Avast releases new features to stop phishing and online scams

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Today, Avast announced that it had expanded its flagship product, Avast One, with a host of new features designed to protect users from online scams, fraud, and other privacy threats.

The solution, which already included antivirus, VPN and data breach monitoring services, now includes new features including Email Guardian, an anti-phishing email solution, Online Safety Score, which monitors the cyber hygiene of devices , and Privacy Advisor, a step by step. step-by-step guide to show users how to optimize their privacy settings on social networks.

While many new features have been released, Avast has had a significant focus on tackling phishing and social engineering scams. For businesses, these new features have the potential to offer additional protection against cyberattacks that rely on manipulating users to click on malicious links via email and SMS messages.

For example, Email Guardian, one of the new features announced, is designed to combat phishing threats by blocking malicious attachments to emails received in desktop email applications.

Similarly, Scam Protection for Android notifies the user when they receive a potentially malicious SMS, social network, or messaging app. Safe links open automatically in the browser, while dangerous links generate a notification to warn the user so they can decide whether or not to continue.

Dealing with tampering and phishing attempts

The announcement comes amid an alarming rise in phishing and smishing threats (scam messages via SMS messages), with 83% of organizations reporting they experienced a successful email-based phishing attack in 2021, while 74% of organizations reported facing smishing attacks in the same year. .

“We know that scams are a concern for many people, so our goal with the new additions to Avast One Suite was to help them regain confidence and peace of mind when using the Internet and their devices,” said Vita Santrucek, Director. product officer at Avast.

“Scams and other forms of online fraud are not only more pervasive, but also more sophisticated, to the point where it’s really hard to tell the difference between benign content and content designed to exploit. Scammers take advantage of current events to lure people; for example, two years ago we saw an increase in scams related to COVID, and in February and March of this year we saw scams related to the Ukraine war.”

New features in Avast One are designed to address this challenge by helping users identify unsafe attachments in emails and unsafe links in SMS or chat messages, so they don’t have to manually detect threats. This approach reduces the likelihood that the user will click on something malicious.

The all-in-one security market

Offering a diverse set of solutions, Avast One is found in many segments of the global cyber security market, valued at $139.77 billion in 2021 and forecast to reach $376.32 billion by 2029.

The provider competes against a range of all-in-one security providers, offering a combination of antivirus, VPN, and data breach scanning capabilities.

One of Avast One’s main competitors is McAfee, which offers users an antivirus and VPN, which a consortium of six investment firms bought last year for $14 billion.

Another competitor is Bitdefender, which offers users a combination of browser protection, data breach scanning, and a VPN, protecting over 500 million systems and 38% of the world’s security solutions.

According to data from the AV-Test Institute, the antivirus capabilities of Avast, McAfee, and Bitdefender on Windows are comparable, with each scoring a 6 for protection, performance, and ease of use.

However, with the introduction of new features to help users defend against email and SMS-based phishing attempts, Avast attempts to differentiate itself by providing more comprehensive coverage against phishing scams and social engineering.

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