Avast BreachGuard - FAQs

General

What is Avast BreachGuard?

Avast BreachGuard is an advanced privacy solution that prevents your personal information from being exploited online for profit.

Avast BreachGuard alerts you if your personal information is leaked online, removes your information from data broker databases so it can’t be sold, and helps you adjust your online account settings to your desired privacy level.

How does Avast BreachGuard work?

Avast BreachGuard protects your personal information in the following ways:

  • Monitors the dark web 24/7, alerts you if your personal information is leaked in a data breach, and prompts you to update your passwords to mitigate future risk.
  • Lets you remove your information from the databases of companies that legally store and sell personal data. This ensures that your information can’t be used to negatively impact your insurance rates, loan approvals, and more.
  • Includes step-by-step guides that help you adjust the privacy settings of your online accounts to your preferred privacy level.

The Avast BreachGuard dashboard provides an overview of your privacy vulnerabilities and recommended actions.

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 does 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. Companies that legally purchase your data may use it in ways that negatively impact you:

  • Advertisers may target you with annoying and intrusive advertising.
  • 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.

Additionally, every time your personal information is sold legally online, the risk of interception increases. For example, criminals often intercept and steal data to sell on the dark web. Once purchased, your information can be used illegally to commit identity theft.

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 can occur when criminals steal personal information (such as your name, social security number, and login credentials) from data brokers and other companies that you interact with online.

What is the dark web?

The dark web is a more private part of the internet that can only be accessed with an anonymizing network like the Tor browser. The extreme privacy offered by the dark web makes it the ideal environment for criminals to illegally buy and sell leaked personal information.

What is a data breach?

A data breach occurs when sensitive personal information is compromised or exposed. This leaked data can then be sold on the dark web and purchased by criminals, who may use your breached personal information to commit identity theft.

How do I use Avast BreachGuard?

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

Download and Installation

How do I install Avast BreachGuard?

  1. Click the button below to download the Avast BreachGuard setup file, and save it to a familiar location on your PC (by default, downloaded files are saved to your Downloads folder). Download Avast BreachGuard for Windows
  2. Right-click the downloaded avast_breach_guard_online_setup.exe setup file and select Run as administrator from the context menu.
  3. If prompted for permission by the User Account Control dialog, click Yes.
  4. Click Install Now on the welcome screen to proceed with installation.
  5. Wait while setup installs Avast BreachGuard on your PC.

Avast BreachGuard is now installed on your PC. Before you can use the application, you need to sign in to Avast BreachGuard with your Avast Account and activate your paid subscription.

For detailed installation and activation instructions, refer to the following articles:

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)
  • 1 GB RAM or above
  • 500 MB 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

Subscription and Activation

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. When the Connect to Avast Account screen appears, choose 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.

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.

Avast BreachGuard is now activated and ready to use. 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.

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 Risk Monitor?

Risk Monitor monitors the dark web 24/7 to alert you if your personal info has been involved in a data breach and helps you update your passwords to mitigate future risks.

The 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 dark web for data breaches involving your accounts.
  • Privacy threats: Your online accounts are vulnerable or breached. Click the 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 check for data breaches involving your online accounts.

How can I resolve threats detected by Risk Monitor?

If your online accounts are at risk, a red privacy threats warning appears below Risk Monitor on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard. To resolve any detected threats, click the Risk Monitor tile.

Avast BreachGuard shows a list of your vulnerable or breached online accounts. Click Show Details next to a listed service 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 to 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:

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!).

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 79.0.309 and higher)
  • Opera
  • Brave
  • Avast Secure Browser

To ensure that Avast BreachGuard is protecting all of your installed browsers, go to MenuSettingsBrowsers. The Browsers screen shows all of the compatible browsers that are installed on your PC. To start protecting a new browser, click the red (OFF) slider next to the browser so that it changes to green (ON).

Can I control which browsers Avast BreachGuard protects?

Yes. To manage your protected browsers:

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and go to MenuSettings.
  2. Select the Browsers tab.
  3. Perform your preferred action:
    • Stop protecting: Click the green (ON) slider next to a browser so that it changes to red (OFF).
    • Start protecting: Click the red (OFF) slider next to a browser so that it changes to green (ON).

Avast BreachGuard protects your browsers according to your preferences.

Avast BreachGuard cannot scan any red (unprotected) browsers for weak, duplicated, or breached passwords.

What is Personal Info Remover?

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

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 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. If you have no yet completed the removal request form, the Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the status Incomplete.

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. 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 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.

What is Advisor?

Advisor provides step-by-step advice on how to adjust the privacy settings of your major online accounts to reduce the amount of personal information you share.

To use Advisor:

  1. Click the Advisor tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard.
  2. Click Show Guide next to a listed recommendation.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to apply the recommendation. Instructions include gifs, images, and direct links to any relevant web pages.
  4. After completion, click Mark As Done so Avast BreachGuard does not recommend this action again.

Settings for the relevant account are now adjusted to your desired privacy level.

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 Risk Monitor and resolve any issues linked to your online accounts.
  • Click Personal Info Remover and ensure data removal requests have been sent to all identified data brokers, or try to resend any failed data removal requests.
  • Click Advisor 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 do I add a new monitored email account?

To add a new monitored email address:

  1. Go to MenuSettings.
  2. Ensure Emails is selected in the left panel.
  3. Click Add new email account.
  4. Enter the email address that you want Avast BreachGuard to monitor, then click Save.

The new email address now appears under Monitored email accounts. If you see the message check your inbox to verify, 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.
  3. Click the Verify My Email link included in the email.

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

Your monitored email addresses in Avast BreachGuard are automatically assigned to the Avast Account that the application is currently connected to. You can verify this by clicking Menu in the top right corner of the application screen. The connected Avast Account appears under Signed in as.

Can I connect Avast BreachGuard to an alternative Avast Account?

Yes. To connect Avast BreachGuard to an alternative Avast Account, click MenuSign 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.

Avast BreachGuard is now connected to 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 can I uninstall Avast BreachGuard?

For detailed uninstallation instructions, refer to the following article:

Why does Risk Monitor not detect any threats?

If Risk Monitor does not detect any vulnerable online accounts, try the following:

  • Ensure all of your email addresses appear on your list of Monitored email accounts. To verify your current list of Monitored email accounts, go to MenuSettingsEmails.
  • Ensure Avast BreachGuard is protecting all of your installed web browsers. To verify your current protected web browsers, go to MenuSettingsBrowsers.

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.

Why does Risk Monitor show as 'inactive'?

This means that you have not yet entered any email accounts 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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