Discussion:
Avast Secure Browser: Do you feel comfortable using it?
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(PeteCresswell)
2018-05-22 15:31:41 UTC
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I have read a couple reviews and am still not clear on whether it would be a
step up from Chrome for me.
--
Pete Cresswell
Good Guy
2018-05-22 15:47:53 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
I have read a couple reviews and am still not clear on whether it would be a
step up from Chrome for me.
What security features you are looking for? All the current mainstream
browsers are quite secure as long as the user uses some common-sense. I
am assuming the sense is common for most users but this may not be the
case with some newbies. We had a Rogue Trader a few days ago by the
name of T who was complaining about spam newsletter from a well known
company. what he didn't tell us is that he gave them his eMail address
so that he can be kept updated regularly about new products. Now why he
was complaining is something we didn't get to the bottom of it.

You get all sorts here and some are more stupid than others!!.
Post by (PeteCresswell)
/--- This email has been checked for viruses by
Windows Defender software.
//https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/comprehensive-security/
--
With over 600 million devices now running Windows 10, customer
satisfaction is higher than any previous version of windows.
Ken Blake
2018-05-22 18:31:16 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
I have read a couple reviews and am still not clear on whether it would be a
step up from Chrome for me.
I don't know it at all, but as far as I'm concerned, anything except
Edge is a step up from Chrome.


But why not just try it and see what you think?
VanguardLH
2018-05-22 19:30:57 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
I have read a couple reviews and am still not clear on whether it
would be a step up from Chrome for me.
I haven't played with that one. Don't see the point. You can check but
I suspect that it will install a separate instance of a Chrome variant
in a different folder and with separate registry entries. Avast's
secure web browser is a Chromium variant. If you don't like it then
later uninstall it; however, I wouldn't rely on it being more secure
without testing that claim. Other so-called secure web browsers that
I've trialed have not proven more secure versus what I can do with the
standard variant of the web browser.

There is nothing (well, little) the so-called "secure" web browsers can
do that you cannot do by configuring the web browser yourself. All they
do is start (install) with a default set of options that are different
than for the standard (um, non-secure) installation. You can lockdown
the web browser just as well yourself. Some web browsers are far more
configurable than others; for example, you can do a hell of a lot with
Firefox's about:config than with Chrome's user settings & chrome:flags.

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/avast-secure-browser-not-secure,news-22214.html
(dated 05-Feb-2016)

Because Avast's secure web browser is a variant of Chromium, and because
that web browser doesn't have many user- or program-configurable
options, the source code must be modified to "secure" the web browser.
They probably fixed it by now but the point is that you can do the
lockdown yourself, especially if you move to Firefox.

There are some settings in web browsers that will aid in improving
security, like having it purge ALL it local data upon its exit. Firefox
has that option. Chrome does not, so you need to get an extension that
performs that function. However, unless Chrome is configured to allow
background web apps to continue running after its exit (a security issue
since the extension is using external ancilliary software that runs
outside the web browser's processes), purge-on-exit is not allowed in
Chrome. However, and without using ancilliary software, some extensions
will purge Chrome's local data upon starting Chrome; i.e., they can
cleanup when you load Chrome. Since the local data is unused until the
next session in Chrome, whether you purge-on-exit or purge-on-load makes
little difference. I simply use a shortcut in a Windows taskbar toolbar
to Ccleaner ("ccleaner.exe /auto") to perform the web browser cleanup
after exiting Chrome, plus I have it scheduled to run in the wee morn
hours. An extension just makes sure it happens on every exit or load of
the web browser.

The point is that you need extensions with Chrome to get it to have the
same functionality as Firefox. Hell, you even have to install an
extension to get newly opened tabs to have focus (instead of
backgrounded), something Chrome users have been asking since Google came
out with Chrome and has been available as a tab option in Firefox since,
um, forever.

I do use Chrome as my primary web browser and Firefox as the secondary.
That is because Mozilla had such a huge moving target with all the basic
changes they made in Firefox over the last year. Now that Firefox has
stabilized a bit, I might go back to it. However, just go through the
options and chrome:flags already available to lockdown Chrome (and
Firefox although you use about:config instead of chrome:flags). There
are LOTS of online articles how to lockdown both web browsers. I have
doc folders with saved copies of articles for both.

My suggestion: don't waste time getting a "secure" web browser. Figure
out how to lockdown the one(s) you already have.
Paul in Houston TX
2018-05-22 19:41:37 UTC
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Post by (PeteCresswell)
I have read a couple reviews and am still not clear on whether it would be a
step up from Chrome for me.
Never heard of it but I would be wary of it based on the amount of Avast spam
that the scanner version sends out on every email and ng post.
s|b
2018-05-22 20:02:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul in Houston TX
Never heard of it but I would be wary of it based on the amount of Avast spam
that the scanner version sends out on every email and ng post.
Which can be disabled very easily. It's not 'hidden' anymore in Mail
Shield; it can now be find in Settings (Enable Avast email signature).
--
s|b
Paul in Houston TX
2018-05-22 20:54:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by s|b
Post by Paul in Houston TX
Never heard of it but I would be wary of it based on the amount of Avast spam
that the scanner version sends out on every email and ng post.
Which can be disabled very easily. It's not 'hidden' anymore in Mail
Shield; it can now be find in Settings (Enable Avast email signature).
True. I hate to say it but most of my co-workers and friends would not know
how or even attempt to do that. :(
Stan Brown
2018-05-23 01:08:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by s|b
Post by Paul in Houston TX
Never heard of it but I would be wary of it based on the amount of Avast spam
that the scanner version sends out on every email and ng post.
Which can be disabled very easily. It's not 'hidden' anymore in Mail
Shield; it can now be find in Settings (Enable Avast email signature).
Well yes, but in fact most Avast users don't disable it, but just go
on advertising Avast to everyone they correspond with.
--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://BrownMath.com/
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
Shikata ga nai...
VanguardLH
2018-05-23 03:24:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by s|b
Post by Paul in Houston TX
Never heard of it but I would be wary of it based on the amount of Avast spam
that the scanner version sends out on every email and ng post.
Which can be disabled very easily. It's not 'hidden' anymore in Mail
Shield; it can now be find in Settings (Enable Avast email signature).
Don't even have to disable. Don't bother installing the Mail Shield
module (or uninstall it if you got suckered into installing it). They
rely on users not investigating what all the offered modules will do.
The Mail Shield is completely superfluous. If you are infected despite
using Avast (or any AV), scanning outbound e-mails won't work as well as
scanning inbound e-mails. Their spam signature (which is NOT a valid
signature block -- and they know it) makes the sender look stupid for
saying "It's clean. I promise." Uh huh. That's like spam saying it's
not spam. Must be so because they say so. Uh huh.



The Mail Shield module affords no more protection than already does
their on-access (aka real-time) scanner. MIME parts within e-mails
can't do anything. They are just very long text strings that encode the
binary attachment. Not until you extract the attachment AND RUN it can
it do anything (if executable). Once you do the extraction, the
on-access scanner will check the output file where the attachment got
saved into.

I use Avast. Its Mail Shield module is superfluous. Uninstall it. No
more problems with spam pseudo-signatures. No timeout errors by the
local e-mail client or e-mail server due to the time to interrogate the
e-mail traffic. No corruption of e-mail content. No interference with
accessing the server by the client because a transparent local proxy
through which all the e-mail traffic passes through happened to go dead.

Quite a few modules are superfluous in Avast or are lureware:
- Mail Shield - superfluous.
- Software Updater - nagware, makes incorrect assumptions, prods users
to update when everything is working okay.
- Browser Cleanup - superfluous. Use CCleaner.
- Security browser extension - superfluous, only works in some web
browsers. Use to be called WebRep (Web Reputation) but nothing
changed when they changed the name. Like McAfee's Site Advisor and
WOT (Web of Trust), the attempt is to rate web sites as safe, unknown,
or dangerous. Less than 1% of web sites are in their database, the
ratings are from users voting on bad or good (and general users are
hardly expert users - read the WOT forums to see they are mostly
boobs). The vast majority of sites will be rated Unknown - so the
webrep feature is worthless.
- SafePrice - lureware.
- SecurelineVPN - lureware.
- Passwords - superfluous. Another program that wants to manage your
site passwords instead of using the web browser's own password
manager.
- Cleanup - superfluous. CCleaner is better.

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