Is AVG Secure Browser Really Secure? A Guide for Users

Question:

How secure is the AVG Secure Browser and what are the risks of using it for sensitive tasks?

I installed AVG antivirus software on my computer and it came with a browser called AVG Secure Browser. I used this browser a few times for some tasks involving my Epic Games account, such as changing my password and email. I have since uninstalled AVG and the browser, and reset my Epic Games password on Chrome. Was I exposed to any security threats by using the AVG Secure Browser and should I take any further precautions?

Answer:

AVG Secure Browser is a web browser developed by AVG Technologies, a company that offers antivirus and security software. The browser claims to provide a fast, private, and secure browsing experience, with features such as anti-tracking, anti-phishing, password manager, and VPN integration.

However, some users have raised concerns about the browser’s security and privacy practices, as well as its performance and compatibility issues. In this article, we will examine some of the pros and cons of using AVG Secure Browser, and whether it poses any risks for sensitive tasks such as online banking, shopping, or gaming.

Pros of AVG Secure Browser

  • Built-in security features: AVG Secure Browser comes with several security features that are designed to protect you from online threats, such as malware, phishing, and identity theft. For example, the browser has a built-in firewall that blocks malicious network traffic, a webcam guard that prevents unauthorized access to your camera, and a file shredder that permanently deletes sensitive files from your computer.
  • Anti-tracking and anti-fingerprinting: AVG Secure Browser also aims to prevent third-party trackers from collecting your browsing data and personalizing ads based on your online behavior. The browser has an anti-tracking feature that blocks cookies and other tracking methods, and an anti-fingerprinting feature that masks your browser’s unique characteristics, such as your screen resolution, fonts, and plugins.
  • Password manager and VPN integration: AVG Secure Browser allows you to store and manage your passwords securely with its password manager feature, which encrypts your passwords and syncs them across your devices. The browser also integrates with AVG Secure VPN, a service that encrypts your internet traffic and hides your IP address, allowing you to access geo-restricted content and browse anonymously.
  • Cons of AVG Secure Browser

  • Data collection and sharing: Despite its anti-tracking and anti-fingerprinting features, AVG Secure Browser still collects and shares some of your browsing data with AVG Technologies and its affiliates, such as Avast, for various purposes, such as product improvement, marketing, and analytics. According to the browser’s privacy policy, the data collected may include your IP address, device ID, browser type, language, operating system, search queries, visited URLs, and other usage statistics. You can opt out of some of this data collection and sharing, but not all of it.
  • Performance and compatibility issues: Some users have reported that AVG Secure Browser causes performance issues, such as slowing down their computer, crashing frequently, or consuming a lot of memory and CPU resources. Some users have also complained that the browser is not compatible with some websites, extensions, or features, such as Google services, Netflix, or dark mode .
  • Unwanted installation and uninstallation: Another common complaint about AVG Secure Browser is that it is often installed without the user’s consent or knowledge, as part of the AVG antivirus software or other bundled programs. Some users have also found it difficult to uninstall the browser, as it does not appear in the list of programs or the control panel, and requires manual removal of its files and registry entries .
  • Risks of using AVG Secure Browser for sensitive tasks

    Based on the pros and cons of AVG Secure Browser, we can conclude that the browser does offer some security and privacy benefits, but also poses some potential risks for sensitive tasks. The main risks are:

  • Data leakage: Even though AVG Secure Browser claims to protect your data from third-party trackers, it still collects and shares some of your data with AVG Technologies and its affiliates, which may compromise your privacy and expose you to targeted ads, spam, or phishing. Moreover, the browser may not be able to block all the trackers or fingerprinting methods that exist on the web, especially those that use advanced techniques, such as canvas or WebGL fingerprinting.
  • Malware infection: Although AVG Secure Browser has a built-in firewall and antivirus, it may not be able to detect and prevent all the malware that may infect your computer, especially if the malware is new, sophisticated, or hidden in legitimate files or websites. Furthermore, the browser may not be compatible with some of the security extensions or tools that you use on other browsers, such as uBlock Origin, HTTPS Everywhere, or Malwarebytes.
  • Account compromise: While AVG Secure Browser has a password manager and a VPN integration, these features may not be enough to protect your accounts from being hacked or stolen, especially if you use weak or reused passwords, or if the VPN service is unreliable or compromised. Additionally, the browser may not support some of the authentication or encryption methods that are used by some websites or services, such as two-factor authentication, SSL certificates, or end-to-end encryption.
  • Recommendations for using AVG Secure Browser safely

    If you decide to use AVG Secure Browser for sensitive tasks, here are some recommendations to minimize the risks and enhance your security and privacy:

  • Review and adjust the browser’s settings: Go to the browser’s settings and check the options related to security, privacy, and data collection. Disable or enable the features that suit your preferences and needs, such as anti-tracking, anti-fingerprinting, password manager, VPN, and data sharing. You can also customize the browser’s appearance, extensions, and search engines.
  • Use a strong and unique password for each account: Do not use the same password for multiple accounts, as this may make it easier for hackers to access your accounts if one of them is compromised. Use a strong and unique password for each account, consisting of a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and at least 12 characters long. You can use the password manager feature of AVG Secure Browser to generate and store your passwords securely.
  • Use a reliable and trustworthy VPN service: Do not rely on the VPN feature of AVG Secure Browser, as it may not be the best option for your security and privacy. Use a reliable and trustworthy VPN service that has a good reputation, a strict no-logs policy, a large network of servers, and strong encryption and protocols. You can also use a VPN extension for your browser, such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or Surfshark.
  • Use a different browser for different tasks: Do not use AVG Secure Browser for all your online activities, as this may increase your exposure to online threats and data collection. Use a different browser for different tasks, such as browsing, shopping, banking, gaming, or streaming. For example, you can use Firefox, Chrome, or Brave for general browsing, and Tor Browser, DuckDuckGo, or Epic for private browsing.
  • Conclusion

    AVG

Secure Browser is a web browser that offers some security and privacy features, but also has some drawbacks and risks for sensitive tasks. The browser collects and shares some of your browsing data with AVG Technologies and its affiliates, has performance and compatibility issues, and may not be able to protect you from all the online threats and trackers that exist on the web. Therefore, if you use AVG Secure Browser for sensitive tasks, you should review and adjust the browser’s settings, use a strong and unique password for each account, use a reliable and trustworthy VPN service, and use a different browser for different tasks. Alternatively, you can switch to a more secure and private browser, such as Firefox, Chrome, or Brave..

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