Description: AVG PrivacyFix is an Android application (also available for iOS and in your Web browser of choice) from the folks over at AVG Technologies that aims to help users not only understand privacy settings on social networks, but also to simply change these settings easily without having to go through a million hoops. PrivacyFix isn't designed as an all-encompassing protection app for your Android device, rather it's more to do with controlling your online accounts and how people can track you over WiFi when you're out and about. AVG has created an app that aims to educate users to understand their privacy settings better and how certain settings affect their experience online.
How it Works: First off, you'll need to download the app from the Play Store, and then you'll be asked to sign in to various different social networks to control your privacy settings. AVG have prepared a quick tutorial to guide you through the fundamentals.
When you first open the app, you'll be treated to a little introduction of what the app can offer users.
The big fish when it comes to privacy here is Facebook, after all so many of us use it to connect to friends and family that we need to keep an eye on our privacy settings, once you've logged in to your Facebook account, you're given a look at how good – or bad – your privacy settings are.
As you can see, when it comes to Facebook, I'm in sore need of tuning up some settings to make sure I am more secure online. Each time you press on one of these controls, you'll be given some information as to why you should change this setting as well as a quick shortcut to the relevant setting on Facebook.
Common things that Facebook users forget to change are of course included, such as old apps you might have used when you used to be quite active.
The app can also help you manage privacy settings on your Google and LinkedIn accounts. It's not just about social media, however there are even pointers as to why you should turn off WiFi when you're shopping or in public spaces. The WiFi Do Not Track feature prevents your smartphone from transmitting a unique code (MAC address), which retailers and marketers sometimes use to track the movement of shoppers based on location.
Opinion: Let's face it, not everyone is super-interested in taking the best care of themselves online, not everyone has the time either. With scary headlines like the NSA and GCHQ listening in to everything, it's hard to know what to trust and what to do about it. AVG's PrivacyFix might not be able to control the minds of Governments, but what it does do well is educate users about the risks of certain online settings and why it's always a good idea to change them. One of the biggest problems with people's privacy online is that people simply don't know what to do about settings and changes to policies. AVG's PrivacyFix not only makes some of the right changes for you, but it also lets you know why, which is potentially more important than anything else.
- Speed (4/5) – Everything runs fine here, and there are no standout issues when using the app.
- Features (5/5) – A simple app it might be, but AVG PrivacyFix fixes settings and lets users know the risks about their settings online.
- Theme (4/5) – PrivacyFix is not a stunning app but it's easy to use and everything is in plain English, which is certainly nice to see.
- Overall (4/5) – An important app for those that use a smartphone as their social hub in life and want to be able to take back control without getting lost in online privacy mumbo jumbo.
- Focuses on what users care about online, including ads, searches and shopping habits.
- Easy enough for anyone to use, and all in plain English.
- It's free and fast to use.
- Educates users about what certain settings mean for them while using tablets and smartphones online.
- Seems to focus a little too heavily on Facebook.
- Could do with some tuning towards tablets – more and more people are browsing using these than laptops.
Conclusion: All-in-all, AVG's PrivacyFix is a great little app that's free to use and educates users about why they should be aware about their privacy online, and makes changing these settings really easy. Great for those that can't put their smartphones down when browsing through Facebook and essential for those in the business world. It could do with some work when it comes to tablets, but other than that there's very little to complain about here. It sets out to a simple – yet important – task and it does so very well for such a simple and easy to use app.