Avast Steps Up To Protect Digital Freedom For All

Credit: Original article can be found here

New mission to further digital rights and reset
digital citizens’ relationship with the internet for a
healthier online world; delivers new Avast One free
protection platform for users
worldwide

September 16, 2021
Avast (LSE:AVST), a global leader in digital security and
privacy, today 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 65% of people worldwide from doing something
online, including 63% of New Zealanders; women (66%) and
those aged 18-24 (72%) were the most concerned demographics
in New Zealand.

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 fight
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 is today
announcing:

  • Avast One, a new digital
    protection service
    : Avast
    pioneered free antivirus 20 years ago and is committed to
    providing the best free protection products for all of its
    users. Avast’s 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 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. We envision a more equitable and
    inclusive digital future in which everyone has access to the
    tools and opportunities to reach their full
    potential.
  • Shaping policy on security and
    privacy technologies
    : 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, educating and ensuring people-first
    policy-making.

Digital Citizens are waking up
to concerning internet issues

The Avast Digital
Citizenship Report reveals that for 34% of people globally
and 35% of New Zealanders, the internet has made the
pandemic more bearable by enabling social contact, new
experiences, access to important services, and inspiration.
In New Zealand, 44% used the internet to keep in touch with
loved ones, with 11% saying they used video calling for the
very first time in their lives. For 25% of internet users in
New Zealand, the internet empowered them to experience and
learn new things.

However, the report also shows that
whilst people enjoy the internet, they 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 in New
Zealand (84%) say the protection of their data is very
important to them, however, less than half (47%) 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, 39% of New Zealanders chose not to register for
certain online accounts requiring personal details, 14%
decided against online banking, and 30% 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
personalisation 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 with a Disk Cleaner that allows
them to find and clean redundant junk files to keep their
device clean.

Avast One
is available from today in the United States, Canada, United
Kingdom, and Australia, and will roll out to New Zealand and
non-English speaking markets soon.

*Avast survey
regarding global digital citizenship trends among 16,147
online users in 17 countries around the world conducted by
YouGov and Forsa. Avast commissioned the survey to the
research institution YouGov who ran the survey from June
15th to June 27th in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Czech
Republic, France, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia,
Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States, and
to the research institution Forsa in Austria, Germany and
Switzerland (German-speaking population only). The survey
was run as a representative survey among over 1,000 people
in each region, apart from Austria and Switzerland where
Forsa surveyed over 500 people each. The global data points
in this report are covering results of all regions, apart
from data points that show results by age groups or gender,
where results from German speaking markets are
excluded..

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