If you’re running the free version of AVG antivirus, you may have seen a window appear unexpectedly in the middle of your screen.


That’s a legitimate message. But let’s take a step back, because it reflects poor judgment on AVG’s part. That’s not how I expect to be notified of a program upgrade. When a program runs an icon by the clock, I’m accustomed to a bubble in the lower right corner from that icon notifying me of an upgrade – just like AVG does when it’s getting virus definition updates. When you see an unexpected popup window onscreen, I want you to be skeptical and cautious. The bad guys can spell “AVG” just as well as the real company!

When you click on “Download now,” you’ll be taken to AVG’s web site – and that’s the best indication that things are okay. Learn to look in the address bar to see if the name of the web site matches the page. Internet Explorer 8 (the new version of IE) highlights the meaningful part of the web site name, making it harder to obscure the name in a bunch of other codes. Take a look at the way “avg.com” is highlighted in the address bar below:


AVG’s free antivirus program provides quiet, adequate protection for most people against viruses and spyware. The AVG company should be congratulated for doing a wonderful thing for the world. I can’t blame them for wanting to make money! Still, screens like this irritate me.


See the link for the free version? It’s in the little tiny type down at the very bottom, after the advertisement for the paid version and the big buttons for the paid version and the link to download a trial of the paid version and in general after every single thing has been tried to fool you into signing up for the paid version.

I clicked the little tiny link yesterday and I got a confirmation that my version of free AVG would be upgraded within a few hours. So far, 36 hours later, no change. I’ve seen one report online from someone who had to download and run the setup file for version 8.5 manually and choose “Repair” from the setup options. Nothing is easy!

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