista system, the computer
would no longer completely boot up. It would get part way into it
then hang forever. I had to start up in Safe Mode, use their special
Cleanup Utility (regular uninstall didn't fix the problem), and then
reinstall ver 7 from scratch. It seems to be working OK now, no
better or worse than ver 6. The install problem really annoyed me.
This happened last time they had a major upgrade, too. They should
know better than to release an upgrade that can kill people's
computer. I know how to fix it, but the typical user may not.
There is a group of people who feels that newer isn't always better.
This applies for applications, drivers, and OS. I've been sitting in the
middle of this issue for many years since the OS/2 Warp FixPak era of
disasters. As sometimes newer is better and sometimes older is better.

In the case of AV though, you have to get updates or it is pretty
worthless. Although Avast6 should continue to be updated for a year or
two at least. So why not wait? By then they should have most of the bugs
out of Avast7. ;-)
 
S

Stan Brown

In the case of AV though, you have to get updates or it is pretty
worthless. Although Avast6 should continue to be updated for a year or
two at least. So why not wait? By then they should have most of the bugs
out of Avast7. ;-)
Not necessarily. Updates to the virus database, yes. But this was
an update to the program.
 
S

Stan Brown

There is an intervening screen asking if you want to include Chrome.
Not in my install. I might have overlooked a check box, but not a
whole screen.
That the foistware is enabled by default is why Avast is rated an
adware product. It has been that way since, I believe, v3 or v4.
Not in my experience. I've had versions 5 and 6, and neither one
tried that sort of thing.
 
P

P.O.

i've heard the new avast screws around with installed games and other
software- it will indicate the software is questionable when used and
then bounce you back to the desktop
 
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N

Nil

i've heard the new avast screws around with installed games and
other software- it will indicate the software is questionable when
used and then bounce you back to the desktop
This is true. It did that to me on one game. I had a chance to tell it
to not do that with the particular game again, and it hasn't.
 

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