Avast Antivirus: Sensitive Data Shield

Sensitive Data Shield

Access this feature from: PrivacySensitive Data Shield

Sensitive Data Shield scans and protects your personal sensitive documents against unauthorized access and malware. The files considered as sensitive contain your personal information which, if revealed, can compromise your privacy and identity. Sensitive Data Shield controls which applications and users have access to your files to secure your private data.

Sensitive Data Shield is enabled by default. To disable this feature, click the green ON slider and click Yes to confirm the change. The slider changes to red and displays the text OFF. We recommend keeping Sensitive Data Shield turned on at all times.

Note: This feature is available in Avast Ultimate, Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security only.

Scan your data

Click Scan to start scanning your data. During a scan, Sensitive Data Shield checks your entire hard drive, including each page of every document, and looks for files that contain sensitive data. The duration of the scan depends on the number of files stored in your PC. If you want to stop the scan, click Stop scan.

The basic functionality of Sensitive Data Shield is also integrated into Smart Scan which can be run from ProtectionAntivirusRun Smart Scan.

Review scan results

After scanning, Sensitive Data Shield displays an overview of sensitive documents that were found on your PC. Documents are sorted into several categories, such as:

  • Tax documents
  • Payroll documents
  • Employment documents
  • Plane tickets
  • Travel documents
  • Other sensitive documents

These documents may contain your personal data. If malware or hackers attack your PC and get access to these documents, your identity can be stolen and misused.

Click a category to display a screen with details. To open a document, click the preview icon next to the document's details.

Protect your data

To protect documents, follow these steps:

  1. Click Protect all under the list of categories.
  2. Click Done to confirm the action. In some cases, you may be prompted to decide if a document should be protected.

Your sensitive data are protected. If any untrusted application, malware, or user who is not logged into your Windows account tries to access your protected files, Sensitive Data Shield blocks access or prompts you to confirm if the access attempt should be blocked.

You can display a list of documents by clicking Show documents or scan your PC again by clicking Scan now.

Manage settings

Click the gear icon in the top-right corner to access the Sensitive Data Shield settings. On the settings screen, you can restrict the access to your sensitive documents only to owners or authors and you can see a list of blocked and allowed applications which were trying to open your sensitive files. Read more...

Troubleshoot issues

If Sensitive Data Shield does not appear in the Privacy section, ensure you are using the latest version of Avast Ultimate, Avast Premier or Avast Internet Security. To update Avast, go to MenuSettingsUpdate, and click Update in the Program section.

Note: This feature is not available in Avast Pro Antivirus or Avast Free Antivirus.