Is Kaspersky Safe?

Kasperky’s ties to its Russian-based parent company are the reason it’s being banned in the United States. Why is it such a big deal, and what steps can you take next?
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Unfortunately, no, Kaspersky isn’t safe. In 2017, Kaspersky was named a national security threat. It was banned from government agencies and businesses working with government agencies due to the possibility of it being a national security threat.

As of September 2024, Kaspersky will be banned from use by the general public. This decision was made after repeated evaluations of the product, and the Russian government’s oversight tactics proved that using the software was too risky. However, Kaspersky maintains it’s safe to use.

We’ll detail why Kaspersky isn’t safe to use and recommend the best antivirus alternatives to keep your device and data safe.

In this article
Is Kaspersky safe to use?
Can I trust Kaspersky?
Best Kaspersky alternatives
Bottom line

Is Kaspersky safe to use?

Kaspersky has yet to directly violate the privacy of its users. However, Russian data policies allow the government to perform regularly scheduled and unscheduled audits of the product.

Russia can also evaluate Kaspersky’s business practices at any time. Because of the volatile nature of the Russian government, it feels like too big a risk to take to continue to use a replaceable piece of software.

Since being deemed a threat, Kaspersky has vehemently argued that it doesn’t engage in activities that put American security at risk.

Still, the U.S. is not the first country to ban the software due to its Russian ties. Canada and Lithuania have banned the software as well, and other countries have at least warned against using Kaspersky.

Why was Kaspersky banned in the US?

The Biden administration is piggybacking off a Trump-era federal agency ban on Kaspersky. The administration claims that Kaspersky’s access to American data, coupled with Russia’s questionable legality, led to a vote of no confidence in the software.

To be fair, an antivirus provider does have access to your device and, by extension, your network’s most vulnerable parts.

This is the basis of the ban — that it could happen, and it would be too easy to infect Americans with malware, including spyware, if the government or any anti-American bad actor wanted to unleash something malicious.

Can I trust Kaspersky?

When we tested Kaspersky, a giant red flag made us not even want to continue the testing. Kaspersky lays out very clearly in its data handling policies that it’s subject to the “laws of several jurisdictions” when it comes to data sharing. This was the kind of red flag that, if we were consumers, would have made us shut it all down and ask for a refund.

Kaspersky's statements about how they handle data made us wary since it could be handed over to the government.

Some people don’t believe there’s an issue with Kaspersky and argue online about it all day. We don’t take that viewpoint. Given the concerns over its ties to Russia, the ferocity of the Russian government in exacting its will over its domain (including Russian businesses), and Kaspersky’s own statements, we don’t think Kaspersky is trustworthy.

Best Kaspersky alternatives

You’ll need to replace your Kaspersky antivirus software with something that will continue to give you regular security updates as well as top-tier protection. We’ve chosen some of the best antivirus options available that are great replacements for Kaspersky.

Norton has similar features, AVG’s free tier is comparable to Kaspersky’s, and Surfshark One includes unique extras like CleanWeb that may have you wishing you’d switched years ago.

Starting price $29.99/yr (first year only) $46.68/yr (first year only) for 1 device $2.69/mo (billed biennially)
Free version
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Learn more Get Norton

Read Norton Review


Read AVG Review

Get Surfshark One

Read Surfshark One Review



What is the risk of using Kaspersky?

We feel that the biggest risk of using Kaspersky is the uncertainty of potential hacker behavior from an entity you’re supposed to trust.

Kaspersky is actually really good software when it comes to stopping malware and viruses, but it comes with national security risks because of its ties to Russia. The Russian government isn’t really known for being respectful of peoples’ privacy, and the country’s data management laws don’t instill confidence.


Is Kaspersky still a Russian company?

Kaspersky is a subsidiary of a Russian-based parent company. This is why the antivirus provider vehemently denies any wrongdoing or data sharing.

Unfortunately, because of its ties to Russia and even the language in its own privacy policies, it can’t completely divest itself from its parent country.


Should we stop using Kaspersky?

Yes, you should take the time to shop for a new antivirus, as Kaspersky will stop being available for sale in the U.S. or for updates as of September 2024. While your current Kaspersky software will continue to run, you won’t have access to security upgrades or patches, which will leave you vulnerable to new and emerging threats.

Replacing Kaspersky with any other antivirus, like our recommended alternatives, will ensure you continue to have the most up-to-date protection.

Bottom line

Kaspersky has already been banned at the federal level and will now be banned at the consumer level as well. If you want to ensure the most up-to-date protection, you’ll need to make the switch. There are plenty of non-controversial antivirus programs available that may even work out better for you than Kaspersky.

No matter what, your security is the most important thing. Kaspersky isn’t irreplaceable, so make the jump to the next best thing. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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Author Details
Mary is a seasoned cybersecurity writer with over seven years of experience. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University, she educates audiences on scams, antivirus software, and more. Her passion lies in educating audiences on helpful ways to protect their data.