Author Topic: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising  (Read 3145 times)

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Offline aractus

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STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« on: March 29, 2019, 06:42:25 AM »


Stop telling people to install unnecessary "core shields"!  >:(





Stop informing people of made-up privacy "risks". False and deceptive security warnings are never acceptable.  >:( VPNs do not protect privacy. Claiming that they do is false and misleading - yes they provide some limited privacy enhancement, but the operational words are "limited" and "enhancement". All VPNs do is hide the point of origin. Directing people that actually need privacy to a VPN instead of Tor is unethical and downright irresponsible. Not that Tor itself is enough to protect privacy in life-threatening situations, it also requires conscious effort.

Furthermore AVAST! claims all these risks are present even when a VPN is running:



Which is anti-competitive since AVAST! is lying about competitor's products.

In summary, the above represents in my view aggressive, unethical, advertising. People want a virus scanner - that's it. They don't want to be hounded by ads, given unwanted bundleware, lied to about the security of their systems, and told to install shields they neither want nor need.

Offline bob3160

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2019, 01:08:38 PM »
Webshield and Mail shield unnecessary ???
I don't know where you get your facts?
I certainly wouldn't feel safe without them.


All the privacy issues shown in your last screenshot happen to be a fact.
How dangerous those facts are depends on your concern for your privacy.
( https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2019/03/ftc-seeks-examine-privacy-practices-broadband-providers )
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 01:42:50 PM by bob3160 »
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Offline aractus

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2019, 01:15:40 AM »
Webshield and Mail shield unnecessary ???
I don't know where you get your facts?
I certainly wouldn't feel safe without them.

Good for you. I don't trust AVAST! anywhere near my browser. AVAST tries to install a malicious plugin. They don't make it clear anywhere they are getting paid from affiliate revenue with the merchants they're advertising, and before you say "but everyone knows that" - no they don't. And even if they do, not disclosing that is false and misleading and a breach of the ACL.

Quote
All the privacy issues shown in your last screenshot happen to be a fact.
How dangerous those facts are depends on your concern for your privacy.
( https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2019/03/ftc-seeks-examine-privacy-practices-broadband-providers )

You are operating in another world. What definition of "fact" are you using? "An affirmative statement made by an authority figure." AVAST! is generating FALSE security reporting in order to sell premium products. It's that simple. There is no justification in the world for that - if AVAST! is lying and saying they have found "4 privacy problems" - remind me, how does AVAST scan for and find this problem when it finds it regardless of whether a VPN is running or not?! Isn't it a fact that in fact no real scan is taking place?

Offline davews

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2019, 07:45:29 AM »
I wouldn't argue with Bob but I also do not use the web shield, only the file shield and mail shields.
I have not seen these sort of alerts recently thankfully but I agree with the OP that they are often very misleading and a curious way to entice you to pay for extra add ons. I once had one telling me various programs were slowing my machine down, and one of those programs was my (third party) firewall which it suggested I turned off to solve the issue! Please don't dismiss comments like these, they do not help the reputation of Avast.

Offline aractus

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2019, 09:29:34 AM »
I forgot to add the following couple of points re- privacy. 1. if AVAST! really cared about privacy, which they don't, they wouldn't force you to accept participation in the AVAST! community:



1a. That's a lie - most of the software I use does not collect shit about me. (a.) because if it wants to I don't let it, and (b.) because most don't collect anything in the first place. Let's do a survey of the software currently running - Firefox - nope, disabled. Winamp - nope. Paint.NET - nope. Microsoft Calculator - nope. Notepad - nope. Notepad++ - nope. KeePassXC - of course not. We can go on, we can go over every software application on my PC and hardly any of it is allowed to "phone home" and the vast majority doesn't try to. VLC, MPC-HC, ffmpeg... Steam would be one of the few exceptions, although it isn't running right now.

1b. It literally says they share your data with 3rd parties by default:



That option is pre-checked on new installs of both AVAST! and AVG.

1c. If you install AVG you're opted in without this "warning" page at all. Why does AVAST! choose to skip this and treat their AVG customers differently?

2. if AVAST! really cared about privacy, which they don't, they would NOT offer to install Chrome - they would offer Firefox and/or a more privacy focused Chromium fork (brave, ungoogled-chromium, etc). Even the guy who runs the Chromium downloads website says that Firefox is better for privacy:



Not to mention security which is what should be their priority, Google has a terrible record of letting in malicious extensions.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 09:35:20 AM by aractus »

Offline schmidthouse

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2019, 04:17:03 PM »
Wait, What??
Are you serious, :P
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Offline bob3160

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2019, 04:36:11 PM »
My question is if you distrust Avast that much, why are you using it?
I personally think that many of the points you are raising are totally wrong.
You also quote a link from 2016 as your evidence of a malicious plugin but don't mention the plugin.
You also state that Avast forces you to participate in data sharing which isn't true.
If you have the ability to turn it off, you aren't forced. Simply turn the function off.
It's your computer. If you don't like something, change it.
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Offline aractus

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2019, 06:48:02 AM »
My question is if you distrust Avast that much, why are you using it?

What's the alternative? Avast bought AVG in 2016. Kapersky free and Bitdefender Free Edition have literally no customisation. Any other free option has either weaker virus definitions, weaker malware detection, or both.

Quote
I personally think that many of the points you are raising are totally wrong.

AVAST! is breaking the ACL with the misleading "SafePrice" browser extension, and if they have a presence in Australia (if they as much as have a server hired in an AU datacentre) they can be fined just like Valve and Trivago, with the latter doing literally the exact same thing that AVAST is doing - claiming their service is just for comparison and not disclosing it is a commission service. There could be other anti-competition laws they are breaching as well with the plugin, and almost certainly it breaks other country's laws too.

As far as VPNs are concerned, and privacy - they are absolutely 100% lying and misleading the public. They're not the only company to do this, hell there have been ads on TV for VPNs such as Nord which claim that with their service "no one can see what you do online" and other such nonsense. I tell you what, why don't you enable AVAST's SecureLine VPN before you post your reply here and I'll see if I can tell it was you that posted it or not - what do you think?

This has real world consequences. Women or men in abusive relationships might need a safe, private way to contact a service without their partner being able to see this. Do you think a VPN would be appropriate? Or do you think using the built-in private browsing feature would be more appropriate?

Quote
You also state that Avast forces you to participate in data sharing which isn't true.

You are not given the option when you install the product - you have to find the option and disable after installing. I do not want my data being sent to foreign-owned corporations, full stop.

Quote
If you have the ability to turn it off, you aren't forced. Simply turn the function off.

You are forced. 1. It is on by default with no option during installation to opt-out. 2. The justification isn't "we need data to improve virus definitions" it is "everyone else is doing it so we're going to do it to". 3. As I've pointed out before, perhaps you've forgotten, AVAST changes this option without telling you (link). It hasn't happened again since 2016, but it did happen I believe twice that AVAST changed the options in 2016 in stealth following program upgrades. This is the reason I turn off automatic program upgrades and check everything after an install.

The settings menu is also hugely problematic at present, for example the option to turn off AVAST email signatures (which bizarrely did re-enable itself recently, although that's far less of a concern to me then opting-in the privacy settings) can only be found by going to General > Troubleshooting > Open Old Settings. That makes it a dark pattern.

In any case, that's program settings, it's the false and misleading advertising that concerns me primarily in this thread.

Offline CraigB

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2019, 09:46:54 AM »
My question is if you distrust Avast that much, why are you using it?
What's the alternative? Avast bought AVG in 2016. Kapersky free and Bitdefender Free Edition have literally no customisation. Any other free option has either weaker virus definitions, weaker malware detection, or both.
You've got Defender, built in and very effective as recent tests over the last year will prove, there is also Panda - Sophos Home free.

As mentioned you aren't forced to accept anything as all is customisable, any data that is collected is also stripped of identifiable information but if you're still unhappy with it then just move on to something else.

Offline Asyn

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2019, 09:55:32 AM »
The settings menu is also hugely problematic at present, for example the option to turn off AVAST email signatures [...] can only be found by going to General > Troubleshooting > Open Old Settings. That makes it a dark pattern.
I may correct you, see screenshot.
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Offline bob3160

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2019, 02:30:10 PM »
@ arctus,
This is a support forum not a soap box for your complaints.
As already stated, you are twisting facts. If you aren't happy, move on.
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Offline mchain

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2019, 05:13:08 PM »
@ arctus,

Use Defender.  Simple as that.  Despite what you say, you do have choices.
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Offline schmidthouse

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2019, 05:27:29 PM »
@ arctus,
This is a support forum not a soap box for your complaints.
As already stated, you are twisting facts. If you aren't happy, move on.

+1
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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2019, 09:51:16 PM »
I'm not going to argue other points, but Web Shield and Mail Shield do complement protection and there is NOTHING deceptive about them recommending to install them.
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Offline aractus

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Re: STOP the deceptive and misleading advertising
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2019, 01:27:46 PM »
The settings menu is also hugely problematic at present, for example the option to turn off AVAST email signatures [...] can only be found by going to General > Troubleshooting > Open Old Settings. That makes it a dark pattern.
I may correct you, see screenshot.

I beg to differ:








It might be visible if you install the Web Shield I don't know, but that option is nowhere else in the interface I have.