Avast Partners with Celebrity Chef Carla Hall to Demystify Online Cookies And Share a Recipe for Online Privacy

Global security giant and beloved TV personality share tips on how-to stay safe online – and avoid unsavory outcomes this holiday season

Avast, a global leader in digital security and privacy, has partnered with celebrity chef, television personality, and author Carla Hall for “Accept All Cookies?”, a campaign to raise awareness around online safety. Carla shares tips and tricks on safely managing internet cookies and protecting people’s privacy this holiday season, together with delectable cookie recipes everyone can master.

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A representative survey conducted by Avast with research institution YouGov* concluded that seventy-five percent of Americans are concerned about their online security and privacy (45% very concerned and 30% slightly concerned), and almost one in four (23% say they struggle with adjusting their privacy settings. In addition, a recent study found that although US consumers report being concerned about online cookies, only 13% describe their understanding as ‘very good’. Despite that, 50% admitted to accepting all cookies when prompted.

Internet cookies are crumbs of code that a website puts on a user’s browser to keep track of actions and other personal information. Cookies can provide valuable features like remembering user preferences, items recently added to an online cart, or location to provide a more dynamic web browsing experience. Nonetheless, less savory characters can use cookies to track or even identify personal information – which can be collected, shared or sold to third parties, opening consumers up to more invasive monitoring techniques. And cookies are just one way privacy can be compromised online. Additional threats from data breaches, fake and malicious websites, and other nefarious activities like device fingerprinting can open internet users up to spam, scams, and even identity theft.

“I might be an expert at baking cookies , but when I kept seeing these buttons saying “accept all cookies,” I wasn’t so sure I understood internet cookies. These days everyone knows that their information can be tracked online, but most don’t understand what that means,” said Carla Hall. “We are all spending a lot more time online, but a lot of people go on the internet without feeling safe or secure. Many find themselves overwhelmed by the complexity of the online world. That’s why this holiday season, I’ve partnered with Avast to help inform everyone – from kids to grandparents – to offer simple actions to avoid unsavory circumstances with their security and privacy online, and share some delicious holiday cookie recipes, too.”

Carla and Avast produced a series of educational content that brings together the love of baking holiday goods and easily digestible information on what cookies are, how they work, what kind of dangers cookies pose and how internet users can control them. The security brand also shared a simple recipe for online privacy that includes:

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  • Control your cookie habit: Be vigilant about cookies already on your browser and clear them regularly. If you want websites to  access only data you’re willing to share and stop websites from tracking you for advertising or non-essential purposes, you can adjust your cookie settings on each and every website you visit. If that sounds like a lot of work, consumers can simplify this step with tools such as the Avast Online Security & Privacy browser extension, a free tool that sits in your web browser and lets you easily opt out of advertisements, prevents websites from tracking your data, and blocks phishing sites. It will even guide you through a refresh of your privacy settings on social media.
  • Browse safely: Especially during the holiday season, we can be tempted to find the right gift no matter what the cost. The best thing shoppers can do is to visit trusted shopping sites directly and avoid clicking on ads, pop-ups and windows. You can choose to start using a secure browser such as Avast Secure Browser to avoid ads. It also blocks malicious websites and downloads and includes several layers of privacy protection to prevent online tracking and to mask your digital identity.
  • Protect your devices: Scams and viruses can also threaten your private information and online safety. You should protect all the devices you use to go online with cybersecurity software like Avast One. This is Avast’s free award-winning all-in-one security solution. It prevents and removes malware, hides your IP address when browsing, defends against malicious attacks, helps secure your accounts in the event of data breaches, and much more.

“Threats are increasing online, and more than ever those threats are to your privacy and personal information. We have all become so used to hearing about how we are being tracked online that it can feel like the price we have to pay to use the internet. But it doesn’t need to be that way, and more importantly, it doesn’t need to be hard to take control of your privacy.,” said Shane McNamee, Chief Privacy Officer at Avast. “At Avast, we have been working for 30 years to keep everyday consumers safe online and we want, with this and other campaigns, to help empower people and give them the tools and knowledge they need to keep themselves and their family safe, especially during the holiday season.”

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