Warning to all users of Avast anti-virus! Remove it and replace it with something else immediately.
I have been a loyal user of Avast anti-virus for a few years now, in fact I have recommended it to many. I am now saying "REMOVE IT".
The latest version of Avast has a feature known as browser tidy up which fundamentally can bu@er up your computer. Whilst doing a few things recently I came across one or two pop ups from Avast requesting permission to clean my browser. I have consistently answered NO. One of these annoying buggers has popped up, taken focus and may have taken one of my keyclicks on another app. as a 'yes' to clean up my browser (I can think of no other reason why it should go ahead) and it has wiped clean ALL the add-ons from firefox, my default browser without stating what it has done and why. All of a sudden Firefox has none of the enhanced functionality that I require (password protection, password generation and editing, noscript, profile switcher, staus4evar, yslow, view source &c. My Firefox profile has been irretrievably damaged. This will happen to you too if you continue to run Avast.
Supposedly the clearing of your Firefox add-ons is an accidental bug that should not occur even when you actually ask it to clear up your browser. Avast are researching why this should happen and under what circumstances. Some have also complained that the bug is causing wholesale deletion of programs within their program files folder. This is extremely worrying.
I cannot wait to find why this occurring so Avast has been removed from ALL my desktops and tablets as of 10 mins ago. This sort of major error is the sort of behaviour that I would expect of a virus and NOT an anti-virus tool. Avast has gone, gone from my PC, gone from my list of trusted applications - GONE!
I have remedied the situation by restoring a copy of my Firefox profile that I took a mere week ago... thank goodness for that. Currently, I am checking my program files folder to see if it has been damaged. More news soon on a replacement, please make as many recommendations as you like. About to investigate the online addition to clamwin.
You have been warned - delete Avast before it screws up your machine.
P.S. I have now tested and tried Avira (slowed my system to an absolute crawl), AVG (out-of-the-box would not update the virus definitions), Clam Sentinel front-end to Clamwin (slows the system and too intrusive/too many messages). Comodo - laughable - almost stopped the system from responding at all.
Installed Panda free a/virus tool, first thing it did was to disable the network card and then it expected to be able to use the internet to register. Uninstalled it - who creates these tools?.
Bitdefender tried next, initially it seems slimline and OK at first until it decides it can't update itself so it disables its own protection? It was then removed and my next step was to reinstall and try again. It seems to be working well enough to give it a second try.