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Avast's new Secure Browser will shield you from prying eyes

Webcam by Razer
Image credit: Razer

Avast has released an updated version of its security-focused web browser, with new features to help you protect your privacy and cover your tracks online.

The new Avast Secure Browser, codenamed Aspen, includes a tool called Webcam Guard that prevents sites from accessing your computer's camera, and lets you save preferences for certain websites that you want to grant permission to – a much more convenient and less sticky alternative to tape over the lens.

Read more: Avast Business Patch Management

Aspen also includes anti-fingerprinting, which makes it impossible to build up a unique picture of your PC using its hardware and device configurations. This feature appeared in the Beta and Nightly builds of Firefox last week, and we expect to see it in more mainstream browsers soon.

There's email hack checking as well, which searches for your address in a list of ones released in recent data breaches, and suggests what you should do if your details have been published. Avast also offers an online hack checker, but it's more convenient having one built right into your browser.

These are in addition to the browser's existing security tools, including anti-phishing, a dedicated bank mode for sensitive transactions, and Extension Guard, which protects against unwanted plugins.

Private matters

Avast Secure Browser is based on Chromium, and is available to download now for Windows 7, 8 and 10. 

“In a recent Avast survey of 8,000 people globally, 67% said they felt their privacy and security were threatened by information gathered about their online behavior from websites they visited,“ said William Drewett, senior product manager for Avast Secure Browser.

“With our newest version of Avast Secure Browser, we’ve focused on making it simple and quick for people to protect their privacy online.”