With Kaspersky banned in the US, what should customers do?

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 21, 2024
Security
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48

The United States are banning Kaspersky products. Starting July 20, Kaspersky is no longer allowed to sell its products to new customers. Software updates remain available until September 29, 2024.

Customers who use Kaspersky products in the United States need to find different security solutions, as Kaspersky products will not be updated after September 29 anymore.

The reason given is the following: "he Department finds that Kaspersky’s provision of cybersecurity and anti-virus software to U.S. persons, including through third-party entities that integrate Kaspersky cybersecurity or anti-virus software into commercial hardware or software, poses undue and unacceptable risks to U.S. national security and to the security and safety of U.S. persons"

You can check out the Wired article for details.

Here are your options if you use Kaspersky products

There is no need to rush, as the products will receive updates until September 29. The security products, including antivirus solutions, will become less effective after that date. While they will continue to work, they won't detect new or updated threats anymore because of the lack of updates.

The first step is to uninstall Kaspersky products from PCs and mobile devices. This does not have to be rushed, but should happen before September 29.

Uninstalling Kaspersky products on Windows will make Microsoft Defender Antivirus the default security solution on the device again. This keeps the device protected. On Android, Google Play protection is available, but it is not offering the same level of security as third-party security apps.

Several third-party security solutions are available that may be installed as alternatives.

Based on tests by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, here are the products that have received the highest ratings in the latest tests.

  • Avast Free Antivirus
  • ESET Security Ultimate
  • McAfee Total Protection

Note: these tests try to replicate real-world scenarios, but they are limited.

  • Only Avast Free Antivirus is available free of charge.
  • ESET Security Ultimate is expensive, at $179.99 per year. It includes features such as access to a VPN. Cheaper plans are available that bring down the price considerable. ESET Security Essential is available for $59.99 per year and includes all basic protections.
  • McAfee Total Protection has different plans. The cheapest option, Basic, includes antivirus protection as well as some other features.

Kaspersky apps are also available for mobile devices. You can check the tests at AV-Comparatives and AV-Test to find alternatives.

Closing Words

Switching from one security solution to another may or may not be a simple undertaking for home users. Those who have not customized the installed security solution much may find it easy to move to another solution, especially since one is available right away on Windows when uninstalling the Kaspersky product.

Those who have customized the product, e.g., with custom firewall rules, need to find ways to export these and integrate them into another solution. It is essential then to find a product that supports the same set of features.

It will be interesting to see how Kaspersky customers in other regions will react to the ban. It is possible that a percentage of customers will uninstall Kaspersky products as a response.

What about you? Have you installed Kaspersky products? Will you replace them with different products?

Summary
Article Name
With Kaspersky banned in the US, what should customers do?
Description
The United States has banned Kaspersky security products. What should customers do who run Kaspersky products on their computers?
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on July 22, 2024 at 2:47 pm
    Reply

    So how am I meant to get rid of the NSA spyware?

  2. nightmare said on July 11, 2024 at 1:56 am
    Reply

    i wonder will there be a workaroudn for the ban? i see it detects if use the wrong IP address or wrong location so seems liek that would be diffcult, as its ONLY antivirus that FINDS VIRUSES and dose NOT report all my cracks as “viruses” (false positives)

  3. Moo Cow said on June 26, 2024 at 7:58 pm
    Reply

    Kaspersky offers a free Linux LiveCD anti-virus which you may boot into and scan your boxes.

    I highly recommend downloading this while you still may.

  4. sun said on June 25, 2024 at 10:06 pm
    Reply

    all countries must ban US products to keep safe the world!

    1. Tom Hawack said on June 25, 2024 at 10:13 pm
      Reply

      Russia does to some extent, is it helping keep the world safe?

  5. dostiers said on June 23, 2024 at 2:59 am
    Reply

    So Kaspersky is an existential risk to US security, but they’re going to let U.S. corporations and citizens download software updates for another couple of months unhindered. Yeah, right!

    1. boris said on June 24, 2024 at 11:21 am
      Reply

      That’s a enormous mistake. They should have blocked Kaspersky immediately.

  6. meow said on June 23, 2024 at 2:43 am
    Reply
  7. the chair is against the wall said on June 23, 2024 at 1:43 am
    Reply

    — Kaspersky releases free tool that scans Linux for known threats
    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/software/kaspersky-releases-free-tool-that-scans-linux-for-known-threats/

    Wow! Right after they released a free malware scanner for Linux!

    But… in the end it’s proprietary and I don’t run that stuff on *my* systems.

  8. Winston said on June 22, 2024 at 5:08 pm
    Reply

    I guess that they should Not have detected the US gov’t created viruses and backdoors many years ago… Personally, I wouldn’t trust Microsoft or numerous U.S. controlled companies any more than Russian ones. Russia ain’t going to benefit off my data at all, or SWAT my family. Ban it for Gov’t computers, sure, fine…general consumers on the other hand? Kind of unconstitutional and quite an over-reach. If Kaspersky was spying as much as Windows/Defender/Avast/Norton, etc, the U.S. freakout would be staggering, instead of a shrug. And if they completely ignore every other damn spying, insecure program/O.S. until it becomes politically convenient & provide no actual proof, I truly question their motives – as anyone should. I guess we just can’t use products that can detect “Made in the USA” malware.

  9. John said on June 22, 2024 at 12:38 pm
    Reply

    Its been years since I purchased any sort of security software. But software is many times developed in many areas of the world and just because the company resides in Russia does not mean its entirely a Russian entity. I mean we have no problem with software developed in China.
    I think if proof were provided by the US government that Kaspersky was indeed nefarious then a ban is certainly needed. But why now? When the Ukraine-Russia war has gone on for years now.

  10. upp said on June 22, 2024 at 7:27 am
    Reply

    It’s bitter but you have to accept that Kaspersky is the current best AV, by huge margin.

    Don’t even mention about Windows Defender, it’s utterly trash.

    Either USA AV need to step up after this or you’re gonna be using 3rd rated AVs.

  11. Ed k said on June 22, 2024 at 4:29 am
    Reply

    Never had a problem with Kaspersky, in fact I loved is minimal resource consumption and low level “in your face” garbage that Norton and McAfee bilge out. Just a clean running protection that works. Our government is stupid. Anything that’s good, they’ll ban it. But EVs? They’ll mandate that. ? ?

  12. boris said on June 21, 2024 at 11:46 pm
    Reply

    I waited for this news for a few years, and finally it’s here, time to rejoice. You have to understand that anything that is produced in Russia is practically Russian Government owned or even more technically is Putin’s owned. He, through a few dozens of closest businessman and generals, owns all of Russia and all of what Russia is producing. Buying anything from Russia that ca not be immediately replaced is a form of economic suicide. Unlike China that is at least mostly profit, economy growth and trade motivated, Russia can not be influenced. It’s more of North Korea in that sense and moving there in other aspects.

    As alternatives, I know only three I can recommend.
    1)If you mostly trust Windows and Microsoft not to screw you at the end, Windows Defender is your default and best option.
    2)If you are more skeptical to Microsoft intentions but do not visit many risky sites and generally risk-averse user, Bitdefender will satisfy your every need.
    3)If you often travel where risk of infection is high and open a lot of email attachment from people you do not know, Malwarebytes makes the best antivirus for you.

    I would not recommend McAfee or Norton to my worst friend. Most popular tech reviewers on YouTube will tell you that they would rather have viruses on their computer rather than McAfee and Norton.

    I would not recommend Avast and AVG because they track your every move and sell your personal information. Uninstallation is only through their own utility and not always works. I learned it the hard way on my friend’s computer when Avast took 100% of processor power and refused to respond. I had to use scripts to disable and remove most of it, but it is still in taskbar and some files can not be removed. Thankfully, it was an old and inexpensive computer.

    And I would not recommend Symantec because I had horrible, nightmarish experiences with them on Windows 7/8/10.

    PS. Not only Avast has free version. Bitdefender also has a free version, and it has far less bloat, but you can not completely remove notification popups.

  13. Anonymous said on June 21, 2024 at 11:01 pm
    Reply

    There is really no need for any of these anti-virus softwares anymore.

    1. ithchty said on June 24, 2024 at 12:36 am
      Reply

      ^^ This.

      Really, when was the last time anyone’s scored-100%-on-some-pointless-comparison closed-source payware AV caught any malware that would not have been caught by vanilla Defender?

      In 2024, these are nonsensical products. You’re just increasing your attack surface by installing them.

  14. 8-bit Supremacy said on June 21, 2024 at 8:34 pm
    Reply

    National security threat, huh?

    Where is the proof?

    What tangible evidence can they show to the public before making decisions for everyone is justified?
    I don’t use Kapsersky because it’s heavy duty and may make the PC slugish. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t risky environments that would benfit tremendously from such software.

    What is wrong with Kaspersky again? Not lobbying enough?

  15. Anonymous said on June 21, 2024 at 7:52 pm
    Reply

    Nothing. People just need to learn to download safe files and don’t run files only because you downloaded them and if anything, there is Virustotal to do it without having something running 24/7 in the background.

    SystemInformer (previously processhacker) also offers Virustotal column, so you can also use that in case you want to know if something you ran is suspicious.

    Windows Defender is easy to disable, I am not talking about scripts or any crap people release, you can easily do it if you just do what Windows expect you to do to disable the service and then add the policy so the policy never gets removed by Windows.
    Even if you are locked, it can still be done through recover mode and disable the registry and all that by sideloading the hive.
    I can easily do it from windows in my computer, but sometimes that doesn’t work in other computers even when running registryfinder as SYSTEM, so I have to do it through recovery mode and manually do things (no autoruns and no group policy editor).

    These antivirus/malware are just running in your background doing nothing but wasting resources most of the time when it can be just people using the head and avoid the issues by not running just random files or using Sandbox… even windows offers sandboxing now, but sandboxie is free too, and free version works okay.

  16. Tachy said on June 21, 2024 at 5:44 pm
    Reply

    Ignorance needs to be cured with knowledge, not treated with software.

  17. Anonymous said on June 21, 2024 at 4:39 pm
    Reply

    I have avoided Kaspersky ever since the first rumors of Russian collusion arose.
    I use Windows Defender, with a one time use of MalwareBytes Free if I suspect a breach.
    Thanks for the article.

  18. VioletMoon said on June 21, 2024 at 3:28 pm
    Reply

    If it’s anything like removing other antivirus software, users may be in for an unpleasant surprise. It can take hours eliminating all traces of the software–even with specialized uninstallers made for the program.

  19. John G. said on June 21, 2024 at 2:55 pm
    Reply

    I think that the best alternative to almost all antivirus on the market is TotalAV. It’s expensive as hell however imho it’s absolute the best of them. It is the antivirus that my boss uses in the company where I work, installed in about 20 computers, protected by it with zero problems since 2020. These computers are fully functional 24 hours per day in three turns, so basically it’s well tested. Thanks for the article! :]

    1. Shqiptar said on June 22, 2024 at 1:28 am
      Reply

      I could basically say the same for Windows Defender and all of my 24/7 computers, except the starting year would be 2016 (migration from Windows 7 to 10).

      1. John G. said on June 22, 2024 at 6:13 pm
        Reply

        @Shqiptar, I am quite agree, indeed I have Windows Defender since 2010 more or less with no major issues but not too much false positives by Smartscreen. All virus were stopped or I think they were stopped because the system was ever fine in that sense. Windows Defender it’s a good recommendation for free and personal use, however TotalAV is more likely for industrial use to block hacker attacks and ransomware related issues, with very high protection.

  20. Thorky said on June 21, 2024 at 2:43 pm
    Reply

    Well, it’s easy: Use the Windows Defender. No costs, no riscs.

    1. nightmare said on July 11, 2024 at 1:58 am
      Reply

      unless your a pirate, it will auto delete ALL cracks keygens eta.

    2. No thanks, CIA said on June 23, 2024 at 4:45 am
      Reply

      Microsoft is just as bad as the Russians. Defender is spyware.

    3. John G. said on June 21, 2024 at 4:53 pm
      Reply

      Windows Defender + Configure Defender by AndyFul (max protection) = amazing free solution AV. However, minor exclusions and tweaks should be done with the maximum protection though.

      1. Paul said on June 23, 2024 at 11:27 am
        Reply

        @John G. no it isn’t, and Defender is designed mostly around Edge anyway. Avoid MS Defender like the plague.

      2. Thorky said on June 22, 2024 at 6:09 pm
        Reply

        Thank you! Works great. ?

  21. Pierre said on June 21, 2024 at 2:41 pm
    Reply

    It’s only in the US

    1. TelV said on June 23, 2024 at 7:09 pm
      Reply

      @ Pierre,

      Actually it isn’t just confined to the US since the Dutch government decided to dispense with Kaspersky security a while back. https://www.techzine.eu/news/security/74087/dutch-government-bans-kaspersky-software-without-evidence-of-abuse/

      But since then some Ukrainian sleuths have tracked down Kaspersky’s involvement with Russian weaponry: https://mil.in.ua/en/news/kaspersky-lab-is-involved-in-the-development-of-russian-weapons/

      That said it’s probably not a good idea to get on the wrong side of Putin. Looked what happened to Prigozhin when he criticized Uncle Vova (Putin’s nickname). So Kasperky may be working under duress.

  22. Tom Hawack said on June 21, 2024 at 11:14 am
    Reply

    “It will be interesting to see how Kaspersky customers in other regions will react to the ban. It is possible that a percentage of customers will uninstall Kaspersky products as a response.”

    It certainly will be. Should we rejoice of this or not my feeling is that technically skilled users who install software, whatever it be, are more driven by technical considerations than by national security restrictions, particularly when those are conducted by the U.S.A. I’m not defending any developer, whatever its nationality and geopolitical ties, I don’t use any Kaspersky products myself, but many people nowadays consider that technological matters are factual and that political directives are opened to doubts for the least. In a country where business and politics are so acquainted, many people IMO may be suspicious about the former not influencing the latter. Kaspersky, Huawei … I couldn’t swear they are involved in national security issues. I may be totally wrong.

  23. samurai cat said on June 21, 2024 at 10:43 am
    Reply

    Bitdefender is the best alternative to Kaspersky.

  24. Service Pack said on June 21, 2024 at 10:34 am
    Reply

    Avast, Avira, AVG, Norton all under one roof

    Bitdefender is the only viable alternative to Kaspersky

    1. Quick Brown Fox said on June 30, 2024 at 5:06 am
      Reply

      Service Pack, Bitdefender Free works fine for me. No need at this time to migrate to any other product

    2. Anonymous said on June 23, 2024 at 10:16 am
      Reply

      exactly

  25. bruh said on June 21, 2024 at 10:06 am
    Reply

    So, there’s no proof of it doing anything bad, but because it’s Russian, it “might” be doing something bad. That’s nice.

    Chinese-made software doesn’t pose similar concerns though, right?

    1. boris said on June 22, 2024 at 1:33 am
      Reply

      We are not in proxy war with China yet and may never be.

      1. bruh said on June 24, 2024 at 10:06 am
        Reply

        Seeing how my previous comment was not allowed, I’ll try again:

        If you don’t think China considers the west an existential enemy (more so than even Russia does), then you don’t know much. The USSR is gone, now they only care about their geopolitical positioning, without the ideological aspect.

        “and may never be.”

        You’ve been in a proper proxy war with China before (Korean war).

      2. boris said on June 24, 2024 at 3:25 pm
        Reply

        Yes, I know of Korean War. It was a different time when China’s economy was not run on Capitalism. I know the Chinese Government is dangerous, but it is not run by a homicidal maniac like Russia is. Also as I said Russian economy is mostly Capitalistic, but unlike China’s it is Feudal Capitalism system. And Russia is hell-bent on expending its borders. Way more than China.

        The US should have a three tier scale for banning software or any other digital product.

        Tier 1) US should ban without going through Courts products from countries like Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Houthi, Cuba, Belarus, Venezuela, Lebanon.

        Tier 2) US could ban only going through Courts products from countries like China, Columbia, Georgia, Hungary and few others.

        Tier 3) US could ban products for Governmental use from any Country without Court approval.

        This should pass as a law, and any other changes to the list should pass as a law too. If a country is not in these lists, US should not be allowed to ban their products for general population under any pretenses (unless product is developed or owned in banned Country and is selling through another). The same set of rules should be passed to set the list of countries where US citizen can not invest in or contribute to high-tech products.

  26. Anonymous said on June 21, 2024 at 9:59 am
    Reply

    I stopped using Kaspersky when Defender earned and maintained a reasonable rating. Kaspersky never gave me any problems, which proves nothing, both then and now.

    Looking at their website contact details, Kaspersky are genuinely multi national. Does Vladimir now control Eugene and all companies or is this ‘red under every bed’ politics attempting to appeal to stupid voters with an election just over the horizon?

  27. John G. said on June 21, 2024 at 9:03 am
    Reply

    How can they ban it? DNS blocking? Anyway the US have opened the door to ban anything they want. Sad times. Or perhaps they were always sad times, who knows. Thanks for the article! :[

  28. Bobo said on June 21, 2024 at 8:48 am
    Reply

    Avast, McAfee…really, Martin? REALLY? Never ever in a million years.

    1. webfork said on June 24, 2024 at 6:59 pm
      Reply

      I’m kind of surprised to see any mention of Avast after Ghacks posted this article back in February: https://www.ghacks.net/2024/02/26/avast-has-been-fined-by-the-ftc-for-using-its-privacy-software-to-harvest-and-sell-user-data/ … I mean maybe they’re 100% better now but I doubt it.

    2. Anonymous said on June 23, 2024 at 10:17 am
      Reply

      Avast is a privacy disaster.
      Bitdefender is the only alternative.

    3. Chad said on June 22, 2024 at 7:28 am
      Reply

      Yea Eset is good but WFT on the other two.

    4. weHacks said on June 21, 2024 at 11:02 pm
      Reply

      This.

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