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How to disable the email signature in Avast Free Antivirus

People often ask me which antivirus I recommend, and while I suggest Windows Defender (and uBlock Origin) for most people on Windows 10, I have wondered how other programs fare.

Earlier this week, I installed Avast Free Antivirus on my Windows 7 laptop, intending to write a review about it here. But a few days later, I almost feel disinclined to do so.

Email signature in Avast Free Antivirus 2

Aside from the annoying pop-ups that it throws on occasion, things have been quite otherwise. Except for one minor annoyance, the email signature.

You might tell me this is my fault, I must have enabled it. I didn’t, and on day one or maybe two, I got the following pop-up which reads “Earn rewards with your emails. Turn on our friendly email signature, sit back and collect rewards.” I immediately took a screenshot of it, which I wanted to include in my review. I distinctly remember selecting the “turn this off” option.

Email signature in Avast Free Antivirus

A couple of days later, when I was typing an email to Martin, I noticed that my previous message to him contained an email signature included by Avast.

I don’t like my emails being used for adverts, nobody does. I was perplexed on how this happened, since I had declined the option to enable the signature. Naturally, I opened the settings page in Avast to disable the option, only I didn’t find one. Well, this is getting odd. Upon further digging, I found it. But it wasn’t where I thought it would be.

How to disable the email signature in Avast Free Antivirus

How to disable the email signature in Avast Free Antivirus

  1. Open the Avast user interface by double-clicking its icon on the taskbar.
  2. Click the menu button in the top-right corner of the UI.
  3. The pop-up page has a side-panel, and one of the options here says “Protection”. Open it.
  4. Click on the “Core Shields” option on this page.
  5. Scroll down till you see the “Configure shield settings”.
  6. Click on the “Mail Shield” tab and you will find an option which says “Add a signature to the end of sent mails.” This was pre-enabled for me.
  7. Toggle the check-box next to the option. Close the antivirus’ interface (and your web-browser).

This should disable the email signature, while still allowing you to use the antivirus.

Here is a video of the entire process

Tip: You can disable Mail Shield completely if you want to.

Is this the price we pay for a free product? The pop-ups asking you to subscribe I can tolerate, slightly. The fact that this isn’t an obvious place, to have the option for an email signature is what’s questionable. It is not by any means a protection feature at all, so it shouldn’t be hidden in this manner. I find this to be an unethical practice by Avast. Speaking of which, Martin has written a nice PSA about CCleaner’s shady new settings.

Avast ye, scallywag!

I had been using Kaspersky Free Antivirus on my laptop, since the program’s debut in 2017. Never once did it annoy me with pop-ups, other than an occasional “News” pop-up once a week or so. And it kept my computer spotless, even blocking malicious pages at times.

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