Author Topic: A few questions about Avast Security app for Mac  (Read 2536 times)

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Offline Sylamar

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A few questions about Avast Security app for Mac
« on: May 21, 2018, 09:16:59 AM »
Hi. I have a few questions about the Avast Security app for Mac.

I installed the free Avast Security app on two Macs: a Mac Mini and a MacBook Air, both running macOS 10.13.4.

I have not upgraded to the Pro version of Avast and I have no plans of doing so.

I don't like to have virus protection running in the background. I prefer to run a scan manually every once in a while.  I therefore have all of Avast's shields turned off.

My first questions: I regularly see a little pop-up alert on my Mac Mini saying Avast has updated its virus definitions. However, I'm not seeing the alerts on my MacBook Air. So I'm concerned the virus definitions aren't being updated on the MacBook Air. I have no idea what it's only happening on the Mac Mini. Does anyone know?

Second questions: When I go to the Account section on the app, and enter my username and password, I see a message saying "Avast Security is trying to install a new helper tool." I have clicked "Cancel" because I don't know what the helper tool is for and I don't like having a lot of helper tools running in the background. Does anyone know what the helper tool does? I don't believe it's running on either Mac, but I'm wondering if I'm wrong and the helper tool is responsible for the virus definition updates. Does anyone know?

Thanks,

Sylamar

Offline lukas.hasik

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Re: A few questions about Avast Security app for Mac
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 10:14:21 AM »
Hi. I have a few questions about the Avast Security app for Mac.

I installed the free Avast Security app on two Macs: a Mac Mini and a MacBook Air, both running macOS 10.13.4.

I have not upgraded to the Pro version of Avast and I have no plans of doing so.

I don't like to have virus protection running in the background. I prefer to run a scan manually every once in a while.  I therefore have all of Avast's shields turned off.

My first questions: I regularly see a little pop-up alert on my Mac Mini saying Avast has updated its virus definitions. However, I'm not seeing the alerts on my MacBook Air. So I'm concerned the virus definitions aren't being updated on the MacBook Air. I have no idea what it's only happening on the Mac Mini. Does anyone know?

It's strange. Go to About to check what version of virus definitions are you using. It should be something like 18053000 (== 30.5.2018 vps#00)
I assume that you left the Preferences > Updates > Automatically update virus definitions
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Second questions: When I go to the Account section on the app, and enter my username and password, I see a message saying "Avast Security is trying to install a new helper tool." I have clicked "Cancel" because I don't know what the helper tool is for and I don't like having a lot of helper tools running in the background. Does anyone know what the helper tool does? I don't believe it's running on either Mac, but I'm wondering if I'm wrong and the helper tool is responsible for the virus definition updates. Does anyone know?
The Helper tool is responsible for the app icon and some other background tasks. There is lot macOS apps designed like that - main UI + helper. The dialog asking "Avast Security is trying to install a new helper tool." is a standard elevation dialog. It will not install the helper tool but the helper tool or UI wants you to confirm an admin access. We ask for such confirmation (similar to Windows UAC) in cases when a risky operation / change is happening. It should block an regular user from changing setup of your AV. Or running some actions that should not be available to average user (but Mac admin).
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Thanks,
Sylamar
Quality is also a feature.

Offline skylamar

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Re: A few questions about Avast Security app for Mac
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 07:41:04 PM »
lukas, thanks for your help.

I still can't tell for sure if Avast on my MacBook Air is updating automatically, though the checkbox is checked for automatic updates. But I don't mind manually updating them.

I did a manual update for both the Mac Mini and the MacBook Air and both updated to the latest virus definitions, but I only saw the green notification window (the one that shows up on the upper-right of the screen) on the Mini. I'm still not seeing it on the MacBook Air for some reason. But that's not a big deal.