How many of us can remember a world where we couldn’t turn to Google for easy answers, where Wikipedia didn’t serve as a one-stop shop for research, or where connecting and networking with people was something you could only do with business cards and landline telephones? The world wide web has woven itself into our daily lives, and its use in American homes has increased by 400% in the past 20 years. The number of hours we spend on the internet each week has shot up from 9.4 hours to 23.6 in the past 19 years, and overall internet penetration has increased from 67% to 92%. That’s all time you spend using your web browser (i.e. email, shopping, banking, social media, news & entertainment, etc.). By now you should be using one that’s safe, fast and private.
Avast Secure Browser was designed around those exact priorities, and a new, updated version was released back in April 2019. Avast was built by security experts, their prime focus being to grant users control, anonymity, safety, and smart intuitive browsing. Avast Secure Browser doesn’t follow your searches, clicks, or purchases, and seamlessly brings all your privacy and security tools together, and as of the new update also includes features like an Email Hack Check, a Webcam Guard, and better Anti-Fingerprinting tools than ever before.
Extensions are dangerous
We all love our browser extensions, and while many are useful and safe, it just takes one wrong download to put your computer at risk. A compromised extension can actually grant attackers access to all data on both your computer and the websites that you’ve visited.
Avast polled over 10,000 consumers globally and discovered that even the most popular browser extension frameworks had serious security vulnerabilities despite widespread use. 64% of respondents said they used third-party browser extensions, yet a meager 21% of them said they trusted them. 96% of the same people polled said they wished their browser did a better job of being up front about identifying ads or malware hidden extensions instead of merely apologizing and cleaning up the mess later. When you move to get a new extension, Avast Secure Browser scans for any unsafe add-ons, links and content that could be potential malware.
What is Avast Secure Browser?
Avast Secure Browser is a new approach to internet browsing based on the powerful Chromium open source platform. Other well-known browsers that use the Chromium source code are Google Chrome, Opera, and Brave, with Microsoft Edge next in the queue. Avast Secure Browser is fast and comes with a litany of privacy-enhancing features and customizable settings to bolster your privacy. Officially, Avast Secure Browser is the successor of Avast SafeZone Browser which has since been discontinued in order to pave the way for the new kid on the block. The most obvious example of this level of customization is the new Security and Privacy Center.
Security and Privacy Center
The Security & Privacy Center is a curated collection of tools, features, and settings for managing your online activity. Each feature or setting in the Security & Privacy Center is also a knowledge center helping users understand what the feature is, the benefits, and when it should be used. Avast implemented this feature so users could “easily customize their browser to their own needs. Plus, you’ll get the same familiar look you’re used to so you won’t need to change your browsing habits!”
In the Security and Privacy Center you can view and set various filters to not only craft a more secure and private browser but a more secure PC and personal identity. You can access it by simply clicking the Avast symbol in the top-right corner of the Avast Secure Browser screen.
This way you control browsing aspects such as ad-blocking, privacy, HTTPS encryption, password manager extensions, and other tools such as:
- Webcam Guard (enabled) to give consumers complete control over who can access their computer cameras.
- Email Hack Check to let people know if their email addresses have been compromised.
- Extension Guard (enabled) to block the installation of untrusted browser extensions.
- Adblock (enabled) to improve browsing speed and block potentially malicious ads.
- Anti-Phishing (enabled) to protect against phishing attempts.
- Anti-Fingerprinting (disabled) to prevent websites from tracking people as they browse.
- Flash Blocker (enabled) to block all Flash content.
You may also launch a new private browsing window (called Stealth Mode) and a Privacy Cleaner (which cleans your browsing data) from the Security & Privacy Center as well – and this time they’ll actually do their job. Enabling Stealth Mode with Avast Secure Browser ensures both anti-tracking and anti-phishing, and automatically upgrades all http to https encryption.
“Consumers using tools like Private Browsing and Incognito Mode are being lulled into a false sense of security as these only offer limited privacy options and no real protection at all against many security or privacy threats,” said Matt Adkisson, Director, Platform Products, Avast.
“Consumers have never been offered a browser that provides both industry leading web protection and online privacy delivered by cybersecurity experts. We are first and foremost a security company and we redesigned Avast Secure Browser specifically to deliver a secure and private online experience. Not only is it a simple and safe choice for the privacy-conscious individual, it’s also substantially faster than other browsers available today.”
How’s the privacy?
While Avast Secure Browser definitely has speed going for it, speed still comes secondary to its stance on privacy and security. The browser has top-of-the-line built-in privacy features that serve to hide your identity, cover your digital footprint, and keep your business strictly your own. “We believe that what you do online is your business,” says the team. “Your posts, your emails, your searches, your browsing history — they’re yours. With our browser, it stays that way.”
Avast Secure Browser is available on Windows 10, 8, and 7 to any new users of Avast Antivirus products and can be downloaded right here. You can also elect to tack on additional paid subscription features like Avast SecureLine VPN for a small annual fee. The full feature list and the link to download the new Avast Secure Browser is available on their website. Stay tuned with us for more information as it becomes available!