Sensitive Data Shield - Getting Started

Sensitive Data Shield, available in the latest version of Avast Premium Security, Avast One, and Avast Omni, protects your sensitive documents against unauthorized access and malware. Sensitive documents contain your personal information, which can compromise your privacy and identity if left unprotected. Sensitive Data Shield secures your private data by controlling which applications and users have access to your files.

Scan for sensitive documents

  1. Open the Avast user interface, then select PrivacySensitive Data Shield.
  2. Click Scan for sensitive documents.
  3. Sensitive Data Shield starts scanning your PC for sensitive documents. If you want to cancel the scan, click Stop scan.
The basic functionality of Sensitive Data Shield is also integrated into Smart Scan, which you can run by clicking StatusRun Smart Scan.

Protect your data

After scanning, Sensitive Data Shield displays a list of vulnerable documents on your PC. This list includes the Vulnerable document name, Location, and Type. File types may include Plane ticket, Employment file, and Other file.

To start protecting your sensitive documents:

  1. All found documents are selected by default. Untick the box next to a file to deselect it. Click the Protect all or Protect selected button.
  2. Click Done to finish and return to the main Sensitive Data Shield screen.
  3. To stop protecting a sensitive document, hover the cursor over the document and click the X icon that appears, then click Stop protecting to confirm.

Your selected sensitive data is now protected. If any untrusted application, malware, or unauthorized user tries to access your protected files, Sensitive Data Shield blocks access or prompts you to confirm if the attempt should be blocked.

Manage settings

  1. Open the Avast user interface, then select PrivacySensitive Data Shield.
  2. Click Settings (the gear icon) in the top right of the screen.
  3. Manage the following Settings:
    • Disable Sensitive Data Shield: click the green (ON) slider so it changes to red (OFF). We recommend always keeping Sensitive Data Shield enabled, and only disabling it for temporary troubleshooting purposes.
    • Restrict document access to this Windows account (ticked by default): we recommend keeping this option ticked at all times to ensure only authorized users have access to your sensitive documents.
    • View allowed / blocked apps: open and modify the list of applications that are always blocked or allowed by Sensitive Data Shield. For more information, refer to the following article:
Avast One is currently available only in Australia. To learn about Sensitive Data Shield in other Avast Antivirus products, refer to the Avast Antivirus section of this article.

Scan for sensitive documents

  1. Double-click the Avast One shortcut on your desktop to open the application.
  2. Click the Device protection tile on the Avast One dashboard.
  3. Select Sensitive Data Shield.
  4. Click for sensitive documents.
  5. Sensitive Data Shield starts scanning your PC for sensitive documents. If you want to cancel the scan, click Stop scan.
The basic functionality of Sensitive Data Shield is also integrated into Smart Scan, which you can run by clicking Run Smart Scan on the Avast One dashboard.

Protect your data

After scanning, Sensitive Data Shield displays a list of vulnerable documents on your PC. This list includes the Vulnerable document name and Location.

To start protecting your sensitive documents:

  1. All found documents are selected by default. Untick the box next to a file to deselect it. Click the Protect all or Protect selected button.
  2. Click Done to finish and return to the main Sensitive Data Shield screen.
  3. To stop protecting a sensitive document, hover the cursor over the document and click the X icon that appears, then click Stop protecting to confirm.

Your selected sensitive data is now protected. If any untrusted application, malware, or unauthorized user tries to access your protected files, Sensitive Data Shield blocks access or prompts you to confirm if the attempt should be blocked.

To manually protect a document, go to Device protectionSensitive Data Shield, and click Add document or Protect a new sensitive document. Then navigate to the file location, and click Open.

Manage settings

  1. Double-click the Avast One shortcut on your desktop to open the application.
  2. Click the Device protection tile on the Avast One dashboard.
  3. Select Sensitive Data Shield.
  4. Manage the following Settings:
    • Disable Sensitive Data Shield: click the green (ON) slider so it changes to red (OFF). We recommend always keeping Sensitive Data Shield enabled, and only disabling it for temporary troubleshooting purposes.
    • Restrict document access to this Windows account (ticked by default): we recommend keeping this option ticked at all times to ensure only authorized users have access to your sensitive documents.
    • List of blocked apps: use the drop-down arrow to modify the list of applications that are always blocked by Sensitive Data Shield.
    • List of allowed apps: use the drop-down arrow to modify the list of applications that are always allowed by Sensitive Data Shield.

Further recommendations

For more information about Sensitive Data Shield, refer to the following article:

  • Avast Premium Security 20.x for Windows
  • Avast Free Antivirus 20.x for Windows
  • Avast One 20.x for Windows
  • Avast One Free 20.x for Windows
  • Avast Omni 1.x
  • 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 with Convenient Rollup Update, 32 / 64-bit

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