There is an famous quote, lets start with that.
Avast Antivirus has been in the Antivirus market for long time. But they have mainly dominated market because of their pricing structure.
In the time where Norton, AVG, QuickHeal and other many Antivirus products are sold, AVAST has been famous because it is offered Free of cost.
Being a free software, millions of PC & mobile users are using AVAST. In a current research, it is found that Avast has been selling Browsing History of their customers who have installed Avast in their system to other companies.
However, the data was being send through Browser Extension. There were no userid/password kind of data but except that, all other data like Location, Browser, Referrer and many such important data was being send to Avast servers.
As per Avast, this data is required to check whether page you have loaded is safe or not but researchers have further investigated to find that, one of Avast subsidiary, Jumpshot is providing your data.
First, this has been highlighted by researcher Wladimir Palant. You can read the complete research by below.
Below is extract from an detailed article from PCMag.
Avast is harvesting users’ browser histories on the pretext that the data has been ‘de-identified,’ thus protecting your privacy. But the data, which is being sold to third parties, can be linked back to people’s real identities, exposing every click and search they’ve made.https://www.pcmag.com/news/the-cost-of-avasts-free-antivirus-companies-can-spy-on-your-clicks
This has been confirmed by Avast themselves that, they have stopped data mining.
“We completely discontinued the practice of using any data from the browser extensions for any other purpose than the core security engine, including sharing with Jumpshot,” the company said in a response of PCMag’s question .
How to save your’s from being victim of Avast Data Harvesting?
You are advised to uninstall Browser Extensions those you do not use and are not required for normal use. This will not only make your browsing experience faster, but more secure also.