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Tech & Science Uninstall These Snooping AVG And Avast Browser Extensions

21:01  04 december  2019
21:01  04 december  2019 Source:   lifehacker.com.au

What To Do If Your Antivirus Apps Or Wifi Drivers Are Blocking Window 10 Updates

  What To Do If Your Antivirus Apps Or Wifi Drivers Are Blocking Window 10 Updates Microsoft is preventing certain PCs running older versions of AVG and Avast antivirus software and outdated Qualcomm WiFi drivers from installing Windows 10 versions 1809, 1903, and 1909. Here’s why: Microsoft no longer allows Windows 10 to automatically update on any and all systems due to potential bugs and incompatibility issues. These specific blocks go a step further and outright stop users with older versions of AVG and Avast antivirus products and certain Qualcomm wifi drivers from manually installing Windows 10 updates altogether.

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We always recommend keeping your extension list light, because you never know when something might try to siphon data from your browser—especially more data than it should be able to access. That’s exactly the issue Mozilla is raising with four seemingly “good” extensions—Avast Online Security, AVG Online Security, Avast SafePrice, and AVG SafePrice—and you should uninstall them from your browser until they’ve been fixed, at minimum.

Delete Unused Apps To Protect Your Android From Vulnerabilities

  Delete Unused Apps To Protect Your Android From Vulnerabilities Regularly uninstalling unused apps from your smartphone (and disabling unnecessary app permissions) does more than just free up extra storage space—it helps keep your personal data safe. Case in point: Several third-party Android apps were recently implicated in a data breach that affected millions of Facebook and Twitter users. Twitter disclosed the details of the attack in a blog post on Monday. A number of third-party apps containing malicious software were able to exploit vulnerabilities in Android devices to access certain Twitter and Facebook account information.

As ZDNet reports, Mozilla removed these four extensions from its online gallery following reports from AdBlock Plus’ creator, Wladimir Palant, that the extensions were collecting more data than they should. Palant writes:

“Spying on your users is clearly a violation of the terms that both Google and Mozilla make extension developers sign. So yesterday I reported these four extensions to Mozilla and Google. Mozilla immediately disabled the extension listings, so that these extensions can no longer be found on the Mozilla Add-ons site. Mozilla didn’t blacklist the extensions however, stating that they are still talking to Avast. So for existing users these extensions will still be active and continue spying on the users.”

PayPal to Acquire Online Coupon Site Honey for $4 Billion

  PayPal to Acquire Online Coupon Site Honey for $4 Billion PayPal Holdings Inc. will acquire Honey Science Corp. for about $4 billion, its largest-ever acquisition, adding a startup that amasses valuable data on consumer buying habits and doles out coupons for online bargains. About 17 million people use Honey apps or web browser extensions to find discounts at online shopping sites. The startup was profitable in 2018, PayPal said in a statement. Shares of the payments giant were little changed in extended trading.

You can read more about Palant’s overall findings here, but here’s a snippet of his findings:

“When Avast Online Security extension is active, it will request information about your visited websites from an Avast server. In the process, it will transmit data that allows reconstructing your entire web browsing history and much of your browsing behaviour. The amount of data being sent goes far beyond what’s necessary for the extension to function, especially if you compare to competing solutions such as Google Safe Browsing.

Avast Privacy Policy covers this functionality and claims that it is necessary to provide the service. Storing the data is considered unproblematic due to anonymization (I disagree), and Avast doesn’t make any statements explaining just how long it holds on to it.”

For what it’s worth, an Avast spokesperson told ZDNet that it’s working with Mozilla to fix up its extension to make it “fully compliant and transparent.” You can still find all four extensions on the Chrome web store, but Opera has followed Mozilla’s footprints and also removed them from its extension gallery for the time being.

Should You Trust Online Shopping Apps Like Honey?

  Should You Trust Online Shopping Apps Like Honey? When PayPal announced last month that it would acquire Honey, the browser extension and app that helps you find coupon codes and deals when you shop online, my ears perked up. It wasn’t the news of the acquisition that piqued my interest: it was the fact that PayPal would pay $6 billion, mostly in cash, for the company. What could PayPal possibly want with Honey’s 17 million users? But the answer is obvious: data. The reality of every program you use that finds you deals, discounts, coupons or cash-back rebates is that the service needs to collect information about your shopping habits in order to find those deals and discounts for you.

What to do about these extensions in the meantime

If you’ve installed any of those four extensions in any browser you use, uninstall them. You probably don’t even need extensions to vet websites you’re visiting, because this can all be done with a little common sense.

If you still feel like you need an extension to tell you whether websites are legitimate or not, you can try using something like Windows Defender Browser Protection (for Chrome) or the slightly more complicated Application Guard Extension (for Chrome or Firefox), which dumps untrusted websites into an isolated instance of Microsoft Edge. (You’ll also have to install Edge on your system for this to work.)

As for the price-watching extensions, I can’t tell you the last time one actually saved me money on anything. If you must have some kind of little tool that tells you about potential deals for items you’re considering buying, Honey (Chrome, Firefox) is a pretty well-respected extension. Though, were I you, I’d just do a little searching to find the best deals.

How to remove Google Chrome extensions from your browser, or disable them .
You can remove Google Chrome extensions directly from the browser's toolbar or by opening the "More tools" menu. Extensions are small apps that customise your browser or give it additional features. You can also temporarily disable extensions if you don't want to remove them.Google Chrome extensions can help you take a screenshot of a long web page, block ads on certain sites, remember passwords, and much more.

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