Avast Antivirus: Adjusting security shields settings

How to manage the security shields settings in Avast Antivirus

Security shields of Avast Antivirus analyze information coming and going from your computer and within it, in real time. These components detect and block any suspicious file, dangerous website, unauthorized connection, or other threats.

You can enable or disable each shield.

Settings of security shields can also be customized. Default settings are optimal for most systems, so it is not recommended to make changes unless you find that there is a problem. Information about the specific settings can be found in the following sections:

Enabling / Disabling security shields

  1. Open your Avast user interface.
  2. Select Settings → Components.

  3. To Enable or Disable a specific component click the ON/OFF button next to it. When turning off the component, select for how long time you want to keep it disabled in the drop-down menu.

File system shield settings

This component scans all files and programs for safety before they are allowed to open or run. To check or adjust File system shield settings:

  1. Open your Avast user interface.
  2. Select Settings → Components → File system shield → Customize.
  3. Then you can specify what kind of files or applications should be scanned for threats and when they should be scanned:
    • Scan when executing refers to when an application starts up.
    • Scan when opening refers to when a file is accessed and read.
    • Scan when writing refers to when a file is being saved.
    • Scan when attaching refers to files or applications which try to automatically start or open when you connect removable media.
    ...and in the following tabs customize more advanced settings:
    • In Exclusions select locations you want to exclude from real-time scanning performed by the File System Shield.
    • In Advanced manage scan settings which affect your system performance and scan accuracy.
    • In Actions select what to do when a threat is detected in a file or application.
    • In Packers manage which kinds of archive formats to scan.
    • In Sensitivity adjust the heuristics analysis for detecting unknown malware.
    • In Report file set Avast to record File System Shield activity in a log.

Mail shield settings

Checks incoming and outgoing email messages for viruses and links to malicious websites. This only applies to messages handled by mail management software installed on your computer, such as MS Outlook. To check or adjust Mail shield settings:

  1. Open your Avast user interface.
  2. Select Settings → Components → Mail shield → Customize.
  3. Then you can customize the setttings in the following tabs:
    • In Main settings specify what types of messages are scanned by the Mail Shield – incoming, outgoing, or newsgroup messages. It is strongly recommended to scan all email types to ensure your full security.
    • In Behavior manage how emails are marked, what actions are carried out during scans, and special options for MS Outlook users.
    • In SSL scanning enable or disable scanning for SSL/TLS encrypted email messages. For some mail clients, to use this feature you must export a certificate from this screen and import it into your mail client's certificate store.
    • In Actions select what to do when a threat is detected in a message or attachment.
    • In Packers manage which kinds of archive formats to scan.
    • In Sensitivity adjust the heuristics analysis for detecting unknown malware.
    • In Report file set Avast to record Mail Shield activity in a log.

Web shield settings

This component protects your system from threats while browsing, uploading, or downloading information from the web and prevents malicious scripts from running, even when you are offline. To check or adjust Mail shield settings:

  1. Open your Avast user interface.
  2. Select Settings → Components → Web shield → Customize.
  3. Then you can customize the setttings in the following tabs:
    • In Main settings manage use of web scanning, script scanning and HTTPS scanning, as well as other functions which can speed up scanning or increase accuracy.
    • In Web scanning specify what kind of content is scanned.
    • In Exclusions specify URLs, MIME types (mail extension types), or processes to exclude from scanning. This is useful when you download many files from a single, trusted source.
    • In Actions select what to do when a threat is detected on a website, or in a script which may be cached.
    • In Packers manage which kinds of archive formats to scan.
    • In Sensitivity adjust the heuristics analysis for detecting unknown malware.
    • In Site blocking specify websites you want to block so they cannot be viewed in your browser. This feature can be used to block access to sites that you do not want children or other users to be able to access, such as sites that contain adult content.
    • Script scanning blocks malicious scripts. This includes remote threats from the web and outside sources, and local threats saved to disk or in the browser cache. Script scanning can also detect and block malicious scripts that come from HTTPS (encrypted) connections.
    • In Script exclusions specify websites to exclude from script scanning. You may want to exclude specific web addresses, so you can access all content on those sites. Check the box and then enter the URL address you want to exclude. This is only recommended if Avast blocks some content but you are sure that the site is safe. Please use caution!
    • In Report file you can set Avast to record Web Shield activity in a log.
  • Avast Premier 12.x
  • Avast Internet Security 12.x
  • Avast Pro Antivirus 12.x
  • Avast Free Antivirus 12.x
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Enterprise / Ultimate
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home / Professional / Media Center Edition

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