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For many people, the best part of mobile security software isn’t necessarily the fact that they are getting the best protection; it’s that they are getting the best price. After all, who doesn’t want free anti-virus protection? Nonetheless, the concept of “free” software can lead to many consequences. One notable consequence comes from the Czech Republic-based software security company, AVG. AVG recently announced in their privacy policy that they plan to collect and sell users’ data to advertisers in order to keep the free version of the anti-virus application free. The data AVG plans to sell consists of browsing history, search history, and meta-data. AVG claims that no personal data will be leaked; however, some user data can slip out if personal information, like credit card numbers, is linked to browsing history. AVG started selling users’ information as of October 15, 2015.

We can clearly see the hefty consequence of free mobile security, and we can learn a couple things from AVG’s announced plans. The first being that no one is really safe from having their information leaked online, so always remain vigilant with your personal information. Whether it is AVG or similar security companies, information will be pawned off at some point in order to keep services free. So how can we go about ensuring our bank account, or other personal information, is safe? Simple - if you access the internet from your mobile device, ensure you do not save any credit card or personal info on webpages you visit. You can mitigate these risks by simply unchecking the “keep me signed in” button or option that normally suggest saving password or user names for shorter login times.

Finally, do your homework. Find companies or invest in applications that don’t sell your personal info. In order to ensure your personal information remains yours, you may have to spend a couple extra dollars; however, a few dollars now is much better than spending a couple hundred if not thousands of dollars to recover your identity down the road.

More Information

Click here to download the free Ten Essential Cybersecurity Best Practices to share with your employees and customers.

Click here for free cybersecurity awareness posters.

Hacker Hour webinars are a series of free webinars hosted by SBS CyberSecurity. Unlike paid webinars, Hacker Hours are aimed to meet on a monthly basis to discuss cybersecurity issues and trends in an open format. Attendees are encouraged to join the conversation and get their questions answered. SBS will also offer products and services to help financial institutions with these specific issues.

Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Categories: Blog