AVG's 2014 lineup of antivirus and security includes new Web privacy protections

New features include File Shredder to make deleted files unrecoverable, and Data Safe to create a virtual encrypted drive

On Wednesday, AVG released the 2014 versions of its antivirus and Internet security programs. Available for immediate download, the programs range from the no-cost AVG AntiVirus FREE 2014 to higher-end paid software such as AVG Premium Security 2014 and AVG PC TuneUp 2014.

The most notable new addition is PrivacyFix, an online privacy tool offered by PrivacyChoice (which AVG acquired in May). Branching out from its Web-only beginnings, PrivacyFix is now offered via Android and iOS apps as well.

PrivacyFix analyzes your account settings and alerts you of possible intrusions on your privacy. For major sites like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn, it points out privacy settings or features that could impact you. It lists the settings, gives you some details about them, and when you click to fix a particular one, it takes you directly to that site's settings page. The Crowd Control function is updated to help you analyze your large list of Facebook friends and weed out those who've fallen off your real-life list of friends. If anyone objects, you can blame the software.

For thousands of other sites, PrivacyFix analyzes the tracking and privacy policies and alerts you of potential issues, like sharing your data with third-party organizations. A notable improvement here is that PrivacyFix will now notify you of sites that have had known data breaches.

Another new feature available in all the AVG editions is File Shredder. File Shredder lets you destroy files completely so they aren't recoverable by thieves or those who might inherit your PC in the future. In the premium AVG editions, Data Safe lets you encrypt sensitive files in virtual drives to protect against prying eyes or data thieves.

AVG also updated its mobile antivirus app. It now supports camera tracking, taking a photo of anyone who seems to be messing with your phone. It also adds SIM card protection, so a thief can't replace your SIM and take over your device.

The paid PC Tuneup utility is offered as trial-ware in the free products. Among its updates, it now looks for duplicate files on your PC, helping free up disk space and reduce clutter. Additionally, the live optimization functionality includes better application definitions to enhance system speed.

AVG is keeping up with the times with its iOS and Android apps and its new raft of privacy settings. While you'll enjoy the most benefits in its paid products, the free antivirus and security product is a well-regarded package as well.

This story, "AVG's 2014 lineup of antivirus and security includes new Web privacy protections" was originally published by PCWorld.

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