Avast has added ‘Ransomware Shield’ to Avast Free Antivirus 20.5 (Windows) to increase the ransomware protection. Before, Ransomware Sheild is only available in Avast Antivirus Pro and Avast Internet Security products.
Yesterday, Avast Software has released version 20.5 for Avast Free Antivirus and is now available for download with the USB drive and enhanced Botnet protection.
Avast’s free AV now offers free Ransomware protection on Windows, the Ransomware Shield is enabled by default.
Avast’s new tool protects your documents and photos from being deleted, changed, or encrypted without your consent by the ransomware.
After installing Free antivirus, you’ll find the component under Protection in Avast GUI:
To see it, open Avast user interface > Protection > Ransomware Sheild.
Since Avast installation, the Ransomware Shield starts protecting Documents, Pictures, and Desktop folders in C drive by default.
To add a new folder, click “Protect New Folder” and browse, navigate, and select the folder you want to Avast protect.
This way, you can add any number of important folders. To stop protecting certain folders, select a folder and click “Stop Protecting”.
Avast provides more granular control over Ransomware Shield functionality.
When you click on the Gear icon on the Ransomware Shield page, you’ll be allowed to select preferred protection mode and type of files to guard in the protected folders.
“Smart Mode” allows commonly used apps such as Microsoft Word on Windows to modify or delete files in Protected folders.
“Strict Mode” requires your permission for “anything that tries to change or delete files in Protected folders”.
You’ll be allowed to select various file types –Archive, audio, Database, Disk, Document, Picture, and video files – to lock in the protected folders.
Turn off or disable Ransomware Shield in Avast
Ransomware Protection is enabled by default, to disable it,
1. Avast user interface > Porection > Ransomware Shield, toggle the setting
2. When Avast asks for how long do you want to turn the component off, choose “Stop indefinitely”
3. Click “Ok, STOP.”
4. On the main window, click on Status, click on the three-dot menu and select “Ignore” for the alert to go away.
Avast now asks to scan USB drives when connected, to disable this notification,
- Open Avast User interface
- Click on Menu > Settings > Notifications
- Uncheck “offer to scan external drives”.
You can download the latest version of Avast from here.