Author Topic: Avast Free Antivirus self-promotion  (Read 2942 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Paul Blueberry

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 26
Avast Free Antivirus self-promotion
« on: January 09, 2023, 03:34:15 AM »
Avast Free Antivirus is indeed free, but you pay with watching its self-promoting ads. These ads cannot be turned off, unlike in the paid version, where they can. They are made to promote paid products, like Avast Premium Security or Avast SecureLine VPN. These ads appear in response to specific browser actions in the lower right corner of the screen. E.g. immediately after opening a bookmark or clicking a link you get such a popup. At the time of writing this post their frequency altogether is about every 3-4 days, but varies. They can appear on consecutive days too. Sometimes they are redesigned, then they look a bit differently.

What annoys me, is that they can be easily confused with security alerts. This is because their look does not tell you that this is an ad, and because they pop up in response to browser actions. E.g. you open the login screen of your bank, and an Avast popup appears that says "Hackers can see what you're doing online". But everything is OK, Avast just wants to make some money.

I understand that the free version is made to promote the paid products, but I consider it a bad practice to trick people to believe that they are at serious danger. I think that the ad popups should be redesigned to look like ads, unambiguously. The current design looks too similar to a security alert. Example ads (my IP address and city are blurred):

All 7 pictures.

Offline Rundvleeskroket

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 508
Re: Avast Free Antivirus self-promotion
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2023, 03:52:46 PM »
They look like that because their sole intent is to trick people into buying the paid version. Their misleading nature is very much intentional.

I have a firewall, just not the Avast one. I have a VPN, just not the Avast one. My traffic is encrypted. Still I get these alerts because Avast deliberately ignores that and tries to scare us.

When I visit my bank online, I'll often get one of these. "Bank details exposed!" No! No they aren't Avast! It is unsettling how it shows up right that second. And Avast also better only keep a local list of urls to compare to for these, as it is none of their business what sites people actually visit. That may contain political, financial, religious, or otherwise personal information to which Avast isn't supposed to be privy*


* With all 'send info to Avast' disabled I should not need to expect Avast to log visited urls. I understand some of the default installed optional shields do checks against online databases, and some of the shields in de paid version (like real site), but I run none of those. Just mail shield, file shield, and web shield. Plus anti-rootkit/exploit. Nothing more.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2023, 04:35:04 PM by Rundvleeskroket »

Offline Paul Blueberry

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 26
Re: Avast Free Antivirus self-promotion
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2023, 11:40:01 PM »
I also came to the conclusion, that the ads are deliberately made similar to security alerts. I also get scary Avast ads, when I visit my bank online, and also find it unsettling.

As a result Avast Free Antivirus is not suitable to install on an older person's computer, as they will not be able to distinguish ads from real threats. They will likely ignore both.

Offline Rundvleeskroket

  • Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 508
Re: Avast Free Antivirus self-promotion
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2023, 03:07:22 PM »
Pretty much. There is Silent Mode, but then real alerts also get suppressed so not great.