Author Topic: Avast 7 without the cloud?  (Read 14002 times)

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nord

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Avast 7 without the cloud?
« on: March 04, 2012, 12:49:29 AM »
Is it possible to use Avast 7 without the cloud interaction and things like fiel reputation data miining from your computer to Avast's dBase?


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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 12:55:22 AM »
Data mining? Since when is file creation date and file popularity considered data mining? Ppl are getting seriously too paranoid where there is no need to be (avast!) but don't bother where they should (Facebook, Google etc). Not using all cloud features is like buying a car with ABS, ESR, AIRBAGS and then decide not to use any of it. Why? You can disable each of the Cloud Services in settings but i see little point in doing that other than intentionally make your protection worse. Which in the case of anti-malware protection simply makes no sense.
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Offline DavidR

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 01:03:23 AM »
Of course it is possible to disable cloud services, as it is over and above the standard protection, though why you would want to is beyond me.
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FlyingRobot

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2012, 02:29:49 AM »
I think nearly all of my recent posts and the threads I've participated in have in some way related to avast (cloud) related privacy issues.  If so inclined, you could look at the threads I participated in via my post history and digest everyones comments in those thread for yourself.  I am still trying to figure out some things and am not an expert on avast.  I'm just an avast 6 user who also happens to be interested in privacy issues.

I think the avast Community, avast Account, WebRep, FileRep, and Remote Assistance features involve the communication of [potentially] sensitive information to avast.  The CreditAlert and possibly Market features would also be of concern I think.  It appears to me that all of those can either be not installed, disabled, or not utilized so as to result in an avast installation that would not share [potentially] sensitive information with avast.  I am NOT certain of this in part because I have not yet fully installed and tested avast 7 in an attempt to confirm it.  You should, of course, familiarize yourself with those and other features and base your decisions on specifics including the degree to which other tools are protecting your system.  I would spend a good amount of time weighing FileRep.

Note1: avast 7 will, unless you opt-out, install Google Chrome which has its own privacy issues you should consider.
Note2: As of this moment there are license agreements at http://www.avast.com/eula and these mention some avast related privacy issues.  The EULA displayed by avast 7 installers I have looked at do not display privacy information and I can't say whether the documents at that link fully cover avast 7.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 03:57:09 AM by FlyingRobot »

nord

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2012, 04:13:41 AM »
Of course it is possible to disable cloud services, as it is over and above the standard protection, though why you would want to is beyond me.

Putting aside for the moment what kind of interaction there is between my computer and Avast,  I wonder if there is any data hit because of the always on aspect, instead of the older method of getting updates once or twice a day. Constant polling and all that.

You might well ask why that might be a concern and the answer is simple: data caps on a so-called 4G connection on a tether. My phone is my internet connection for my laptop.



clubhouse

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2012, 06:58:56 AM »
Of course it is possible to disable cloud services, as it is over and above the standard protection, though why you would want to is beyond me.



I turn the cloud services off.....reason?.......I use a pay as you go ISP.....a dongle.....I don't want cloud services constantly draining the kb's off my allowance....why you didn't think outside of the box is beyond me ;D

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2012, 06:59:16 AM »
If you have so many privacy issues, why do you even bother to use antivirus in the first place? It won't get any better with other products either since most of them use very similar techniques. Statistical data gathering has been around for ages and is not a new thing plus it's not harmful either.
Besides, avast! is selling their product, not the user data like Google does in a way for example and you get their service for free in return. avast! does offer one their product for free, but they benefit from it in other ways (suspicious samples collection, error feedback, transition to Pro/IS products etc) and not by user data mining.

avast! is not collecting any user data specifically and if it does capture anything it might only be your profile username on computer (if the malware is detected there). But anyone can find out that even by guessing based on your forum username. Most of users use the same name. Besides, why would avast! be interested in your profile username is beyond me. Ok, it was submitted there but quite frankly i don't see how could they possibly benefit from knowing that.

I know bunch of customers addresses, names and phone numbers from where i work. It's a even bigger privacy issue as you state it, but i don't need it in any other way so it's exactly the same as with avast!. They don't care who or what you are. You're just a number to them. A statistic.
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AdrianH

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2012, 08:49:45 AM »
Privacy issues?

So, Panda Cloud, Immunet, PrevX, Eset, Kaspersky to name but a few of those that use cloud services are all wrong too?

What about WebRep and addons like WOT? Do they not check URL's against a database on the fly? Every search engine records your searches against IP,OS,browser etc. Every site you access is recorded by your ISP.

Why is it that all the other services you use which collect anoymous data are OK but suddenly avast isn't?  Microsoft collects info all the time, their products like Defender and MSE collate information on systems,infections etc. and it bothers no one.

Google Analytics collects data for web masters, every Linux based server has Awstats, Webalizer and Analog stats that gather a huge array of details on user activities and no one ever bothered about it, yet avast now check a file name against a database for security reasons and sudenly there is mass panic? 

I can understand those on a limited bandwidth/dongle situation needing to turn off cloud systems but all this "privacy issue " talk is a joke. Avast are not taking your personal details and storing them, file names get checked, end of story, you give away far more data every single time you visit a website or forum than anything present in the cloud system.

bioxx750

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2012, 09:55:35 AM »
If you have so many privacy issues, why do you even bother to use antivirus in the first place? It won't get any better with other products either since most of them use very similar techniques. Statistical data gathering has been around for ages and is not a new thing plus it's not harmful either.

Says who? You?
Besides, avast! is selling their product, not the user data like Google does in a way for example

Saying that at a time when avast comes bundled with Chrome, very funny.

Most of users use the same name.

Unless the world has run out of names that's one hell of an assumption. You know what they say about those.

They don't care who or what you are. You're just a number to them. A statistic.

Did you get this info from avast customer support? If so, I'd consider this very rude.

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2012, 02:29:51 PM »
You seem to be way too paranoid. Seriously. If you don't seem to think of avast! Software as reliable company, then why you still insist on using it (not that you'll have much better luck with any other vendor)? I didn't agree with Facebook policy so i stopped using it. And the problem there is much more worrying and not that many seem to be giving much fuss about it. I mean, when users post their home addresses on Facebook and when they won't be at home it's fine. But when AV software is allegedly (not even proven!) mining user data all hell breaks loose.

Maybe you should stop for a second and think one thing. What exactly would avast! Software benefit from mining and selling the user data?
Quite honestly i can't seem to think of a single thing apart from them providing me even better protection from malware.

Because if you are that paranoid, maybe you should start thinking of how a company that made your car is tracking your through integrated GPS system. Or how a local store chain of hypermarkets is tracking your habits with all the loyalty cards they all seem to be using. or the phone makers logging your data. Or your very ISP logging ALL the stuff you visit, download, watch, listen etc. You don't seem to get annoyed by that. But you do get annoyed by an anti-malware program functions that pretty much everyone already use for quite a while.

If you want File Reputation service to operate, you simply need to collect certain data. You also have to collect certain data when you want to gather malicious domains. And so on and on.

Also think of it the other way. There are what, 180 million avast! users. Do you think anyone at avast! Software has the time to read billions of lines of data feed to their system by the CommunityIQ mechanism? That's why i'm saying you're just a number to them. A statistic.
I also think the same of Google's GMail. So they scan our mails using robots (small code that checks keywords). Do you think Google gives a crap about what i type in GMail? They just scan the keywords, maybe make translations from other languages since not all of us use english as native language. It's all a statistical data no matter how you turn it, because with such massive data input, there is just no way to individually target someone. Not sure what they'd achieve by doing that either. However i don't like the idea of having my data posted on web where anyone can read it and take advantage of it for their personal benefit. Ie someone looting my home because i typed on Facebook i'll be away on a sea cruise for 4 weeks... that's what ppl should be worried about. But they apparently aren't.

But if you don't understand all this, i suggest it's better for you to go back to the drawing board and think all this through again and learn about how technology behind avast! works. The purpose of it, it's benefits and downsides. Because apart from them unintentionally collecting your username from a file path, it's the only thing where they'll get the very maximum personal data from you. And as i remember it has been mentioned here on forums many times already.

Sure, you can turn off updates, File Reputation, Streaming Updates, CommunityIQ and so on. But what will you do in the end? All you'll get is a very crippled anti-malware product. Do you think AVG, MSE, AVIRA or any other does it any differently? Do you think you'll get any more in depth answers from them? They'll say the very same thing as we are saying it to you here. avast! is not collecting any user data intentionally. It's not selling or giving it to the 3rd party either. And if you still not agree to these terms, no one is forcing you to use the product. It's really as simple as that.
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HighWalker

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 06:03:39 PM »
I'm actually amazed how people wern't/arnt aware how much thier privacy has been invaded for years, but i guess better late then never.

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 06:14:10 PM »
Anonymous data is good , it is needed to better their product.

Personal information gets gathered too , you cant avoid that , but why share it with so many people , that really is not needed , that is only to make more money , money above privacy.

Only send personal information to people who really need it , for example transactions , not surveys , marketing , law etc ( AV vendors are not here to act like they are police officers )

Unless they force you , but most AV vendors give information out of their free will , without a court order.

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 07:54:32 PM »
I'm actually amazed how people wern't/arnt aware how much thier privacy has been invaded for years, but i guess better late then never.
No privacy is invaded at all. What are you talking about?
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2012, 07:59:16 PM »
Personal information gets gathered too
When? With the antivirus product? No, all information is anonymous.

you cant avoid that , but why share it with so many people , that really is not needed , that is only to make more money , money above privacy.
False in avast! case. Is this only FUD?
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Re: Avast 7 without the cloud?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2012, 08:06:13 PM »
I think the avast Community, avast Account, WebRep, FileRep, and Remote Assistance features involve the communication of [potentially] sensitive information to avast.
If you don't trust the company, you won't trust the product. But, please, you're just spreading  FUD.
The information is annonymous or it's not used by avast. You can set whatever you want into the avast! account (names, etc.), so no privacy involved.
You were already answered about Remote Assistance very deeply.

The CreditAlert and possibly Market features would also be of concern I think.
Concern of what? You're just propagating FUD.

I am NOT certain of this in part because I have not yet fully installed and tested avast 7 in an attempt to confirm it.
So, or you trust in the company, in the users, or it would be easy for your peace of mind to move away, wouldn't it?

Note2: As of this moment there are license agreements at http://www.avast.com/eula and these mention some avast related privacy issues.  The EULA displayed by avast 7 installers I have looked at do not display privacy information and I can't say whether the documents at that link fully cover avast 7.
You've got already answered about this in another thread.

You're being warned.
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