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 a new 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.

Risk Monitor

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 many monitored email accounts can I have?

Avast BreachGuard can monitor an unlimited number of email 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.

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 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.

Personal Info Remover

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.
  • 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.
  • Not available: Avast has not yet identified active data brokers in your location. Avast is continuously monitoring for active data brokers, and you will be notified as soon as data brokers are identified.
  • Processing requests: Avast 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 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 resubmit the data removal requests.
  • New data collectors: Avast has identified additional data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to submit new data removal 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 Info removal request form. If you have not yet completed the removal request form, the Personal Info Remover tile on the Avast BreachGuard dashboard shows the status Inactive.

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.
It is not possible to use Personal Info Remover if Avast BreachGuard has not yet identified active data brokers in your current location. Avast BreachGuard will continue to search for active data brokers in your location and notify you as soon as they are identified. You can verify and update your current location at any time via MenuSettingsLocation.
  1. In the Info removal request form, fill out all required fields and click Send Requests.

Avast 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 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.

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 has identified additional data brokers. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to submit new data removal requests.
  • Re-run your requests: Avast 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 resubmit 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 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 from the Removal requests report screen. 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?

Avast BreachGuard monitors for data brokers that are active in your current location. You are prompted to specify your current location the first time you use Personal Info Remover. To update your current location:

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

Avast BreachGuard is now monitoring for active data brokers in the selected country.

What happens after Avast BreachGuard processes my removal requests?

It normally takes Avast BreachGuard around 48 hours to process removal requests. Once your removal requests have been processed, the message on the Personal Info Remover tile changes from Processing requests to Active. Click the Personal Info Remover tile to verify the status of each removal request. Processed removal requests appear in the categories below:

  • Successfully Processed Requests: Avast successfully contacted the brokers listed in this category. These brokers are now legally obligated to remove your personal information from their databases. Click Show Details to learn more about a listed data broker.
  • Other Brokers: Avast was unable to contact the data brokers listed in this category. This can happen when a data broker's website is experiencing technical issues, when a data broker is no longer operating in your area, or if a data broker stops processing automatic requests. Click Show Details to learn more about a listed data broker, and to access the data broker's website, where you can try to submit a removal request manually.

Why were some of my removal requests not successfully processed?

If Avast BreachGuard was unable to contact a data broker, this data broker appears under Other Brokers on the Removal requests report. This can happen when a data broker's website is experiencing technical issues, when a data broker is no longer operating in your area, or if a data broker stops processing automatic requests. Click Show Details to learn more about a listed data broker, and to access the data broker's website, where you can try to submit a removal request manually.

Other

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 removal requests have been sent to all identified data brokers.
  • Click Advisor and follow the on-screen instructions to apply any outstanding privacy guides.

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
  • AVG 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 the browsers that Avast BreachGuard protects:

  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 scans your chosen browsers for weak, duplicated, or breached passwords. Browser protection also allows the Advisor tool to offer personalized recommendations based on the websites that you use most frequently.

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 can I ensure that Avast BreachGuard receives automatic updates?

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and go to MenuSettings.
  2. Ensure General is selected in the left panel.
  3. Ensure the box next to Turn on automatic updates is ticked.

Avast BreachGuard now updates automatically whenever updates to the application are available.

How can I change the language of Avast BreachGuard?

  1. Open Avast BreachGuard and go to MenuSettings.
  2. Ensure General is selected in the left panel.
  3. Use the Language drop-down menu to select your preferred language.

Avast BreachGuard now appears in the selected language.

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 accounts 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:

How can I report an issue to Avast Support?

You can report any issues to Avast Support via the Avast Support webform.

  • 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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