Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sharing is not always caring – take control of your private data with Avira Privacy Pal

Tettnang -  Germany, April 17, 2018 - Avira is extending its portfolio with Privacy Pal, a new solution that brings a new level of security and privacy to users’ digital lives. Privacy Pal is a free assistant which helps Windows users take control of their privacy and clean up the digital traces that are commonly left behind. Privacy Pal pro Privacy Pal provides a quick and easy fix for more than 200 Windows privacy issues including the blocking of operating system data collection and expanding to protection for the most popular apps.

It’s tough to be private these days

Privacy is under constant attack online as trackers follow each internet activity, devices monitor their owner’s geo-location, and social media remembers far more than it should.

The accumulation of private data is a big concern for many people – but is something most do little about. Well over half of the participants (58%) in an American survey from Statista (2017) agreed that everyone on the internet should think about their personal data. Nearly half of the survey participants (48%) believed that internet companies exploit their position to collect data. Yet, only 37% of the survey participants stated they were doing any proactive steps to protect that data.

“In addition to network privacy, adblocking and sensitive data protection provided by already existing Avira solutions, the fast development of digital marketing required us to take a step further in protecting people’s online privacy. With so many devices and apps knowing so much about us, we wanted to provide an easy method for users to put a stop, once and for all, to allowing personal data to wander off to third parties,” said Travis Witteveen, CEO of Avira. “It’s time for users to take back their internet experience, stay as private as they desire and stop letting the apps and software companies constantly take their personal information and use it without asking.”

This discrepancy fuels the digital trust deficit. While people still like to have personal data used to better shape their online experience; they are constantly skeptical of any company’s desire to collect so much personal data – and ability to safely use this information. The solution* is for companies to let customers have full control over their data. But from the customer side, if companies are not willing to release this data, what can they do about it?

Your own privacy assistant

Avira developed Privacy Pal to help users know how they are being tracked while providing them with the tools needed to clean up the digital traces they have previously left behind. “We find that people want to be more private online, they want to know what data is being collected, but they simply get bogged down in the details. Our goal with Privacy Pal is to make these privacy steps easy,” said Stephan Brenner, Director of the Optimization Unit for Avira. “We’re giving a privacy assistant to each and every user.”

Studies show that users do only the easy steps, skipping the more complicated ones.  Statista’s survey showed that the most common user activity was simply deleting the browser history (71% of respondents) followed by deleting cookies (67%) and then browser cache (61%). Those are good, but just the tip of a larger iceberg. What about location tracking or the chat logs from PC-based apps?

Privacy Pal gives users three easy privacy profiles:

  • Basic - prevents the operating system from sharing basic private data;
  • Enhanced - adds privacy protection that prevents apps and OS to collect sensitive information;
  • Personalized – gives users the information and the ability to customize their privacy protection with the most important privacy settings combined into one dashboard.

By choosing a profile, users can fine-tune their online privacy in the way that suits them – this could be simply keeping Microsoft from experimenting with the Windows installation, stopping apps running in the background from sending information, or letting users make their own advanced privacy decisions.

User privacy, user decision

Within these three profiles, Privacy Pal takes a thorough look at more than 200 separate privacy issues, including the following features:

  • OS: Stop Microsoft from experimenting with your Windows installation to study user preferences
  • User: Keep Windows from tracking your app launches and deny Cortana access to your location
  • Apps: Disable Windows Store apps running in the background from receiving or sending information 
  • Browser: Disable web tracking and the ability for the current user to be identified over the internet 
  • Network: Hide your computer from other devices in the network

 

With Privacy Pal, Avira is enabling users to take back control over their private data for free and without the technical headaches.

Privacy Pal can be downloaded at www.avira.com.

*Accenture study

About Avira

Avira protects people in the connected world – enabling everyone to manage, secure, and improve their digital lives. The Avira umbrella covers a portfolio of security and performance applications for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. In addition, the reach of our protective technologies extends through OEM partnerships. Our security solutions consistently achieve best-in-class results in independent tests for detection, performance, and usability. Avira is a privately-owned company that employs 500 people. Its headquarters are near Lake Constance, in Tettnang, Germany, and the company has additional offices in Romania, India, Singapore, China, Japan & the United States. A portion of Avira's sales support the Auerbach Foundation, which assists education, children, and families in need. For more information about Avira visit www.avira.com.