AVG to use search records and browser history to sell ads

avg use search records browser history sell ads screenshot 3
Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the extent of what can happen when privacy is breached on the Internet. From revenge porn to the rise of the swatter, the modern age of computing has unfortunately delivered some powerful tools to very questionable users.

Advertising seems to be the next big battleground for Internet privacy, with a host of companies interested in what data they can and cannot acquire from their users. The latest firm to fall afoul of a backlash from its customers is AVG, which recently posted an updated set of terms and conditions for its free antivirus software.

The terms outline a plan that will see AVG collect data like search records and your browser history, according to a report from Tech Spot. This information would then be sold on to companies, thereby funding further development of AVG’s array of software.

These terms come into effect on October 15, at which point AVG maintains that users will have the opportunity to opt out without receiving a diminished service. In the company’s defence, transparency has been its primary focus in the weeks leading up to this change.

However, transparency doesn’t mean much if you’re undermining the very nature of the software that you distribute. Wired spoke to security expert Alexander Hanff about the situation, and his advice was to “immediately uninstall the product and find an alternative.”

Of course, it’s too early to tell whether the implementation of this protocol will turn out to be as insidious as it sounds. AVG has stated that search data collection has long been part of its terms of service, although browser history has not been referenced in the documentation before now.

AVG claims to have more than 200 million users worldwide, which would make for a plentiful data harvest. However, it’ll be very interesting to see just how many of those users decide to look for alternative antivirus software in response to this dubious change in terms.


Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.

Microsoft could split up search and Cortana in the next Windows 10 release

In the latest Insider preview build, Microsoft is exploring ways to split up Cortana and search on Windows 10. If Microsoft moves ahead with this change, we could see separate search and Cortana options in the Spring 2019 Update.

No more wild goose chase: ‘Duck.com’ now leads to DuckDuckGo instead of Google

DuckDuckGo recently acquired a shorter domain name from fellow search engine competitor Google. As a result, longtime and new DuckDuckGo users can now access the privacy-focused search engine by going to duck.com.

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Product Review

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a tiny notebook that gets lost in the crowd

The ZenBook 14 aims to be the smallest 14-inch notebook around, and it succeeds thanks to some tiny bezels. Performance and battery life are good, but the notebook lacks a standout feature other than size.

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.