Avast Steps Up to Protect Digital Freedom for All
New mission to further digital rights and reset digital citizens’ relationship with the internet for a better online world; delivers new Avast One free protection platform for users worldwide
Avast, a digital security and privacy company unveiled its new brand identity and expanded purpose to protect digital freedom for all online citizens. Avast is committed to furthering digital rights, especially in the critical area of privacy, with a new digital freedom strategy that includes policymaker engagement, philanthropy, and innovation. The new brand look and tone reflects Avast’s wider purpose, a new and innovative approach to total digital protection with Avast One, and a call to action for people to reset their relationship with the internet for a healthier online experience.
In a world now transformed by the pandemic, Avast has identified how online harms have expanded beyond security issues to include serious threats to personal privacy and identity. Research* published by Avast today in its Digital Citizenship Report found that, while six out of ten people acknowledged the increased importance of the internet during the pandemic, security and privacy concerns have prevented 58% of people in India from doing something online; women (62%) and those aged 18-24 (66%) were the most concerned demographics .
Ondrej Vlcek, CEO Avast, said, “The digital world has reached a crossroads. Over 4.8 billion people are online today – over half the world’s population – and ensuring people have the ability to access a safe and secure internet is increasingly a fundamental digital right. It’s not enough to simply trust online providers to always have our best interests at heart, and people are looking for help to address the inequality in their relationship with the internet and protect their safety and privacy. We believe as a digital protection company that we can do more to improve online security and defend against covert surveillance through unwanted tracking and monitoring. Avast is therefore committed to fighting for digital freedom and to protect the privacy of digital citizens online today and those who will join us in the future.”
As part of the company’s new purpose-led strategy, Avast announced Avast One, a new digital protection service. Its new hero product combines the company’s award-winning antivirus technology with a firewall and software updater feature to protect people from using outdated software and supply chain attacks, extensive privacy protection in the form of a Virtual Private Network for regular browsing use, and identity protection through our data breach monitoring service, all for free with the Avast One Essential version.
The company also launched its new Avast Foundation program. The company’s charitable Foundation celebrates its first year this year, and has debuted a new program tackling digital freedom issues and supporting vulnerable people. Building on a previous decade of philanthropy, the Avast Foundation is focused on enabling a more equitable and inclusive digital future in which everyone has access to the tools and opportunities to reach their full potential.
Avast believes that protecting people’s privacy needs to go beyond product innovation, and that it has a role in helping shape policy on technology adoption and use. Avast advocates for digital freedom with political stakeholders worldwide by serving as a resource. Avast is proactively engaging on critical topics such as online surveillance, privacy, AI and encryption technologies, to educate and ensure people-first policy-making.
The Avast Digital Citizenship Report reveals that for 47% of people in India, the internet has made the pandemic more bearable by enabling social contact, new experiences, access to important services, and inspiration. In the region, 56% used the internet to keep in touch with loved ones, with 26% saying they used video calling for the very first time in their lives. For 53% of Indian internet users, the internet empowered them to experience and learn new things.
However, the report also shows that people enjoy the internet, yet do have concerns about their safety and privacy. This confirms what customers have told Avast – that it’s simply the price they have to pay for using it. The majority of digital users (85%) say the protection of their data is very important to them, however, nearly one third (66%) say they have strong trust in data protection laws.
Uncertainty about security and privacy can also inhibit people online, with many deciding against certain online activities, for example, 34% chose not to register for certain online accounts requiring personal details, 28% decided against online banking, and 36% refrained from using public Wi-Fi.
Avast One: next level protection for today’s digital life
Avast One provides digital citizens with a single solution to online security, privacy, identity and performance issues, keeping people and their data safe and their devices running smoothly. With built-in personalization capabilities, Avast One adjusts to people’s and their family members’ individual needs.
With the free Avast One Essential offering, users get protection from cyber threats such as ransomware, spyware and phishing attacks; security from malicious incoming connections via its firewall; and a generous VPN allowance of 5GB per week, which is highly competitive. Given the reasonable concerns people have about public Wi-Fi, using a virtual private network (VPN) can help users keep their personal information safe while connected.
The paid Avast One Individual and Avast One Family products include additional features including protection from Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) spoofing, DNS hijacking, and webcam spy attacks. It also offers data breach monitoring to allow people and their families to see if the passwords of their online accounts have been exposed, and provides them with unlimited VPN services. Avast One users can also improve their PC performance strong with a Disk Cleaner that allows them to find and clean redundant junk files to keep their device clean.