People often ask me which antivirus I recommend, and while I suggest Windows Defender (and uBlock Origin) for most people on Windows 10, I have wondered how other programs fare.
Earlier this week, I installed Avast Free Antivirus on my Windows 7 laptop, intending to write a review about it here. But a few days later, I almost feel disinclined to do so.
Aside from the annoying pop-ups that it throws on occasion, things have been quite otherwise. Except for one minor annoyance, the email signature.
You might tell me this is my fault, I must have enabled it. I didn’t, and on day one or maybe two, I got the following pop-up which reads “Earn rewards with your emails. Turn on our friendly email signature, sit back and collect rewards.” I immediately took a screenshot of it, which I wanted to include in my review. I distinctly remember selecting the “turn this off” option.
A couple of days later, when I was typing an email to Martin, I noticed that my previous message to him contained an email signature included by Avast.
I don’t like my emails being used for adverts, nobody does. I was perplexed on how this happened, since I had declined the option to enable the signature. Naturally, I opened the settings page in Avast to disable the option, only I didn’t find one. Well, this is getting odd. Upon further digging, I found it. But it wasn’t where I thought it would be.
How to disable the email signature in Avast Free Antivirus
- Open the Avast user interface by double-clicking its icon on the taskbar.
- Click the menu button in the top-right corner of the UI.
- The pop-up page has a side-panel, and one of the options here says “Protection”. Open it.
- Click on the “Core Shields” option on this page.
- Scroll down till you see the “Configure shield settings”.
- Click on the “Mail Shield” tab and you will find an option which says “Add a signature to the end of sent mails.” This was pre-enabled for me.
- Toggle the check-box next to the option. Close the antivirus’ interface (and your web-browser).
This should disable the email signature, while still allowing you to use the antivirus.
Here is a video of the entire process
Tip: You can disable Mail Shield completely if you want to.
Is this the price we pay for a free product? The pop-ups asking you to subscribe I can tolerate, slightly. The fact that this isn’t an obvious place, to have the option for an email signature is what’s questionable. It is not by any means a protection feature at all, so it shouldn’t be hidden in this manner. I find this to be an unethical practice by Avast. Speaking of which, Martin has written a nice PSA about CCleaner’s shady new settings.
Avast ye, scallywag!
I had been using Kaspersky Free Antivirus on my laptop, since the program’s debut in 2017. Never once did it annoy me with pop-ups, other than an occasional “News” pop-up once a week or so. And it kept my computer spotless, even blocking malicious pages at times.
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