Avast BreachGuard - FAQs

General

What is Avast BreachGuard?

Avast BreachGuard is a privacy application designed to help you maintain control of your personal information online.

Avast BreachGuard gives you control over who can store and sell your personal information, and safeguards your accounts by notifying you as soon as your usernames and passwords are leaked online.

How does Avast BreachGuard work?

Avast BreachGuard helps you maintain your online privacy in the following ways:

  • Identifies data brokers that may be amassing and selling your personal information. You just need to fill out our removal request form once, then Avast BreachGuard takes care of the rest by contacting the data brokers on your behalf to ensure that your personal information is removed from their databases.
  • Searches for data leaks involving your online accounts. We monitor the internet for breaches 24/7 and alert you as soon as your usernames and passwords are involved in a data breach.
  • Scans your web browsers for online accounts that may be vulnerable to leaks due to weak or reused passwords.

The Avast BreachGuard dashboard provides an overview of your privacy vulnerabilities and recommended actions for each of your linked accounts.

What are data brokers?

Data brokers are large companies that collect and sell the personal information you generate when you interact with web pages. Based on your online behavior, data brokers can 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, this information can be used to target you with advertising, or even offer you higher prices for products like insurance and flight tickets.

How does online data collection affect me?

The number of active data brokers is growing, and each data broker may be selling your personal information to multiple companies. Every time your personal information is sold and shared online, the risk of interception increases. Hackers often attempt to intercept and steal personal information to sell on the dark web. This information can then be used to steal your identity by setting up online accounts and making purchases in your name.

Even if your personal information is not stolen, the companies that legally purchase your data may use it in ways that negatively impact you:

  • Advertisers may target you with annoying and intrusive advertising.
  • Companies may show higher prices for products you have been researching online, such as flight tickets.
  • After purchasing your personal information, health insurance providers may decide to increase your charges.
  • Banks may decline loan requests based on your purchased personal information.

Avast BreachGuard contacts data brokers on your behalf to ensure that your personal information is not stored or sold. This reduces the risk of breaches and prevents companies from using the information to target you.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is when criminals use your personal information to impersonate you. This can mean setting up online accounts in your name, making online purchases using your payment card details, and even committing crimes in your name.

Identity theft happens when criminals are able to steal personal data, such as your name, social security number, and login credentials from data brokers and other companies that you interact with online.

Avast BreachGuard protects you against identity theft by allowing you to send data removal requests to identified data brokers. If fewer data brokers are storing, sharing, and selling your personal information, then it is less likely that your sensitive data will fall into the wrong hands. Avast BreachGuard additionally informs you as soon as your online accounts are involved in a data breach, allowing you to immediately safeguard the affected accounts and ensure they cannot be accessed and misused by criminals.

What is a data breach?

A data breach occurs when sensitive personal information is compromised or exposed and therefore becomes accessible to unauthorized individuals. When your login credentials are involved in a data breach, criminals can freely access and misuse your online accounts. This is particularly problematic if you reused the breached password for multiple online accounts. Additionally, anyone can purchase your breached personal information on the dark web and use it to steal your identity.

Avast BreachGuard protects you against data breaches by allowing you to send data removal requests to identified data brokers. If fewer data brokers are storing, sharing, and selling your personal information online, then it is less likely that your sensitive information will fall into the wrong hands. Avast BreachGuard also informs you as soon as your online accounts are involved in a data breach, allowing you to immediately safeguard the affected accounts and ensure they cannot be accessed and misused by criminals.

How can I create safe passwords for my online accounts?

A safe password meets the following requirements:

  • Includes at least 10 characters
  • Includes lowercase and uppercase letters
  • Includes at least 1 number and at least 1 special symbol (for example ! or *)
  • Is used to access 1 account only
The safest passwords are phrases rather than single words. Select a phrase that is memorable for you, but not easily predictable (for example, 2MagellanicPenguinsmate4life!).

How do I use Avast BreachGuard?

For detailed instructions on how to use Avast BreachGuard, refer to the following article:

Which browsers are compatible with Avast BreachGuard?

Avast BreachGuard scans your web browsers for weak or duplicated passwords. Additionally, the application offers personalized tips to protect your online privacy by scanning your browsing history and bookmarks. Avast BreachGuard is able to scan the following web browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge (version 79.x and higher)
  • Opera
  • Brave
  • Avast Secure Browser

Installation and Activation

How do I install Avast BreachGuard?

  1. Download and run the Avast BreachGuard setup file.
  2. If prompted for permission by the User Account Control dialog, click Yes.
  3. Click Install Now on the welcome screen to proceed with installation.
  4. When the Connect to Avast Account screen appears, select the relevant tab:
    • Log In: If you already have an Avast Account, enter your existing login credentials and click Log In. If you have multiple Avast Accounts, ensure you enter the credentials that are linked to your Avast BreachGuard purchase.
    • Create Account: If you do not yet have an Avast Account, create one by entering the email address linked to your Avast BreachGuard purchase. Create a password for your new Avast Account, then click Create Account.
You may be prompted to verify your email address via the email you receive from Avast with the subject Please verify your email address.

If your email address is associated with a valid Avast BreachGuard subscription, the application activates automatically. If Avast BreachGuard does not detect a valid subscription, you are prompted to activate the application using an activation code.

Avast BreachGuard is now installed and your subscription is active. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete application setup by performing the actions below:

  • Check if your online accounts have been breached.
  • Remove your personal information from data collection companies.
  • Improve your online privacy.

For detailed instructions on how to install and setup Avast BreachGuard, refer to the following article:

How do I activate my Avast BreachGuard subscription?

Avast BreachGuard requires a paid subscription to use. You are prompted to activate your subscription directly after installing Avast BreachGuard. If you skip this step and close the application, Avast BreachGuard prompts you to activate your subscription the next time you open the application.

To activate Avast BreachGuard after installation:

  1. Double-click the Avast BreachGuard icon on your Windows desktop to open the application.
  2. When the Connect to Avast Account screen appears, select the relevant tab:
    • Log In: If you already have an Avast Account, enter your existing login credentials and click Log In. If you have multiple Avast Accounts, ensure you enter the credentials that are linked to your Avast BreachGuard purchase.
    • Create Account: If you do not yet have an Avast Account, create one by entering the email address linked to your Avast BreachGuard purchase. Create a password for your new Avast Account, then click Create Account.
You may be prompted to verify your email address via the email you receive from Avast with the subject Please verify your email address.

If your email address is associated with a valid Avast BreachGuard subscription, the application activates automatically. If Avast BreachGuard does not detect a valid subscription linked to the email address provided, you are prompted to activate the application using an activation code.

To activate Avast BreachGuard using an activation code:

  1. Double-click the Avast BreachGuard icon on your Windows desktop to open the application.
  2. When prompted, enter your activation code into the text box (including hyphens), and click Activate.

Avast BreachGuard is now activated. For detailed activation instructions, refer to the following article:

Where can I find a copy of my activation code?

After you purchase Avast BreachGuard, a confirmation email with your activation code is sent to the email address you provided during the purchase. If you are unable to locate the email, you can retrieve the activation code via your Avast Account. For detailed instructions on how to locate your activation code, refer to the following article:

What should I do if my activation code doesn't work?

  1. Ensure you entered your activation code correctly, including hyphens. Refer to the following article for detailed instructions on how to locate and verify your activation code:
  2. In some cases, subscription synchronization may take up to 24 hours after purchase. If your subscription is still not active after this time, refer to the following article:

If these steps do not resolve the problem, contact Avast Support.

What are the system requirements for Avast BreachGuard?

  • Windows 10; Windows 8/8.1 except RT and Starter Edition (32 or 64-bit); Windows 7 SP1 or higher, any Edition (32 or 64-bit)
  • Windows fully compatible PC with Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 processor or above (must support SSE2 instructions)
  • 512 MB RAM or above
  • 100MB free space on the hard disk
  • Internet connection to download, activate, and use the application
  • Optimally standard screen resolution no less than 1024 x 768 pixels

How can I start using Avast BreachGuard on an alternative PC?

To transfer your Avast BreachGuard subscription to a new PC:

  1. Uninstall Avast BreachGuard from the original PC.
  2. Install Avast BreachGuard on the new PC.
  3. Activate your subscription on the new PC.

Avast BreachGuard is now installed and ready to use on the new PC.

Can I use Avast BreachGuard on multiple devices and platforms?

Avast BreachGuard is currently only available for Windows. You can transfer your subscription from one PC to another, but you cannot use Avast BreachGuard on more than one PC simultaneously.

Features

What is Privacy Risk Monitor?

The Privacy Risk Monitor feature in Avast BreachGuard monitors the internet and notifies you as soon as your online accounts are involved in a data breach. This feature also warns you about any weak or reused passwords saved in your web browsers.

The Privacy Risk Monitor tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the current status of this feature:

  • Active: Your online accounts are currently safe. Avast BreachGuard is actively monitoring the internet for data breaches involving your accounts.
  • Privacy threats: Your online accounts are vulnerable or breached. Click the Privacy Risk Monitor tile for more information and to resolve the detected threats.
  • Inactive: You have not yet added any email addresses, so Avast BreachGuard cannot monitor the internet for data breaches involving your online accounts.

How can I resolve threats detected by Privacy Risk Monitor?

If your online accounts are at risk, a red privacy threats warning appears below Privacy Risk Monitor on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard. You can resolve detected threats by clicking the Privacy Risk Monitor tile, clicking Show At-Risk Accounts, then checking the list for vulnerable accounts.

Avast BreachGuard shows a list of your vulnerable or breached online accounts. Click Show Details next to a listed service (for example google.com) to start resolving the detected threats. You may see the following threat types:

  • Breached account (High Risk Threat): Hackers and thieves can access this account because the login credentials were leaked online.
  • Using breached password (High Risk Threat): This account is extremely vulnerable because the password was leaked online.
  • Weak password: This account is vulnerable because the password does not meet our safe password criteria.
  • Reused password: This account is vulnerable because the password is used to access more than one account.
We recommend you immediately resolve threats that are classified as High risk.

For detailed instructions on how to resolve threats relating to your online accounts, refer to the following article:

What is Personal Info Remover?

Personal Info Remover submits data removal requests to data brokers on your behalf.

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

  • Active: You have sent successful data removal requests to all identified data brokers. Avast is actively scanning to identify new data brokers.
  • New data collectors: Avast has identified additional data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to submit new data removal requests.
  • Incomplete: You have not completed the removal request form. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to fill out this form before submitting data removal requests.
  • Not available: Personal Info Remover is unavailable because Avast has detected that you are not currently in North America. For more information, refer to the following section in this article:
  • Requests failed: Some of your data removal requests were not successfully sent. We recommend waiting at least one day after the initial attempt before clicking the Personal Info Remover tile and trying to resend the failed requests.
  • Removal failed: The entire batch of data removal requests failed to send. This normally happens because you are not connected to the internet. We recommend checking your internet connection before trying to resend the failed requests.

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

Before you can submit data removal requests, you need to complete our removal request form. You are prompted to fill out this form and submit your first data removal requests during initial application setup.

Refer to the following article for more information:

If you skipped this step during initial setup, follow the instructions below to submit data removal requests for the first time:

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and click the Personal Info Remover tile.
  2. Click Send Requests in the alert dialog at the top of the screen.
  3. In the removal request form, fill out all required fields and click Send Request.
  4. Wait while Avast BreachGuard sends data removal requests to all identified data brokers. This process may take up to 20 minutes, but you can continue to use your device normally during this time.
  5. If all data removal requests are sent successfully, click Continue to return to the Personal Info Remover screen. If some requests failed to send, we recommend waiting at least one day before trying to resend the failed requests. For more information, refer to the following section in this article:

You are notified when Avast BreachGuard identifies additional data brokers and you need to send new data removal requests. It is not necessary to fill out the removal request form again before submitting subsequent data removal requests.

Will I receive confirmation from the data broker when my personal information is removed?

No. When you successfully send data removal requests 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 can I learn about recent data breaches?

The News section on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard contains articles to keep you informed about recent data breaches. Each article includes the following information:

  • Which company was breached
  • When the breach occurred
  • What data was exposed
  • How many users were affected
  • The response to the breach

How can I stop companies like Google and Facebook from tracking me?

Avast BreachGuard includes the Privacy Advisor tool, which provides personalized tips to help you protect your privacy online.

Privacy Advisor is available via the Avast BreachGuard dashboard. Under Guides for your accounts, Avast BreachGuard shows a list of actions that are recommended to boost your online privacy. Possible recommendations include:

  • Google Maps: Stop Google from tracking and sharing your location.
  • Facebook: Stop strangers from seeing sensitive details about your personal life.

Click Show Guide to see detailed instructions for applying each recommended action. Instructions include gifs, images, and direct links to any relevant web pages.

Follow the on-screen instructions to apply each recommendation, then click Mark As Done so Avast BreachGuard does not recommend this action again.

What is Privacy Level?

Privacy Level is a numerical value that Avast BreachGuard assigns you based on the actions you have applied to safeguard your privacy. Your Privacy Level is highest when you have resolved all outstanding privacy vulnerabilities.

If you see a yellow or a red number, you have a medium or low Privacy Level. To improve your score, try the following:

  • Click Privacy Risk Monitor and resolve any issues linked to your online accounts.
  • Click Personal Info Remover and ensure you have sent data removal requests to all identified data brokers, or try to resend any failed data removal requests.
  • Click Show Guide and follow the on-screen instructions to apply any outstanding privacy guides.

Is there a limit to the number of email addresses that Avast BreachGuard can monitor?

No. Avast BreachGuard can monitor an unlimited number of email addresses to safeguard all of your online accounts.

How can I add a new monitored email address?

To add a new monitored email address:

  1. Click the Privacy Risk Monitor tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard.
  2. Click add new email account at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Enter the email address that you want Avast BreachGuard to monitor, then click Save.
  4. Avast immediately starts scanning for vulnerable online accounts associated with the email address. Follow the on-screen instructions to resolve any detected threats.

The new email address now appears under Your Monitored Email Addresses. If you see the message check your inbox to verify your email, you need to verify that the email address is really yours.

To verify an email address:

  1. Click Resend Verification Email next to an unverified email address.
  2. Open your email inbox and locate the email from Avast with the subject Please verify your email address.
  3. Click the Verify Email link included in the email.

When the email address is successfully verified, it appears on the Privacy Risk Monitor screen with a green tick and the message verified.

Your monitored email addresses in Avast BreachGuard are automatically assigned to the Avast Account that you are currently using to sign in to the application. You can check which Avast Account is currently connected to Avast BreachGuard by clicking Menu in the top right corner of the application screen. The active Avast Account appears under Logged in as.

Can I connect Avast BreachGuard to an alternative Avast Account?

Yes. To log in to Avast BreachGuard with an alternative Avast Account, click Menu in the top right corner of the application screen, and select Log out of Avast BreachGuard. Then, select the relevant tab:

  • Log In: Enter credentials for an existing Avast Account and click Log In.
  • Create Account: Create a new Avast Account by entering your email address and creating a password, then click Create Account. You may be prompted to verify your email address via the email you receive from Avast with the subject Please verify your email address.

You are now logged in to Avast BreachGuard with the new Avast Account and the application is monitoring only the email addresses that are assigned to this Avast Account.

One email address cannot be assigned to multiple Avast Accounts. If you add and verify a new monitored email address that is already assigned to another Avast Account, the email address is no longer assigned to the previous Avast Account and is re-assigned to the new one.

Troubleshooting

How do I uninstall Avast BreachGuard?

For detailed instructions on how to uninstall Avast BreachGuard, refer to the following article:

Can I stop Avast BreachGuard from sending me emails?

You can unsubscribe from Avast BreachGuard notification emails that contain information about leaked online accounts. It is not possible to unsubscribe from emails relating to your subscription status, such as order confirmation emails and reminders about upcoming payments. It is also not possible to unsubscribe from the verification emails you receive when you add new monitored email addresses.

To unsubscribe from Avast BreachGuard notification emails:

  1. Open a notification email from Avast that relates to your Avast BreachGuard privacy status.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the email and click Unsubscribe.

You no longer receive an email from Avast when Avast BreachGuard detects threats relating to your online accounts. We recommend checking Privacy Risk Monitor regularly to ensure that your online accounts are safe.

How can I control which data I share with Avast BreachGuard?

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and go to MenuSettings.
  2. Tap the green (ON) slider next to an option so that it turns red (OFF) to opt out. The following options are available:
    • Scan passwords in my browser: Allows Avast BreachGuard to see the passwords saved in each of your installed web browsers. Avast uses this information to notify you about passwords that are weak, duplicated, or leaked.
    • Scan my browsing history and bookmarks: Allows Avast BreachGuard to see the browsing history and bookmarks stored in each of your installed web browsers. Avast uses this information to prioritize privacy guides relating to services that you use regularly.
  3. Click the X icon in the top-left corner to save your preferences and return to the Avast BreachGuard dashboard.

Why does Personal Info Remover show as 'unavailable'?

Personal Info Remover is currently only available in the USA, Mexico, and Canada. Personal Info Remover shows as unavailable when Avast BreachGuard detects that you are not currently in any of these locations.

If you are trying to access Personal Info Remover from a valid location, try the troubleshooting steps below:

  1. Ensure you are not currently using a VPN service. VPN services often connect to the internet via servers in different countries, hiding your real location.
  2. If this does not resolve your issue, contact Avast Support.
If you want to use Personal Info Remover while traveling, try connecting to the internet using a VPN service and choosing a location within the USA, Mexico, or Canada.

Why does Privacy Risk Monitor show as 'inactive'?

This means that you have not yet entered any email addresses for Avast BreachGuard to monitor, so the application cannot check your online accounts for threats.

Why were some of my data removal requests not sent?

Data removal requests can fail because a data broker's website is experiencing technical issues, under maintenance, or otherwise unavailable. We recommend waiting at least one day before trying to resend the requests, as this gives us time to resolve any issues that may have prevented Avast BreachGuard from successfully contacting the affected data broker(s).

You can try to resend the failed data removal requests at any time by clicking the Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard and either selecting Resend Requests, or clicking the icon (three dots) next to Set Reminder and selecting Try again now.

If certain data removal requests fail to send on multiple occasions, report the problem to Avast Support so we can investigate the cause of the issue.

  • Avast BreachGuard 20.x for Windows
  • 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

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