Really, really tired of the "Unsafe Wifi" popup

SJDenverSJDenver
edited November 2019 in General


I've been happy with Bitdefender since installing it some 8 months ago. With one major exception. I'm really tired of having the Bitdefender VPN pushed on me practically every time I log in. I don't want the Bitdefender VPN, I have a product with which I'm very pleased and I have no desire or intention to change. Most specifically, whenever I log into a Wifi network that doesn't match the Bitdefender password  best-practices (must contain a capital letter and a number, which any number of weak passwords can manage..) I get the annoying popup announcing that I've logged into an unsafe wifi network and should really consider using the Bitdefender VPN. 


I had to do a LOT of poking around online, and spent god knows how much time turning off and on various features in the app, until I finally learned that this notification cannot be turned off. Bitdefender touts it as a security feature. Yeah, right. Password1 has a capital letter and a number, and therefore would meet the requirements, but the network I'm currently using, which is very carefully protected, has a long passphrase without capital letters or numbers, and therefore every. single. time. I log into my computer, I get to turn off the popup informing me of my desperate need for the Bitdefender VPN. 


I know it's a minor issue, but I'm paying for this service specifically so that I do NOT have to deal with popups, and after 8 months, it's turning into a more-than-minor issue. I travel a lot, and I log into a lot of different wifi networks. I cannot change the passwords of wifi networks not belonging to me. Therefore, I purchased a strongly-recommended, well-reviewed VPN with a three-year subscription, and use it every day. I do not need to be warned every single time I sign into a network that it's "unsafe." At this point, I have no desire to have two VPN services, and my current subscription still has two years remaining. I wouldn't even be particularly adverse to using the Bitdefender product, but the endless, aggressive marketing under the guise of protection is really turning me off. I mean, I just looked at my settings, and my system hasn't been scanned for 68 days, because somehow my auto-scan function had been turned off... but Bitdefender didn't think that was worthy of a popup warning?


This is a rant, because now that I've learned I literally cannot turn off this "feature" I'm really annoyed. It's likely enough to mean that I'll switch to another antivirus program when my subscription expires in four months. While doing my research on how to turn off this feature, it was clear to me that I'm far from alone in my annoyance. Perhaps the programming team can consider giving users the option of taking the calculated risk of using these "unsafe" networks without the constant popup alert. 


I truly do like a lot about Bitdefender, but it's not the only game out there, and this has gotten really annoying. Perhaps it's not such a big deal to many, but as I said, I travel a lot. I'm on any number of different networks any given week, and most of them -- MOST OF THEM -- do not meet the capital-letter-and-number "Strong Password" requirement. I know this. I have taken my own steps to take care of the issues. I do not need to be reminded by popups, as a paying customer, that a VPN product is available through Bitdefender. 


I know this isn't something that can be fixed by whomever is responsible for reading and responding to these messages, but if that someone would be so kind as to submit my message to whomever can make these changes, adding my voice to the no-doubt other complaints received about this issue on a regular basis, hopefully someone will take steps to make this otherwise-excellent product into something I would like to renew at the end of my current subscription. 


My issue seems to be universal across the Bitdefender product line, but for what it's worth: 


I'm running a subscription to Bitdefender Total Security. I can't find the version information anywhere, but given that I just reinstalled the entire program so that I'd have the 2020 version, it's up-to-date. My system is Microsoft Windows 10 pro

The error message reads something like "bitdefender has detected that you are connected to an unsafe wifi network." 

 


Look , the last forum post I read about this, the Bitdefender employee took the customer through an incredibly long series of version checking, turning off and on options and then, finally, revealed that this message cannot be turned off unless the wifi password matches Bitdefender security protocol. I don't know if this means the employee was unaware of the fact that the message is not optional, but I want to be really clear that unless something has been changed in the last few months, when that topic was closed, this isn't a programming error, it's a "feature." I'm submitting this as a request that the feature be made optional, I'm aware that it's not simply a matter of turning off a switch in the "vulnerabilities" dashboard. 


Thank you. I don't often post to forums, it's one of my least favorite means of communication, but it took me forever to find out that I couldn't turn this off, so I'm hoping I might at the very least help another frustrated consumer save some time. 


(posted 26 November 2019, 11:05 MST) 

Comments

  • Alex D.Alex D. mod
    edited December 2019


    Hello @SJDenver,


    In order to address your concerns, I've answered your questions/complaints below:


    • "I'm really tired of having the Bitdefender VPN pushed on me practically every time I log in. I don't want the Bitdefender VPN, I have a product with which I'm very pleased and I have no desire or intention to change."


    Answer: In order to disable any further VPN recommendation, please follow the steps below:


    - Open Bitdefender, click Settings on the left side of the interface.


    - From this panel, disable Recommendation Notifications and Special Offers


    - Click Protection on the left side of the interface, then click Settings below Vulnerability.


    - You can disable WiFi Security Advisor from this screen. As long as you're using a VPN product while your device is connected to an untrusted network you won't risk any breach.


    - Lastly, click Privacy on the left side of the interface, then Settings below Safepay and disable Use VPN with Safepay. By following these steps you will stop Bitdefender from prompting further recommendations to use the VPN.


    • "I mean, I just looked at my settings, and my system hasn't been scanned for 68 days, because somehow my auto-scan function had been turned off... but Bitdefender didn't think that was worthy of a popup warning?"


    Answer: For the situation you are describing, we would need to further investigate. Kindly contact us at [email protected] and we'll gladly further assist you. Once you email us you will receive a support ticket number, please reply to this thread with your support ticket number once you receive it. In the meantime rest assured as any of the files you have accessed/downloaded on your device were scanned by the On-Access Scan feature, thus, the malfunction of the automatic scan did not affect the security of your device.


    • "I'm running a subscription to Bitdefender Total Security. I can't find the version information anywhere, but given that I just reinstalled the entire program so that I'd have the 2020 version, it's up-to-date."


    Answer: You can always check the version of your antivirus and update it by accessing the Bitdefender icon in system tray.


    - Right-click the Bitdefender icon in System Tray (next to the time and date), then click About in order to check the version of the antivirus. From the same menu you can click Update Now in order to force the product to update, however, the product is set by default to automatically check for updates.


    As mentioned previously, once we locate your support ticket number we'll gladly further assist you with the technical situation you've encountered.


  • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I truly appreciate it. Unfortunately, everything you've suggested I disable, I already have disabled, and the popup continues to pop up every time I turn on my computer, change wifi networks, turn my VPN on or off... I had hopes when I completely disabled not only the security advisor under Vulnerability, but the entire Vulnerability section under "Protection Features." I don't know if this is a bug in the Bitdefender system or not, but when I was doing my research on how to possibly get the popup to stop, I ran across a number of others who suggested turning off the "WiFi security Advisor" and the "special offers" features, and were still getting the popup. It just doesn't work. I should've made a closer note of the forum thread I found in which the Bitdefender representative finally concluded that the popup cannot be turned off until the wifi password in question meets the Bitdefender minimum security standards. I will attach screen shots showing that I really have turned off the features in question. But again, I truly appreciate the time you've taken. 


    I'm feeling a bit less cranky today -- I'd had a long, long frustrating day when I wrote that post, and at one point that popup came up, and I ended up through a Rube Goldbergian series of misclicks closing a draft version of a document I really, really needed and losing some info I didn't feel like recreating. And, it just seems frustrating that I have a VPN and that saying "no, thank you" to Bitdefender once or twice about the Bitdefender VPN wasn't enough -- I have to reiterate my demurral every day, usually several times. I will do my best to locate the post from which I got the information that the popup is a "security feature" that cannot be stilled, and see if I can't copy/paste that info into this thread. I'll take and attach the screen shots I promised now. I'm writing this quite quickly in the middle of taking care of other stuff, and will address the remainder of your help when I've got more time. 


    Of course, now that I WANT the popup to open and warn me about my unsafe wifi network, it is staying hidden -- I've disconnected and reconnected a few times, but even though it showed up halfway through this response, it's not coming back. Maybe it's more random than I thought. Or maybe I'm just insane. (I'm hoping for the "more random than I thought" option. )


    Thanks again. 


    --Steven


     

    protection feature 1.jpg

    special offers off.jpg

    wifi security off.jpg


  • Here's the thread, from October of this year, that indicates the popup cannot be disabled. Re-reading it, I realize that the Bitdefender rep who was answering the question never directly said it can't be turned off -- what happened was that the client simply changed his wifi password, to which AlexD responded " I'm glad to hear that your situation is solved! Bitdefender notifies you when the local network is vulnerable in order to prevent threats that can be easily avoided by securing your Wi-Fi. " And, that's true. Unless it's NOT my wifi, in which case I can only secure it by using a VPN... which, unless it's Bitdefender's VPN, seems to be useless in avoiding the popup. But, I realize I could still be wrong -- perhaps there is a way to shut it off without going to my host and asking that the wifi password be changed to one my antivirus program finds acceptable. 

    /index.php?/topic/81455-how-to-disable-notification/&tab=comments&do=embed&comment=292972&embedComment=292972&embedDo=findComment#comment-292972" style="height:251px;max-width:502px;">/index.php?/topic/81455-how-to-disable-notification/&tab=comments&do=embed&comment=292972&embedComment=292972&embedDo=findComment#comment-292972" style="height:251px;max-width:502px;">


     


  • Hello /index.php?/profile/217939-sjdenver/&do=hovercard" data-mentionid="217939" href="<___base_url___>/index.php?/profile/217939-sjdenver/" style="" rel="">@SJDenver,


    Another option that you should check in order to stop these notifications is the Unsafe Wi-Fi option in the VPN settings. In order to disable this option, kindly follow the steps below:


    • Open Bitdefender, click on Privacy.


    • Click on Open VPN, then click the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the interface (3 horizontal lines).


    • Select Settings from this menu, then disable Unsecure Wi-Fi.


    Please let me know how this goes.


  • Thank you again for your response, appreciated. I did go to the section you recommended, but I can't select Open VPN from the menu, because I never installed the Bitdefender VPN. My "Privacy Features" screen only displays the option to "install VPN" under the VPN section. 


    At least I know I'm not crazy -- today I've had the usual complement of popups warning me that the wifi I'm using this week is unsafe, plus a never-yet-before seen NEW popup giving the same information in a larger format with better graphics. I'd say that a change of any kind indicates progress, but this isn't the sort of progress I"d hoped to see... but again, thank you for the response and the suggestion. 

    12-4 unsafe.jpg

    bigger popup.jpg

    privacy features.jpg


  • I just noticed after sending that last response, that the new popup window is now showing that I've NOT unchecked the "notify" box under the new "security advisor" popup. I have, of course, disabled this more than once (after enabling it only to disable it, hoping that this would sort of "shake awake" the I-don't-want-this-option feature). After seeing that it's now apparently selected to notify me, I went back into that section just now (after turning off the third warning popup in the last hour) to disable the feature. When I clicked on "Wifi Security Advisor" in the "Protection Features" window, the security advisor window opened -- clearly the "new" popup I mentioned. This may be a new update -- so, I've now clicked the "notify" option, it is grayed out, perhaps this is the fix i've been seeking. Hopefully so, and many thanks again. 


     


     

    protection features 2.jpg

  • edited December 2019

  • So... um... the direction is definitely positive, and I appreciate very much the attention and response to this issue... but the new fix isn't quite working yet. For one thing, when I turn off the "Wifi Security Advisor" it invariably turns itself back on the next time I use my laptop. Then, when I go back in to turn it off, the new popup opens, I try to turn off the "notify" option, and the entire thing locks up. Eventually windows tells me it's not responding, and offers to shut it down. But hey, it's a start and a good one. Thanks. 


     


     

    wifi details not respond.jpg

  • I have the same problem.

     @Alex D., The suggested solution to disable wifi warnings is not a good option for me. I don't want to disable wifi warning messages completely. maybe to disable warnings for a specific connection will be a good solution.

    furthermore, BitDefender doesn't say what is the exact vulnerability of the connection. When My Antivirus says there's a vulnerability in my computer, it makes me worried. and I tried to look for the cause and to find a solution. You can't just leave it as it is.

    @SJDenver , Thank you for your solution. I changed my wifi password and BitDefender doesn't show me warnings anymore.

    wifi password must contain a capital letter and a number. Thank you

    but I wonder, can't you just change your wifi password? rather than suffer from this problem?

  • laugherlaugher
    edited April 2020

    I agree with @Taylor13

    You do not want to generally disable these settings because if Bitdefender does find something risky, you should let it make the recommendation. Also, disabling Wifi security advisor is just nonsense. If I am in a hotel and login to the hotel wifi, it should remind me that the hotel wifi is potentially unsafe. If I disabled the wifi security advisor, these reminders would never pop up if Bitdefender was working normally.

    An obvious and suggested solution is this.

    1. Allow your customers to check a checkbox on the VPN prompts to disable it forever which is a separate setting/attribute to the disable all recommendations.
    2. Allow your customers to save a list of wifi networks that we know are safe and we do not need a constant reminder of it being unsafe. If there is a corporate isolated network (air gap) in our workplace, we should also be able to tag it with "Ignore weak passwords" checkbox.

    All these problems would be solved if you do the above.

  • I have just paid a fair amount of money for BitDefender, and it does the job it is intended to do, however, along with total internet security it installs VPN, which I never asked (I actually have a 3rd party VPN), also BitDefender is bombarding me with notifications and ads, tryin to shove the whole range of their products in my face. It acts as if its a random adware/bloatware. Guys, this is not the way to do business.

    You should ask me if I want promo material and ads popups during installation; also in pop-ups there should be an option "don't show again".

    What product manager and what UX designer approved of this "Unsafe WiFi network" popup that re-opens instantly once it's closed?! Such pop-up should be opened once per wifi connection session; it should offer the option of not showing it again for next x hours/weeks/permanently; People responsible for such UX should be reprimanded if not fired on spot for damaging company name, company image and good standing with existing and prospective users.

    I'm pretty sure such behavior also goes against EU laws and regulations in regards of advertising. As of now - even though bitdefender does a good job on antivirus and ransomware protection - If any of my friends asked - I'd advise strongly against using BitDefender for this exact reason.

    I paid enough not to have promotional material shoved in my face.

  • Yeah I've finally decided to go to someone else. Obviously it doesn't matter to them, what's one lost customer. But today was the last time I had to deal with their ad crap. No point in me to pay for software to have them sticking ads in my face for the VPN. I have a VPN through another company. Bitdefenders VPN is crap.

    I hated to do it because I liked how bitdefender works but this advertising every time you connect to a wifi network is absolute horse crap

  • tabkurtabkur
    edited January 15

    I totally agree with you, I mean, you have bitdefender central, they can send you offers through it (and actually they do it). And of course captive portal authentication should be improved. For me it is annoying that you can't login because of the portal redirection.

  • I'm so glad to see that others have posted their discontent with this popup! I am a brand-new user of BitDefender, and I thought the included VPN app was a great idea -- until I started having to answer the pop-up nag dialogs. UNless this can be fixed within my current subscription, I'll be going back to Norton Security.

  • This is so disappointing. I can't use my computer because the very product that is supposed to protect you from adware is spamming ads. Who at BD thought this was a good idea? I would love to see that person post on this thread.

  • I would like to add my name to all these frustrated people. I thought I'd like to try a new security software, so I left Kaspersky when my subscription ended and went to Bitdefender. What a mistake to make. Now I'm stuck with annoying banners for 2 years because some Bitdefender designer has not allowed me to configure some networks as HOME/safe networks. I have a long time to go with my NordVPN subscription. This pushing of Bitdefender VPN is over the top and goes against openness... if I knew before I bought, I wouldn't have bought. I also understand that there is a very limited amount of data per day and so you are forced into more spend if you do go along with it.

  • This pop-up is very annoying, I have tried all the options mentioned above and the WIFI pop-up keeps showing up... I do not want to use your VPN product, I have my own and it works great. Stop pushing your VPN on us, I am even getting pop-ups when using my own VPN. I just purchased this software four days ago, and I am ready for a refund if this issue cannot be resolved. Very unhappy customer right now.

  • This thread does eventually explain how to efficiently remove the pop-up.


    Here is a summary, just in case you missed it:

    1.Open Bitdefender, click Settings on the left side of the interface, from this panel, disable Recommendation Notifications and Special Offers

    2.Protection on the left side of the interface, then click Settings below Vulnerability, You can disable WiFi Security Advisor from this screen. 

    3.Open Bitdefender, click on Privacy, Click on Open VPN, then click the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the interface (3 horizontal lines), Select Settings from this menu, then disable Unsecure Wi-Fi. (You actually need to install the VPN to disable it).

    4.Click Privacy on the left side of the interface, then Settings below Safepay and disable Use VPN with Safepay.


    But in all honesty, disabling the popup from 4 different sources is a bit much. In the end it's only a glorified ad to a paid service, because let's be honest - who uses only 200MB of data/day these days? If you want us to use it this much why don't you include a full version with the "TOTAL" Security package ?

    The popup itself should present an option to be disabled, instead of the [Not now] button.

    Keep in mind that this is a family pack that we (the account admins) install for our family and some of our family members do not know how to disable this on their own and they just keep getting frustrated over and over for nothing until we are able to do this for them.

    You have an amazing product (the Bitdefender Total Security pack), why spoil it with this ad ? Think about it..

  • edited March 4

    This thread eventually explains how to efficiently remove the popup. In case you missed it:


    1.Open Bitdefender, click Settings on the left side of the interface, from this panel, disable Recommendation Notifications and Special Offers,

    2.Click Protection on the left side of the interface, then click Settings below Vulnerability, you can disable WiFi Security Advisor from this screen.

    3.Click Privacy on the left side of the interface, then Settings below Safepay and disable Use VPN with Safepay.

    4.Open Bitdefender, click on Privacy, click on Open VPN, then click the hamburger menu in the top left corner of the interface (3 horizontal lines), select Settings from this menu, then disable Unsecure Wi-Fi. (you actually need to install the VPN for this step)


    I think disabling the popup from 4 different sources is a bit much. This is essentially a glorified ad to a paid service because let's be honest who uses 200MB/day these days? If you really want us to use the VPN that much why don't you include it with the Total Security Pack ?

    The popup itself should present the user with the option to disable it instead of the [Not now] button.

    Keep in mind that we (the account admins) install this to our family members who don't always know how to tinker with the settings and disable the popup themselves. For them this is just an ongoing frustration until we can disable it for them.

    Your Bitdefender Total Security pack is an amazing product, why spoil it with this ad ? Think about it..

    PS: I had to write this twice because the webpage decided to remove it :/

  • I'm not even mad at the fact it pops up warning about the security problem with the network, but it should at least be limited to once per session.

    The experience with this hell for me was because my mom was using a simpler password on her wifi network; she is not that tech savvy and wanted a password that was easy to remember, the pop up thing was relentless! We had to dismiss it like tens of times until it would stop nagging for a bit, but god forbid you have a fluctuation in the network and reconnect or change users in the machine... It would be the whole nine yards all over again! I even uninstalled the VPN program to see if it would solve "problem" but I ended up having to painstakingly help her through video call and remote access on changing the password for her network and reconfiguring all the devices for her, grandma and my stepfather (Their printer is something else to get into the WiFi). The constant, never closing pop up was driving everybody that used the computer absolutely insane.

    This is a premium product and should at least have the level of polish that enables the discerning costumer handle this kind of thing. Not to mention that every half decent online service nowadays has TLS enabled, so the premise of "We do this to prevent data leaks" is more fear mongering than real concern, having a VPN while connecting to poorly coded web services won't do you much good. IMHO we could meet halfway in this by limiting this pop up to once per SSID per Windows Session, to me this strikes a good balance between nudging the less technically inclined costumers to better security practices and would not bother the more tech savvy ones that have another VPN service or just know what they are doing while using TLS protected services in a hotel network to solve some quick problem or something...

  • I've just found this thread as I was having exactly the same issues as the original poster

    I would say that they have articulated the problem very well indeed and have shown significantly more patience than myself

    I have a Bitdefender subscription for my Macs and PC's for my business. The Mac versions are fine but we have just started adding PC's to our networks. We do not have the option of changing the wifi password.

    The VPN popup was driving us all up the wall, it is so annoying when it adds absoutely no value. As there is no way to get rid of it, we are now pulling Bitdefender off our PC's and purchasing another product. When our subscription expires in 55 days, we will move to another AV system that actually works the way we want to, not an annoying hack that promotes a product we don't want.

    We have no isssues with Bitdefender on a Mac but our experience on a PC has been very poor. We've been with Bitdefender for 4-5 years but hey ho, they want to try and drive a little more for their VPN business, but that has cost them all their other business with us.

    Thanks

    Rob

  • gregggregg
    edited April 6

    Will disabling the firewall work until this error is fixed? I'm getting close to switching to another antivirus but am hoping Bitdefender will fix it soon. My network is safe. However, based on the date of the OP, bitdefender might be unable or unwilling to locate said error.

  • edited May 1
    I thought I paid to have unwanted programs removed from my computer and now I have to deal with this unethical business practice ! SHAME on "Bitdefender Total Susceptivity" .

    Call your local rep people and make a report.

    Government of Canada - undisclosed conflict of interest and fraudulent contract schemes, can provide information anonymously by calling 1-844-365-1616
  • jamjam
    edited May 5
    *SOLVED*
    To turn off the unwanted unsafe VPN warning: open Bitdefender, on the left menu bar, click Protection. Then just below Vulnerability, click open, then when Vulnerability opens, click Wi-fi Security Advisor. Then click Select new Home Wifi networks. then set your home wifi networks so they are no longer public.
    So the problem is Bitdefender thinks your home wifi is public. Once Bitdefender knows your wifi is set to home, it won't send VPN messages to you while on that wifi network anymore
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