Even though a lot of people like to take a piss at avast! for privacy related stuff they’ve done in not that distant past, I still consider it as one of best antivirus options. You just have to uncheck data sharing in Privacy settings (except CommunityIQ which is responsible for cloud protection) and you’re good to go.
New addition with avast! Free version 20.5 is gaining of Ransomware Shield. This feature places a barrier between apps and your sensitive files like documents and photos. If an app that isn’t included on the whitelist tries to modify them, it’ll block the action and notify you about it. However, if app on the whitelist tries to modify those files, the action will be allowed.
This way some random EXE downloaded from internet won’t be allowed to modify (encrypt) your photos, but Paint.NET will be allowed. And thanks to huge whitelists maintained by avast! team, the experience is super seamless and painless.
For example, Windows Defender had this feature for many years and even with latest Windows 10 2004 update, it’s still noisy and annoying. It blocked bunch of legit software. At least now it has a less annoying way of allowing the programs to exclusion list. Something you’ll rarely have to deal with avast! when it comes to Ransomware Shield.
I think it’s a nice addition and I welcome it in the free version.