Avast 2019 extends AI to block advanced phishing attacks

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Avast has announced the Avast 2019 release of its free and premium flagship consumer security software. The new version features enhanced artificial intelligence-based phishing protection, privacy protection, and ensures zero interruptions when using full screen mode.

Using AI, Avast 2019 offers enhanced detection of phishing websites by automatically checking a site’s URL for suspicious tokens, domain meta information, and inspecting the visual aspects of sites. This technology allows Avast to recognise new phishing sites in seconds, protecting Avast users across all platforms from falling victim of phishing scams and other fraudulent emails.

Avast’s new Do Not Disturb Mode silences alerts including those from third party applications, such as Windows, email, chat and browser notifications while users run applications in full screen. Do Not Disturb Mode is a free feature and prevents applications from distracting or embarrassing users while gaming or presenting.

Sensitive Data Shield is a feature that protects premium Avast customers with an additional safety net from cybercriminals and spies. The feature identifies sensitive files, such as tax files, health records, and travel documents, and gives users the option to shield and protect access to these files. This way, unauthorised third parties and programmes, such as malware, are unable to read and alter the files, allowing users to take back control of their sensitive data.

Avast’s Smart Scan feature combines scans for viruses, software updates, network problems, and performance issues into one concentrated scan. It allows free and premium users to check for a range of issues with just one click and has been optimised to scan and identify any problems with the PC, twice as quickly as before.

Avast’s Wi-Fi Inspector feature, a free feature which scans routers, PCs, mobile and IoT devices connected to users’ network and provides solutions on how to fix issues found, has been enhanced for improved device identification and more thorough detection of security vulnerabilities and similar weaknesses. The feature displays devices found on the network in a detailed map, making it easier for people to navigate and control the devices connected to their local network.

Ondrej Vlcek, Avast EVP and CTO, said, “Under the hood, we have extended our AI-based capabilities to ensure the ongoing enhancement of detections and security response. We are proud of our scores in third party tests blocking threats, but we know it is a continuous battle where we need to keep outsmarting the bad guys with new methods and technologies in order to win. Phishing is a very effective social engineering technique and cybercriminals have recently upped their game when it comes to creating phishing sites to trick people into giving up sensitive information, which is why we need to use powerful technology to combat the threat. Avast 2019 brings together next generation phishing protection with great usability and convenience features, to provide our customers with the best security and privacy protections.”

The Avast 2019 family of products includes Avast Free Antivirus, Avast Internet Security and Avast Premier. Avast 2019 is available now to all current Avast users and can also be downloaded by new users.