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Using the AVG Geek settings area in AVG AntiVirus

The AVG Geek settings area contains options for advanced application configuration, and is designed for users with high-level understanding of application functionality. To specify everyday application behavior, we recommend using basic settings. For more information about configuring application behavior in AVG Internet Security and AVG AntiVirus FREE using basic settings, refer to the following article:

Access AVG Geek

  1. Open the AVG user interface and go to MenuSettings.
  2. Click the Search icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Type geek:area into the text box that appears, and select AVG Geek from the search results.

Refer to the sections below for information about the options available in the AVG Geek settings area:

Update

Specify how frequently AVG automatically checks for and downloads updates to Virus definitions and application version (default value 240 minutes).

AVG checks for and downloads updates via your internet connection, so regular checks may reduce browsing speed.

Troubleshooting

Restrict guest users (secondary accounts logged in to your PC) from accessing or modifying your AVG settings. We recommend keeping this option enabled to ensure only authorized users have this permission.

File Shield

File Shield actively scans all programs and files on your hard drive as they are opened, run, modified, and saved. AVG Geek allows you to specify which action(s) File Shield performs when it detects a threat (virus, potentially unwanted program, or suspicious object). For each individual threat type, select an action from the drop-down menu:

  • Fix automatically (selected by default): Run a sequence of actions (repair file; if not possible, then move to Quarantine; if not possible, then delete)
  • Move to Quarantine: Send the threat to Quarantine, where it cannot harm your system.
  • Repair: Remove only malicious code attached to an otherwise safe file; this is not possible for files that are entirely malware.
  • Abort connection: Terminates your connection with the applicable program or file as soon as a potential threat is detected.
  • Ask: AVG asks what you want to do with each detected threat.
  • Delete: Permanently remove the file from your computer.
  • Nothing: No action is taken during the scan; the threat is listed in your scan results and you can decide what to do later.

The following options allow you to further configure File Shield behavior:

  • If the action above fails, then: For each threat type, optionally use the relevant drop-down menu to specify the action(s) that AVG should apply if your first chosen action fails.
  • Show a notification window when action is taken (enabled by default): You recieve a notification from AVG each time File Shield detects a threat.

You can additionally configure report file settings individually for File Shield.

Behavior Shield

Behavior Shield monitors programs installed on your PC for suspicious behavior that may indicate the presence of malicious code. Configure how Behavior Shield deals with suspicious application behavior by selecting one of the following options from the drop-down menu:

  • Always ask: AVG asks what you want to do with each detected threat.
  • Automatically move detected threats to Quarantine (enabled by default): Threats that behave similarly to known threats listed on the AVG virus definitions database are moved to Quarantine, where they cannot harm your system.
  • Automatically move known threats to Quarantine: Threats that are listed on the AVG virus definitions database are moved to Quarantine, where they cannot harm your system.

Web Shield

Web Shield actively scans data that is transferred when you browse the internet to prevent malware from being downloaded and run on your PC. AVG Geek allows you to specify which action Web Shield performs when it detects a threat (virus, potentially unwanted program, or suspicious object). For each individual threat type, select an action from the drop-down menu:

  • Abort connection (selected by default): Terminates your connection with the applicable website as soon as a potential threat is detected.
  • Ask: Gives you the option to terminate the connection with the applicable website or remain connected when a potential threat is detected. Remaining connected may be risky.

The following options allow you to further configure Web Shield behavior:

  • Scan traffic from well-known browser processes only: With this option enabled, Web Shield only monitors HTTP traffic for the most common browsers.
  • Show a notification window when action is taken (enabled by default): You recieve a notification from AVG each time Web Shield detects a threat.
  • Do not unpack archives with valid digital signatures (enabled by default): Excludes trusted archive files from verified publishers from being scanned.

Script Shield protection

Script Shield prevents browsers and other applications from running potentially malicious scripts. This includes remote threats from the web and outside sources, local threats downloaded to your hard drive or in the browser cache, and scripts that come from encrypted connections.

Tick or untick the relevant boxes to specify which browsers and applications are protected by Script Shield. Commonly used browsers, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and all other applications on your PC are protected by default.

You can additionally configure report file settings individually for Web Shield.

Email Shield

Email Shield scans for threats in your incoming and outgoing email messages. AVG Geek allows you to specify which action AVG performs when Email Shield detects a threat (virus, potentially unwanted program, or suspicious object). For each threat type, select an action from the drop-down menu:

  • Auto (selected by default): Run a sequence of actions (repair file; if not possible, then move to Quarantine; if not possible, then delete)
  • Ask: AVG asks what you want to do with each detected threat.
  • Nothing: No action is taken during the scan; the threat is listed in your scan results and you can decide what to do later.
  • Move to Quarantine: Send the threat to Quarantine, where it cannot harm your system.
  • Repair: Remove only malicious code attached to an otherwise safe file; this is not possible for files that are entirely malware.
  • Delete: Permanently remove the file from your computer.

The following options allow you to further configure Email Shield behavior:

  • Show a notification window when action is taken (enabled by default): You recieve a notification from AVG each time Email Shield detects a threat.
  • Scan archived messages when opening: Scans archived messages every time they are opened.
  • Scan SSL connections (enabled by default): Enables scanning of emails sent or received using SSL/TLS encrypted connection. If disabled, only emails sent or received via unsecured connections are scanned.

Export a Email Shield certificate

Click Perform to export a Email Shield certificate from AVG AntiVirus. This is useful for troubleshooting error messages about invalid server certificates from third party email clients, such as Mozilla Thunderbird.

Port settings

If AVG fails to intercept a malicious email or you notice that you are not receiving certain emails, you may need to correct the defined port numbers. AVG Geek allows you to edit the port numbers according to your email service provider or mail server configuration.

If you do not know the port numbers that your mail service uses, contact your email provider or network administrator, or refer to the settings section of your email client.

You can additionally configure report file settings individually for Email Shield.

Scans

You can configure the following settings for each type of scan:

Not all options are available for every scan.

Automatic actions

For each listed scan type, specify which action is applied when the scan detects a threat. Select one of the following actions from the drop-down menu:

  • Fix automatically (selected by default): Run a sequence of actions (repair file; if not possible, then move to Quarantine; if not possible, then delete).
  • Move to Quarantine: Send the threat to Quarantine, where it cannot harm your system.
  • Repair: Remove only malicious code attached to an otherwise safe file; this is not possible for files which are entirely malware.
  • Abort connection: Terminates your connection with the applicable program or file as soon as a potential threat is detected.
  • Ask: AVG asks what you want to do with each detected threat.
  • Delete: Permanently remove the file from your computer.
  • Nothing: No action is taken during the scan; the threat is listed in your scan results and you can decide what to do later.

Processing of infected archives

For each listed scan type, specify which action is applied when the scan detects an infected archive. Select one of the following actions from the drop-down menu:

  • Try to remove only the packed file from the archive; if it fails, do nothing (enabled by default).
  • Try to remove only the packed file from the archive; if it fails, remove the whole containing archive.
  • Always remove the whole archive.

Performance settings

For each listed scan type, configure the following performance settings which impact scan speed:

  • Speed up scanning by using persistent cache (enabled by default): Enables the scan to refer to information retained from previously scanned files. Trusted files that have already been verified as safe are not scanned again, which enables scans to process faster.
  • Store data about scanned files in the persistent cache: Stores data about scanned files in your system's permanent memory, so that future scans can refer to this data and run faster. The information stored in persistent cache is not lost after a system restart or virus definitions update.
  • Speed up scaning by reading files in the order they are stored on the disk (enabled by default): Reduces the amount of time the scan takes to locate stored data by scanning files in the order that their physical data is stored on the disk (faster) rather than the order that the files are organized in the file system (slower). This option is only effective for NTFS (New Technology File System) formatted drives.

The following additional options can be useful for troubleshooting purposes if scans in AVG take a long time to complete:

  • Enable raw disk access during an AVG Boot-time scan (enabled by default): This option applies only to Boot-Time Scan and enables AVG to access and scan the entire disk, including dropped files and file fragments that may contain malicious code. Disabling this option may slightly speed up Boot-Time scans but weaken your antivirus protection.
  • Skip checking of digital signatures of infected files: This option applies to all scans in AVG and enables scans to report any files as suspicious, even if they are from trusted publishers, which can speed up the scanning process. However, this option is disabled by default to avoid false positive detections.

Scan logs

AVG scan logs contain details of events detected during a scan. By default, AVG creates scan logs each time you run a scan. AVG scan logs are stored in the following location:

  • C:\ProgramData\AVG Software\AVG\report

Scan log settings apply to all scans in AVG AntiVirus. The following options are available:

  • Delete scan logs (enabled by default): Allows AVG to delete scan logs after a specified time period.
  • Delete scan logs older than: Specify after how long AVG deletes scan logs.
  • Delete temporary scan logs (enabled by default): Allows AVG to delete temporary scan logs after a specified time period.
  • Delete temporary scan logs older than: Specify after how long AVG deletes temporary scan logs.
  • Clear scan history: Click Perform to immediately delete all currently stored scan logs.

Enhanced Firewall

Enhanced Firewall is a paid feature available in AVG Internet Security that monitors all network traffic between your PC and the outside world to protect you from unauthorized communication and intrusions. You can configure the following aspects of Enhanced Firewall behavior:

  • Show notifications about newly created "block" rules (enabled by default): Sends an alert message each time a new rule related to prohibiting communication is created by the auto-decide feature.
  • Internet Connection Sharing mode: Allows a trusted user to connect to the internet through your PC, or to troubleshoot problems with devices, such as a printer that is connected to the internet via your PC. Ticking this option opens certain ports which are usually closed, decreasing the level of security.
Always untick this option when the user no longer needs access to your internet connection or you finish troubleshooting.
  • Allow all connections with Friends when in Private mode: Allows all networks listed as Friends when you are connected to a Private mode network.
  • Enable automatic profile switching (enabled by default): Authorizes AVG to automatically change the Enhanced Firewall profile when you connect to a known network with a different profile to the previously connected network.
  • Show notifications about automatic profile switching: Alerts you each time your Enhanced Firewall profile changes (for example, when you change from a Private network to a Public network or vice versa). Enabling this option may result in potentially annoying alerts.
  • Enable automatic port scan detection: Authorizes Enhanced Firewall to detect port scan attempts. Port scanning is a technique hackers commonly use to identify vulnerable or unsecure devices on a network. If Enhanced Firewall detects a port scan, the offending IP address is blacklisted and all communication with that IP address is blocked until you reboot your PC.
  • IP block timeout: Configure how far back Enhanced Firewall searches network traffic history for suspicious network packets. 1800000 is the default value, which is equal to 30 minutes. Increasing this value can lead to false positive detections.
  • Enable raw sockets (enabled by default): Enables communication with applications that use raw sockets instead of specific communication protocols. Disabling this option slightly increases the security of your PC but creates significant connectivity issues with any applications that use raw sockets.
  • Log all blocked packets: enables Enhanced Firewall to log every blocked packet. If you do not tick this option, Enhanced Firewall only logs connections. Typically, you only need to log all packets when troubleshooting security breaches.

Do Not Disturb Mode

Do Not Disturb Mode works to silence unnecessary notifications while you run almost any application in fullscreen.

AVG Geek allows you to customize system behavior while Do Not Disturb Mode is enabled, and further maximize the performance of applications running in fullscreen.

Quarantine

Quarantine is an isolated space where you can safely store potentially dangerous files or send them to the AVG Threat Labs for analysis. AVG Geek allows you to specify the maximum size of files that AVG sends to Quarantine. The default value is 16384 KB.

Data Shredder

Data Shredder is a paid feature in AVG Internet Security that allows you to irreversibly erase your files or whole drives, so that there is no way for anyone to restore and misuse your data.

AVG Geek allows you to specify which method(s) Data Shredder uses to shred the remains of previously deleted files. All listed options are enabled by default for maximum security:

  • Clean free disk space: Erases free disk space that remains after deleting the files in a regular way.
  • Clean cluster tips: Erases "gaps" in space that have been overwritten but can still contain data.
  • Clean MFT (on NTFS): Erases Master File Tables (MFT) entries that contain file reference information (file size, date stamps, permissions, etc.) from the data structure for NTFS disks.
  • Clean FAT directory entries: Erases file reference information from the data structure for FAT disks.

Report file settings

By default, AVG AntiVirus creates report files of scan results. When troubleshooting issues with AVG Support, you may be requested to provide a report file. Report files are saved to the following location:

  • C:\ProgramData\AVG Software\AVG\report

You can configure report file settings individually for File Shield, Web Shield, Email Shield, and each AVG scan.

Configure your report file settings by specifying the following values for each listed scan type:

  • Report file name: Enter a name for the report file.
  • Report file type: Select the format of the report file (plain text (ANSI), plain text (Unicode), or XML).
  • If report file exists: Select Append if you want new results to be added to the end of the previous report, or Overwrite if you want new results to replace the previous report.
  • Reported items: Define which events appear in report files. Type any of the following events into the text box provided, ensuring entries are separated by semicolons:
    • Infected: Files and areas of the scanned environment that the virus scan identifies as containing malware.
    • HardErrors: Unexpected errors that require further investigation.
    • SoftErrors: Minor errors, such as a file being unable to be scanned because it was in use.
    • OK: Files and areas that the virus scan identified as being clean.
    • Skipped: Files and areas that the virus scan did not check because of the scan settings.

General

The following additional options are available via the AVG Geek Settings screen:

  • Enable reputation services (enabled by default): Allows you to anonymously contribute technical information to help us to better identify malware threats.
  • Check my browsers regularly for toolbars with bad user ratings (enabled by default): Checks commonly used browsers for toolbars with poor ratings and offers to remove them. To determine a toolbar's rating, AVG uses a cloud-based rating system based on blacklists and whitelists, heuristic algorithms, AVG's Recommendation Engine, and user ratings.
  • AVG Internet Security 20.x
  • AVG AntiVirus FREE 20.x
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise - 32 / 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate - Service Pack 2, 32 / 64-bit

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