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Avast Secure Browser introduces a range of new privacy-focused features

Best known for its antivirus efforts, Avast has placed an increasing amount of focus on the security of its browser with anti-phishing features and an Extension Guard for malicious plugins. Now, the company is bolstering the Avast Secure Browser with all-new privacy features, helping to stop prying eyes and protect against data collection.

Some webcam manufacturers have listened to the concerns of its users by shipping devices with a shield to cover the lens when not in use. Those without such a luxury often resort to using a little bit of masking tape, unplugging the camera or turning it around. Fortunately, a new update to the Avast Secure Browser does away with the need for any of these makeshift solutions.

Its current build, codenamed Aspen, includes a Webcam Guard that actively prohibits websites from automatically accessing cameras attached to the system by default. Users can whitelist specific websites that they use frequently in order to avoid unnecessary complications, but it effectively renders prying eyes blind.

While users of any browser can head over to Avast’s ‘online hack checker’ to see if their email has been caught in any recent data breaches, the company has integrated the tool directly into the new version of its browser. After searching for the email address, the feature advises affected users what they should potentially do next.

Similar to Firefox’s recent Beta update, the new Avast Secure Browser has also implemented anti-fingerprinting. This ensures that snooping websites that request hardware data cannot build a profile of the user’s system for marketing without express permission.

These efforts come after 67% of an 8,000-strong survey expressed worries over information gathering online, according to senior product manager for Avast Secure Browser William Drewett. “With our newest version of Avast Secure Browser, we’ve focused on making it simple and quick for people to protect their privacy online.”

KitGuru Says: Avast’s Secure Browser has flown under the radar in comparison to Firefox, Chrome and Opera but these features could help it climb a little faster in the market. Are they enough to make you convert, or are you happy with what you’re currently using?

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