Avast Antivirus: Sensitive Data Shield - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sensitive Data Shield?

Sensitive Data Shield, available in the latest version of Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security, scans and protects your personal sensitive documents against unauthorized access and malware. The files considered as sensitive contain your personal information which, 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 Premier and Avast Internet Security 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 Premier and Avast Internet Security. To update Avast, go to SettingsUpdate, and click Update in the Program section.

How can I use Sensitive Data Shield?

To use Sensitive Data Shield, follow these steps:

  1. Click Scan 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 data 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 ProtectionAntivirusRun 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 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 details. 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 Shieldsettings, click the gear icon in the top-right corner. On the Settings screen, you can specify which applications and users can access your files.

By default, access to your documents is restricted to authors and owners of documents. To disable this option, click the green slider next to Restrict document access only to authorized users so that it changes to red. We recommend keeping this option enabled at all times.

Under this option, you can see a list of applications that are blocked or allowed to access your sensitive documents. The list is empty at the beginning. When an attempt of access to the sensitive content is discovered by Sensitive Data Shield, it displays a detection dialog and allows you to decide what list a detected application should be added to.

  • Avast Premier 17.x
  • Avast Internet Security 17.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, 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Enterprise / Ultimate - Service Pack 2, 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home / Professional / Media Center Edition - Service Pack 3, 32-bit

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