Free Antivirus Software: Are companies spying on your Devices

  • Your antivirus program should protect you, but what if it tells your browser history to a large marketing company?

    To relax. This is what Avast told the public after it was discovered that its browser extensions collect user data for delivery to sellers. Last month, an antivirus company tried to justify this practice by claiming that the collected web histories had been removed from consumers' data before being cheated.

    The data is completely devoid of identification data and aggregated and cannot be used to personally identify or direct to users that Avast has told users who choose to share information. In return, your privacy is maintained, Avast receives payment, and online marketers receive a collection of "aggregated" customer data to help them sell more products.

    The Avast department responsible for selling information is Jumpshot, a subsidiary that provides access to consumer traffic from 100 million devices, including personal computers and telephones. In return, customers - from large brands to e-commerce providers - can find out what customers are buying and where, if they come from Google or Amazon, ads from a press article or Instagram post. The collected data is so detailed that customers can view individual clicks created by users during the surfing session, including the time to milliseconds.

    Although the collected data is not associated with the name, email address or IP address, each user's history is however delegated to an identifier called the device identifier that will last unless the user uninstalls the Avast antivirus product. Most of the risks of de-anonymization - in which you identify people - result from the possibility of combining information with other data - explained Gunes Acar, a privacy researcher who studies online tracking.

    Indicates that large companies such as Amazon, Google, as well as branded retailers and advertising and marketing companies can collect entire activity logs on their users. With Jumpshot data, companies have a different way to track digital consumer footprints on the Internet.

    Maybe the data alone does not identify people who said Acar. It can only be a list of encrypted user IDs and several URLs. However, it can always be combined with other data from other entrepreneurs, additional advertisers, who come to true identity. According to internal documents, Jumpshot offers many different goods that display the collected information about the browser in different ways. For example, one product focuses on user searches, including the use of keywords and clicked results.

    We saw a snapshot of the collected data and logs containing queries about everyday, everyday matters. There have also been sensitive searches for pornography - including *** for minors - tips that no one would have to associate with them. Other Jumpshot products are used to monitor which videos users watch on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Another is to analyze the selected e-commerce domain to help entrepreneurs understand how users reach it.

    In addition, the contract requires Jumpshot to provide a URL string to each website visited, a referring URL, millisecond timestamps along with the suspected age and gender of the consumer, which can be deduced from the websites that the person visits. It is not clear why Omnicom needs information.

    The company did not answer our questions. Still, Palant tries to understand what Avast means by saying that it "de-identifies" and "aggregates" the history of consumer browsers when the antivirus company refrained from explicitly disclosing the exact technical procedure."

    Aggregation usually means that the data of many consumers are united. If Jumpshot customers still see user information, it's really bad, "Palant said in an email interview. One of the protective measures used by Jumpshot to stop customers from establishing the actual identity of Avast users is a patented process to remove PII information, such as names and email addresses, from appearing in the collected URLs. However, despite all the deletion of personal data, Palant claims that collecting data still unnecessarily exposes Avast users to privacy threats.

    We can recommend the McAfee antivirus software for your devices. McAfee is a little expensive but it provides the best security no other antivirus software provides. Visit the activate enter code for the activation of the McAfee antivirus software.