Sensitive Data Shield - FAQs

What is Sensitive Data Shield?

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

How do I get Sensitive Data Shield?

Sensitive Data Shield is included in the latest version of Avast Premium Security and Avast Omni by default. To access the feature, open the Avast user interface and go to PrivacySensitive Data Shield.

If Sensitive Data Shield does not appear in the Privacy section, ensure you are using the latest version of Avast Antivirus. To update Avast, go to MenuSettingsGeneralUpdate, and click Check For Updates in the Program section.

How can I use Sensitive Data Shield?

To use Sensitive Data Shield:

  1. Click Scan For Sensitive Documents to start scanning your data.
  2. Once the scan is finished, review your sensitive documents and click Protect all under the list of categories.

Your sensitive documents are now protected.

During a scan, Sensitive Data Shield checks your entire hard drive, including each page of every document, and looks for files that contain sensitive data. The duration of the scan depends on the number of files stored on your PC.

The basic functionality of Sensitive Data Shield is also integrated into Smart Scan which can be run from ProtectionVirus ScansRun Smart Scan.

Which files does Sensitive Data Shield protect?

Sensitive Data Shield scans and protects documents that may contain your personal data. If malware or hackers attack your PC and gain access to these unprotected documents, your identity can be stolen and misused.

After scanning, Sensitive Data Shield displays an overview of sensitive documents that were found on your PC. Documents are sorted into several categories, such as:

  • Tax documents
  • Payroll documents
  • Employment documents
  • Plane tickets
  • Travel documents
  • Other sensitive documents

Click a category to display the details of the sensitive documents that are found. To open a document, click the preview icon next to the document's details.

How can I manage Sensitive Data Shield settings?

To open Sensitive Data Shield settings, click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the Sensitive Data Shield screen. On the Settings screen, you can manage the following settings:

  • Restrict document access to this Windows account (ticked by default): we recommend keeping this option ticked at all times to ensure Sensitive Data Shield can protect your sensitive data from hackers and malware attacks.
  • View allowed / blocked apps: click this option to open the Blocked & Allowed apps screen. All previously allowed and blocked applications appear by default in the relevant list. To add a new application to a list, click + Block App or +Allow App and select an application from the default list. If an application does not appear on the default list, select Select App Path to manually locate an application. For more information about using the Blocked & Allowed apps screen, refer to the article below:
  • Avast Premium Security 20.x
  • 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 2, 32 / 64-bit

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