AVG kicks out new touchy-feely UI to grab smartphone-fondlers

Freebie scanner firm adds support for Windows 8 kit

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AVG launched a revamped range of its security products on Thursday that it said offered faster scanning and support for the latest touchscreen Windows 8 devices through an updated user interface.

The 2013 vintage of AVG includes new versions of AVG’s consumer products, such as AVG AntiVirus Free, as well as paid-for security products with more features targeted at power user and small businesses, such as AVG AntiVirus.

AVG Internet Security 2013 comes with an integrated security firewall, link scanning (safe surfing), anti-spam, anti-spyware and tech to protect against Wi-Fi hacking. And for the even bigger spenders, there's AVG Premium Security, which boasts tune-up features and "advanced privacy controls".

All products in the range offer an active Do Not Track feature, launched back in March, that AVG claims gives users visibility and control over who can see their personal information while they surf the web. The technology enables users to actively block some advertising networks.

Need for speed

AVG Turbo Scan offers a 35 per cent reduction in scan time while improved heuristics, file reputation and crow-sourcing have led to a 11 per cent reduction in database size, Yuval Ben-Itzhak, AVG's CTO, told El Reg

AVG also offers various mobile security offerings including AVG AntiVirus FREE for Android, AVG AntiVirus Pro for Android as well as AVG Family Safety products for iOS and Windows Phone, free products that offer URL blocking but no anti-malware protection.

"The threat landscape has shifted towards mobile because attacks can be easier to monetise. We're seeing the same type of attack, often involving social engineering, transferred to mobile," said Ben-Itzhak.

AVG detected over 370,000 threats specifically targeting mobile devices between April and June 2012. Most of these targeted Androids. AVG, like other security firms such as Kaspersky Lab, would like to do more to protect iOS devices but is hamstrung by restrictions imposed by Apple. That means that on-access anti-malware scanners for iPhones, for example, are a non-starter.

Security firms are frustrated by this restriction even though it's hard to argue that it creates a security gap. iOS malware is virtually non-existent and the handful of examples that have appeared have only affected jailbroken devices.

AVG, which competes with the likes of Avast and Avira in the freebie consumer security market, has yet to launch security products for Apple desktops. The firm boasts 128 million "active users", substantially up on the 98 million it boasted a year ago. A reported 15 million of these punters use paid-for products. ®

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