Who Has Your Search History?

Who Has Your Search History?

In a perfect world, the sun would shine daily, age would not cause wrinkles, and you wouldn’t have to worry about malware attacks on your computer. Right? But in our world, storms sometimes rage, age equals wrinkles and the Internet simply is not a safe place. Unless your laptop has no connection to the outside world, and you keep it in a bubble, you cannot sensibly go without antivirus software.

Antivirus does not just protect against viruses. It is also used to safeguard a computer from malware, computer worms, Trojans, adware, etc. There are several free antivirus programs available that have provided satisfactory performance to many users.

AVG is the third most popular antivirus product in the world according to market analysis from software firm Opswat. The company has a 8.6 percent share of the global market, behind Microsoft on 19.4 percent and Avast on 21.4 percent. But, be aware, that when it comes to freeware, you should never confuse popularity with effectiveness.

Recently, AVG updated its privacy policy to include verbiage regarding the collection and sale of “non-personal data” to third parties. Alexander Hanff, security expert and chief executive of Think Privacy, stated that AVG’s potential ability to collect and sell browser and search history data places the company “squarely into the category of spyware.” “Antivirus software runs on our devices with elevated privileges so it can detect and block malware, adware, spyware and other threats,” he told WIRED. “It is utterly unethical to [the] highest degree and a complete and total abuse of the trust we give our security software.” Hanff urged people using AVG’s free antivirus to “immediately uninstall the product and find an alternative.”

Do any of you consider it ironic that a security company who holds access to your personal and “non-personal data” to provide protection would consider selling that data for profit?

In response to this statement and to other industry comments saying that AVG had stayed “just on the non-creepy side of creepy,” AVG has published a blog post (http://now.avg.com/understanding-the-new-privacy-policy/) explaining their decision to go this route. If you are presently using AVG’s free antivirus, you should take a look. If you are ok using free software that will share your search and browser information with advertisers, then do nothing. However, if you are concerned about the impact that this new AVG policy will have on your business, your identity and your security, please contact us at(561) 969-1616 or [email protected].