Personal Info Remover - FAQs | Avast

Personal Info Remover - FAQs

The functionality of Personal Info Remover in Avast BreachGuard for Windows differs according to your location. Refer to the relevant section below:

The USA, Canada, or Mexico

The information in this section only applies if your current location is the USA, Canada, or Mexico. For other locations, go to the section below.

For information about managing your location details in Avast BreachGuard, refer to the following question in this article: How can I update my location details?

What is Personal Info Remover?

Personal Info Remover simplifies the complex and time-consuming task of removing your personal information from data broker databases by submitting data removal requests to the data brokers on your behalf.

How does Personal Info Remover work?

When you click the Personal Info Remover tile for the first time, you are prompted to complete our info removal request form. You can then send your first data removal requests to all identified data brokers. We continuously scan for new data brokers and let you know if you need to re-submit your data removal requests.

The Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the current status of this feature:

  • Active: Data removal requests have been sent successfully to all identified data brokers. Avast BreachGuard is actively scanning to identify new data brokers.
  • Inactive: You have not completed the info removal request form and we have not yet submitted any data removal requests on your behalf. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to check if we have identified any active data brokers in your area and complete your removal request form.
  • Processing requests: Avast BreachGuard is currently submitting data removal requests to identified data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile for more information about the data brokers that we are contacting and the estimated time remaining to submit your requests.
  • Re-run your requests: Avast BreachGuard recommends re-submitting data removal requests to all identified data brokers. This is because certain data brokers may start collecting your personal information again after removing it. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to re-submit the data removal requests.
  • New data collectors: Avast BreachGuard has identified additional data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to submit new data removal requests.

What are data brokers?

Data brokers are large companies that collect and sell personal information. They collect this information by tracking your online activity, accessing public records, and legally purchasing data from other companies. Your personal information is used to create an accurate profile of you as an individual, including information about your interests, age, religion, medical issues, income, expenses, and shopping habits. Data brokers amass huge collections of personal profiles and sell them to other companies. Once a company has access to your personal profile, they can use this information to negatively impact your insurance rates, loan approvals, and more.

How can I submit a data removal request to a data broker?

To complete the removal request form and submit data removal requests for the first time:

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and click the Personal Info Remover tile.
  2. Use the drop-down menu to select the country where you live, then click Start Removal.
  3. In the info removal request form, fill out all required fields and click Send Requests.

Avast BreachGuard immediately begins processing your removal requests. This process can take up to 48 hours. While your removal requests are being processed, the Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the status Processing requests.

Will I receive confirmation from data brokers when my personal info is removed?

No. When data removal requests are successfully sent to data brokers using Avast BreachGuard, you normally do not receive confirmation from the individual data brokers when they remove your data. However, data brokers are legally obligated to remove all of your personal information from their databases upon receiving your data removal request.

How will I know if I need to send subsequent removal requests?

Avast BreachGuard notifies you as soon as you need to send subsequent data removal requests. You may receive the following notifications:

  • New data collectors: Avast BreachGuard has identified additional data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to submit new data removal requests.
  • Re-run your requests: Avast BreachGuard recommends re-submitting data removal requests to all identified data brokers. This action is recommended every 3 months, because certain data brokers may start collecting your personal information again after removing it. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to re-submit the data removal requests.

Can I change the information on my removal request form?

Yes. After you have completed your removal request form and Avast BreachGuard has processed your first removal requests, you can change any of the details on your removal request form by clicking the Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard and selecting Review your removal form. You additionally have the option to adjust the details included on your info removal request form each time you submit new requests.

How can I update my location details?

Personal Info Remover cannot function effectively unless you provide an accurate location. We recommend only selecting the country where you live, or a country where you have previously lived.

To update your location:

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and go to MenuSettings.
  2. Click the Location tab.
  3. Use the Choose a country drop-down menu to select your current location.

Personal Info Remover now shows the available options for protecting your personal information in the location that you selected.




The rest of the world

The questions in this section do not apply if your current location is set to the USA, Canada, or Mexico. For these locations, go to the section above.

For information about managing your location details in Avast BreachGuard, refer to the following question in this article: How can I update my location details?

What is Personal Info Remover?

Personal Info Remover changes the way that online advertisers collect and store data about your online activity. This is achieved by letting you opt-out of online data collection practices that give companies access to your sensitive personal information. By opting-out, you ensure companies can only access completely anonymized data that cannot be tied to you as an individual. This is known as responsible data collection. For more information about responsible data collection, refer to the following question in this article:

Personal Info Remover lets you opt-out of invasive online data collection practices to change the way that your data is stored and collected in the future. You do not remove previous data from the databases of online advertisers.

How does Personal Info Remover work?

When you click the Personal Info Remover tile for the first time, you are prompted to install the Avast Online Security browser extension in each of your installed browsers. After installation, Avast Online Security scans for active online advertisers that may be misusing your personal information, and allows you to opt-out of invasive and irresponsible data collection practices.

The Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the current status of this feature:

  • Active: The Avast Online Security browser extension is installed in at least one of your web browsers and is actively scanning for online advertisers that may be misusing your personal information.
  • Inactive: The Avast Online Security browser extension is not yet installed in any of your web browsers, so Avast cannot stop online advertisers from misusing your personal information.

What are online advertisers?

Online advertisers are large companies that collect information about you by tracking your online activity. Your personal information can be used to create an accurate profile of you as an individual, including information about your interests, age, religion, medical issues, income, shopping habits, and expenses. Online advertisers amass huge collections of personal profiles and sell them to other companies.

This not only represents a violation of your privacy, but also a security risk, as the stored data is vulnerable to data breaches. If your personal information is breached, it can be accessed and misused by unauthorized third parties.

How can I start using Personal Info Remover?

To use Personal Info Remover, you need to install the Avast Online Security browser extension in each of your installed browsers.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and click the Personal Info Remover tile. Avast BreachGuard displays a list of all of the web browsers that are installed on your device.
  2. Click Install next to a web browser. A new browser window opens.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the Avast Online Security browser extension in your web browser.
  4. After installation, click the green shield icon to the right of your address bar to open Avast Online Security. If you see a gray shield icon, you need to navigate to a webpage before clicking the icon.

    Google Chrome: You may need to click extensions (the puzzle icon) and select the Pin icon next to Avast Online Security to pin the extension to your address bar.
  5. When Avast Online Security is open, click Scan available advertisers under Advertising data collection. After the scan completes, the number of identified advertisers is displayed.
  6. Click Start Opt-out.
  7. Repeat the steps above for each web browser that is installed on your device.

The identified online advertisers can no longer collect and misuse your sensitive personal data. Avast Online Security continues to scan for additional online advertisers.

When new online advertisers are identified, we automatically contact them on your behalf to ensure that they stop misusing your sensitive personal data.

Using Personal Info Remover lets you change the way that your data is stored and collected in the future. You do not remove previous data from the databases of online advertisers.

Does Personal Info Remover block ads?

Personal Info Remover is not an ad blocker. After you install the browser extension, you may still see ads in your web browser that relate to products and services you have previously searched.

Personal Info Remover lets you opt-out of online data collection practices that give companies access to your sensitive personal information. By opting-out, you ensure companies can only access completely anonymized data that cannot be tied to you as an individual. This is known as responsible data collection. For more information about responsible data collection, refer to the following question in this article:

What is responsible data collection?

Responsible online data collection works as follows:

  1. An online advertiser assigns your browser an anonymous ID number.
  2. Your browser's ID number is placed into a number of broad interest categories. These are selected based on the websites you visit, or the demographics of people who use your favorite apps.
  3. Online retailers make educated guesses about your preferences based on the interest categories that are associated with your browser's ID number.

This process does not require the retailers to know anything about you as an individual.

Companies that practice responsible data collection do not use your data to build a profile of you as an individual (sometimes know as digital profiling). Additionally, responsible data collection never involves information that is personal or sensitive (such as your name, age, or marital status).

How can I update my location details?

Personal Info Remover cannot function effectively unless you provide an accurate location. We recommend only selecting the country where you live, or a country where you have previously lived.

To update your location:

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and go to MenuSettings.
  2. Click the Location tab.
  3. Use the Choose a country drop-down menu to select your current location.

Personal Info Remover now shows the available options for protecting your personal information in the location that you selected.

Personal Info Remover in Avast BreachGuard for Mac is only available if you are in the USA, Canada, or Mexico. We do not recommend trying to use this feature unless you currently live, or have previously lived, in one of these locations.

What is Personal Info Remover?

Personal Info Remover simplifies the complex and time-consuming task of removing your personal information from data broker databases by submitting data removal requests to the data brokers on your behalf.

How does Personal Info Remover work?

When you click the Personal Info Remover tile for the first time, you are prompted to complete our info removal request form. You can then send your first data removal requests to all identified data brokers. We continuously scan for new data brokers and let you know if you need to re-submit your data removal requests.

The Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the current status of this feature:

  • Active: Data removal requests have been sent successfully to all identified data brokers. Avast BreachGuard is actively scanning to identify new data brokers.
  • Inactive: You have not completed the info removal request form and we have not yet submitted any data removal requests on your behalf. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to check if we have identified any active data brokers in your area and complete your removal request form.
  • Processing requests: Avast BreachGuard is currently submitting data removal requests to identified data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile for more information about the data brokers that we are contacting and the estimated time remaining to submit your requests.
  • Re-run your requests: Avast BreachGuard recommends re-submitting data removal requests to all identified data brokers. This is because certain data brokers may start collecting your personal information again after removing it. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to re-submit the data removal requests.
  • New data collectors: Avast BreachGuard has identified additional data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to submit new data removal requests.

What are data brokers?

Data brokers are large companies that collect and sell personal information. They collect this information by tracking your online activity, accessing public records, and legally purchasing data from other companies. Your personal information is used to create an accurate profile of you as an individual, including information about your interests, age, religion, medical issues, income, expenses, and shopping habits. Data brokers amass huge collections of personal profiles and sell them to other companies. Once a company has access to your personal profile, they can use this information to negatively impact your insurance rates, loan approvals, and more.

How can I submit a data removal request to a data broker?

To complete the removal request form and submit data removal requests for the first time:

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and click the Personal Info Remover tile.
  2. In the info removal request form, fill out all required fields and click Send Requests.

Avast BreachGuard immediately begins processing your removal requests. This process can take up to 48 hours. While your removal requests are being processed, the Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the status Processing requests.

Will I receive confirmation from data brokers when my personal info is removed?

No. When data removal requests are successfully sent to data brokers using Avast BreachGuard, you normally do not receive confirmation from the individual data brokers when they remove your data. However, data brokers are legally obligated to remove all of your personal information from their databases upon receiving your data removal request.

How will I know if I need to send subsequent removal requests?

Avast BreachGuard notifies you as soon as you need to send subsequent data removal requests. You may receive the following notifications:

  • New data collectors: Avast BreachGuard has identified additional data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to submit new data removal requests.
  • Re-run your requests: Avast BreachGuard recommends re-submitting data removal requests to all identified data brokers. This action is recommended every 3 months, because certain data brokers may start collecting your personal information again after removing it. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to re-submit the data removal requests.

Can I change the information on my removal request form?

Yes. After you have completed your removal request form and Avast BreachGuard has processed your first removal requests, you can change any of the details on your removal request form by clicking the Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard and selecting Review your removal form. You additionally have the option to adjust the details included on your info removal request form each time you submit new requests.

Why is Personal Info Remover not available in my location?

Personal Info Remover in Avast BreachGuard for Mac is only available if you are located in the the USA, Canada, or Mexico. This is because the procedure for submitting removal requests differs according to region and the requirements of individual data brokers. We are currently unable to contact data brokers in any other locations.

  • Avast BreachGuard 21.x for Windows
  • Avast BreachGuard 1.x for Mac
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate - Service Pack 1, 32 / 64-bit

  • Apple macOS 11.x (Big Sur)
  • Apple macOS 10.15.x (Catalina)
  • Apple macOS 10.14.x (Mojave)
  • Apple macOS 10.13.x (High Sierra)
  • Apple macOS 10.12.x (Sierra)

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