CAUTION with Avast Free Antivirus


S

Steve Hayes

Lots of comppanies are doing this with their programs (even when not
free) and are doing this. You just have to be careful. :(
I find a lot of them want to fill up my entire screen space with toolbars.
 
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V

VanguardLH

Stan said:
Not in my install. I might have overlooked a check box, but not a
whole screen.
Since there is no pause to wait for user input, all you would see is a
flash during window repainting but then you wouldn't know the flash
wasn't to change from a prior screen to the following install progress
screen. The election screen is in the installer but the installer
doesn't wait there for any user election but zips right to the next
screen. You get the EULA acceptance screen and, flash, you're doing the
installation. Your eyes never got to see the election screen flash by.
Not in my experience. I've had versions 5 and 6, and neither one
tried that sort of thing.
Avast Free v6 does include the Google Chrome foistware. I still have
the v6 download. Do you? Try installing it in a virtual machine. I
did. You'll see it includes foistware (options to install Google Chrome
and also to make it the default web browser) and which is selected by
default. I no longer have the v5 download to test if it had foistware
included AND selected by default - but my recollection (which has, so
far, proven better than yours) is that foistware was included in v5 and
selected by default.

Just because you don't remember having to deselect the foistware doesn't
obviate that it was presented by the installer and selected by default.
Being there is not sufficient to class a product as adware. If the
foistware were not selected by default then the product is not adware
(for those products). That the foistware is selected by default in the
installer makes that product adware. Also, Avast, Avira, and others are
adware even if the installer didn't push foistware. Why? Because these
freeware products advertize their payware versions. Go into Avast's
config screens. See their ad on the Summary page? You've never heard
of Avast users complaining they got a popup notifier trying to lure them
to the payware version? It has happened. Maybe not to you but it has
happened. Avira without the workaround shove a window in your face
during updates promoting their payware version (been too long since I
used it to remember if it has ads in its config GUI).

I use Avast Free but that does't blind me to it being adware. It's just
not so offensive in its ads that I get pushed away from it. That is, it
isn't noisy adware - but it still qualifies as adware. Even Softpedia
acknowedges it as "ad-supported" which is their euphemistic reference to
adware.

Note the subject header for this thread: Avast *Free*. Perhaps you have
the payware version so you don't get the foistware in the installer for
that version. You've bought the product so they don't need to generate
ad revenue for the payware version. I'm talking about the freeware
versions which do have foistware selected by default during the
installation, and the freeware version is the topic of this thread.
 
V

VanguardLH

Stan said:
Not necessarily. Updates to the virus database, yes. But this was
an update to the program.
While the signature updates are needed to keep up to date, do they
include their heuristic algorithms used to determine an infestation
which is not detected via signature? The Behavior Shield is a
heuristics analyzer. Those are signatures. Wouldn't the new program
version be where there are any heuristic updates?
 
V

VanguardLH

Another caveat when doing program updates is that your license
expiration doesn't change. When upgraded from v6 to v7, expiration
remained at 305 days from now. I lost 2 months of use for v7 with the
upgrade. If you uninstall, use their cleanup utility, and then install
the new v7, you'll get a full year's license. While I only lost 2
months, others that had installed a lot earlier than me have an even
shorter license than me because the license didn't updated with a new
registration.

Typically the program updates have worked okay for me with some minor
inconveniences. However, after I do the program update, I set a
reminder to later do an uninstall, cleanup, and full install so the new
version gets a full year's license of use.
 
S

Steve Hayes

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
In the last week or so Avast has been warning me about programs that I've had
installed for 7 or 8 years or more.
 
S

Steve Hayes

In the last week or so Avast has been warning me about programs that I've had
installed for 7 or 8 years or more.
Including Microsoft Word!

Asked if I wanted to play with it in the sandbox, just to be on the safe
side.
 
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N

Nil

In the last week or so Avast has been warning me about programs
that I've had installed for 7 or 8 years or more.
That's its "Auto Sandbox" feature in action. Those warnings should go
away after you train it to not check those programs. I just turned off
the feature - it might be a good idea for some people, but I keep a
close enough watch on my own system that I don't think I need it.
 
S

Stan Brown

That's its "Auto Sandbox" feature in action. Those warnings should go
away after you train it to not check those programs. I just turned off
the feature - it might be a good idea for some people, but I keep a
close enough watch on my own system that I don't think I need it.
I also turned it off. I found that it made some programs incredibly
slow on startup, even after I had told it hat those programs were
safe.
 
S

Steve Hayes

I also turned it off. I found that it made some programs incredibly
slow on startup, even after I had told it hat those programs were
safe.
How does one turn it off?

It's only started doing it recently, and after your warning, I haven't
installed the new version.
 
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S

Stan Brown

How does one turn it off?

It's only started doing it recently, and after your warning, I haven't
installed the new version.
Additional Protection » AutoSandbox » Settings and UNcheck "Enable
AutoSandbox". That's in version 7, but IIRC it was similar in
version 6.

It's not easy to find things in that user interface, whose designer
seems to have gone to the same school as the Acronis True Image
interface designer.

Version 7 did at least import that setting, so I didn't have to turn
it off again. Aside from the initial unwanted install of Chrome,
I've seen no ll effects so far.
 
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