APRIL 2009

MyLavasoft: Community Done Right

Mattias Lundmark, Manager of Web Development.

This may be the first time that many of you are hearing about Lavasoft's new social community initiative, MyLavasoft. Following its launch on March 31, 2009, MyLavasoft is available to Lavasoft beta testers and customers; public registration for the community will open up in early May. Read our question and answer session with Lavasoft's Manager of Web Development, Mattias Lundmark, to find out more about MyLavasoft and why you should get involved!

First things first - what is MyLavasoft?

MyLavasoft is a new community for people interested in computer security, software development, privacy issues, social communities and user experience. We want to get away from Lavasoft.com being a single-user experience by allowing our customers and users to talk to each other and the Lavasoft staff. MyLavasoft is our way of making that communication easy and fun. If MyLavasoft had a tag line, it would probably be "Together".

The core concept of MyLavasoft is "community done right." A lot of social communities out there care little about user privacy, asking for or collecting information without giving any reason or notice. Some also fail in security, unintentionally exposing their users to malicious threats and providing a prime distribution platform for the makers of spyware and malware to make a profit.

With MyLavasoft, we want to present the world with a smarter and more secure alternative. We want to create a haven of sorts where the discussion not only benefits the users of this community, but of other social communities worldwide - a change driven by the ideas and concepts that spring forward from discussions.

Who can use MyLavasoft?

As of the MyLavasoft launch on March 31, 2009, the community is only open to Lavasoft beta testers and existing customers. However, we do plan to open up public registration for the community in early May 2009 so that anyone can register and become part of this initiative.

Can you explain what someone might see when they first log-in to the community? What does MyLavasoft allow users to do?

Inside MyLavasoft, users can get up close and personal with the staff at Lavasoft through exclusive staff blogs and forums; they can ask them the questions that they always wanted answered, get to say their piece about our products, and even influence the development of our software. Users also have a great opportunity to engage other users in conversation and meet other people interested in privacy and security.

What was the inspiration behind the MyLavasoft project?

MyLavasoft is a project that has been on our minds for a very long time. Lavasoft started out as a small company that attracted many like-minded users who, like all of us at Lavasoft, cared about privacy and computer security and shared our vision that every computer user, regardless of economic status or geographic location, should have the power to control their individual privacy and security. As we grew bigger and the number of users increased dramatically (we are now up to over 350 million downloads of Ad-Aware), we felt that it became harder and harder to engage individual users in conversation.

With MyLavasoft, we are attempting to close that gap, and become even more accessible and transparent to our users than we have been in the past. We feel that both our users and our company have a lot to gain from the kind of open discussions that MyLavasoft facilitates.

What has the process of launching MyLavasoft been like? Can you give us any behind the scenes details?

MyLavasoft has been in closed beta testing since December 2008, and we've had tremendous help from our beta testers in finding and squashing bugs, but also in suggesting features and improvements for the community. We really can't thank them enough (although we will sure try).

There have been a couple of interesting quirks in the system, though. One of the earliest bugs that we had in the beta caused users to swap avatars with each other - a very confusing (and sort of amusing) experience for everyone involved. We are happy to say that bug has now been firmly squashed.

What's next for MyLavasoft? Do you and the rest of Lavasoft's Web Development team expect many tweaks and changes to come?

We will continue to update MyLavasoft with new features throughout the year. We really want to implement a rewards system so that all of our wonderful volunteers that are helping out in the forums and with reporting malware can get more recognition. There will also be more integration between the Ad-Aware software itself and the online community.

Want to join the MyLavasoft community? Following the MyLavasoft launch on March 31, 2009, beta testers and Lavasoft customers can access MyLavasoft through the Lavasoft Support Center.

Not a beta tester or Lavasoft customer? That's okay - we want you involved in MyLavasoft, too! Public registration for the community will open up in early May, allowing anyone who chooses to become part of this initiative. We hope to see you inside MyLavasoft!


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By The Numbers
According to Lavasoft Malware Labs, November 2008 and January 2009 saw a high spike in the amount of Koobface worm variants added to Ad-Aware's Detection Database, accounting for an estimated 40% increase from the usual monthly average.
Tips & Tactics
ID theft is running rampant in 2009. Find out the steps you should be taking to keep your sensitive data out of criminal hands. Read more
What People Are Saying
"Keep up the good work guys and thanks for making PC and Internet use a lot safer."

- Barry (Cornwall, U.K.)

Two University of Gothenburg (Sweden) students are writing their master's thesis in cooperation with Lavasoft. Please help by taking their brief survey.
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