The computer world is full of dirty stories, where we can see how thin is the line between business and ethics . Avast has been one of the main security settings for millions of users, but recently appeared a spot huge on our files: The extension for Google Chrome and Firefox of users to track advertising and injects into the browser without notice .
I understand that it is very difficult to keep the free version of a product. Million users downloading at once the cost of the servers is a nightmare, and all proceeds are responsible for higher versions or other offers. In these chaotic days of cyber espionage and vulnerabilities everywhere, unscrupulousness is the rule rather than the exception. It is impossible to keep track of extensions that claim to be “free” and that while modules installed in the background for surfing habits and e-mail addresses that end in spammers. This can be expected from an unknown developer, who decides to mount an operation of one man , but not with some reputable companies, who for years were trusted by millions of users across multiple platforms.
On this occasion, who has been under scrutiny is Avast . People Portal How to Geek conducted extensive research focused on the behavior of the official extension Online Security which Avast Antivirus installed on Google Chrome and Firefox. The original plan was to test Avast while installed in the test system all manner of digital rubbish, but along the way discovered something unpleasant: Extending Avast also added to the module SafePrice , presenting recommendations, deals and promotional prices during our session. In other words, injects ads , the same behavior as have many of the programs that Avast says fighting. According to data How to Geek, the extension has at least ten million Chrome users only .
The next step for Avast was none other than make an immediate damage control, and eliminate the SafePrice module extension. However, confidence in the security tools is like porcelain: the first crack appears, and never remains as before. Each web address you visited was sent to Avast servers , for which the software generates a unique ID for each user (will not be personal information, but he identifies the same) . The worst part? The module would be there since last December , nearly a year of data collected. For now, it’s enough for me. Time ago not use Avast, and after this little gift , will happen much longer. Now, a question: Is it necessary to audit all free antivirus?