Press releases

Avast enhances Avast Secure Browser to give people control over their online privacy and security 

Two-thirds of consumers misplace trust in existing private web browsing modes to anonymize their identity as online privacy concerns mount

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – April 5th, 2018 - New research by Avast, the global leader in digital security products, has found 65% of consumers mistakenly believe that the Incognito and Private browsing modes offered by today’s browsers will anonymize their identity and obscure their browsing habits from governments, organizations and advertisers. Additionally, 77% had misplaced expectations that their browser would alert them to potential web-based threats, such as malicious cryptomining and extensions. The findings support the release of the newly enhanced and renamed Avast Secure Browser, which provides advanced protection from browser-based cyberattacks and delivers privacy from mass surveillance online that extends beyond the browser to the web sites that a consumer uses.

The new survey findings from Avast, which polled over 10,000 consumers globally, identified serious concerns that the most popular browser extension frameworks are a threat to privacy and security, despite large-scale user adoption. Despite almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents admitting that they use third-party browser extensions, only 21% consider them trustworthy. When asked if current browsers should do a better job at identifying adware and malware hidden in malicious extensions, almost all (96%) of respondents said yes. Malicious extensions are an increasing threat as attackers impersonate popular brands or replicate popular features to deliver ads, hijack search queries and steal personal data. Avast Secure Browser actively identifies unsafe add-ons, links and content that could contain malware.

“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.”

In contrast to the limited privacy provided by existing browsers, Avast Secure Browser offers a wide range of settings that the user can tailor, including Anti-Tracking, Bank Mode, Stealth Mode and VPN integration. Avast Secure Browser also protects users against third parties who monitor or store browsing history, or who place tracking cookies and use private data to build unwanted user profiles.

Users can also be reassured that Avast Secure Browser will protect them against malicious applications that surreptitiously track their online activity, or use their PCs for activities such as cryptomining without permission. This is especially important today with the rise of cryptojacking. Although 81% of consumers surveyed did not know what this was, 94% expressed concerns when it was explained to them.

Based on the highly successful Chromium open source platform, Avast Secure Browser comes equipped with its own Security and Privacy Center that consolidates Avast’s expertise and technology to make it easier for users to protect their personal data and online identities. Key features include Anti-Tracking to prevent websites tracking users online; Bank Mode which prevents hackers from seeing what users type; Anti-Fingerprinting to disguise unique browser footprints; Adblock to increase browsing speed and protect against malicious advertisements; Extension Guard to block unwanted add-ons or plugins; and WebShield which scans URLs for unsafe phishing or malware domains.

Avast Secure Browser, formerly known as SafeZone Browser, is currently being delivered as an update to all existing users worldwide. The browser will also be offered to eligible new users of Avast Antivirus products and as a separate download on Additional paid subscription features such as Avast SecureLine VPN are available at a small annual fee.

Avast Secure Browser is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7. Mobile versions for iOS and Android are slated for release later in 2018. The full feature list and the link to download the new Avast Secure Browser is available at Avast’s website.

 *Indicates speeds 400% faster in comparison to other major browsers and on average 30% faster across a sample of 1,000 of the most popular websites

 Survey Methodology

Over 10,000 respondents from Avast’s user base in regions including the US, UK, Canada, Australia and India took part in the survey.