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US Bans Kaspersky Software: What You Need to Know 

Microsoft Defender overlaying the Kaspersky logo.

In a significant move to protect national security and personal privacy, the US government has announced a total ban on the use of Kaspersky, a Russian-backed cybersecurity software. Kaspersky’s software is widely used for antivirus protection, but its ties to Russia have raised concerns about data security.  

Here’s what you need to know about the ban: 

Switch to an Alternate Solution 

If you are using Kaspersky on your university-owned or grant-funded computer, you should switch to Microsoft Defender right away (requires login to the UTK OIT Employee Hub). Microsoft Defender works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. If you need help installing Defender on your university computers, please reach out to the OIT HelpDesk.  

If you are using Kaspersky as your antivirus solution on your personal computers, OIT strongly recommends removing this software and installing an alternative as soon as possible.   

Access to Data: 

The US has been cautious about Kaspersky since 2017 because the Russian government may influence the company. Russian laws let their government look into Kaspersky’s systems, which means they could get and use people’s personal information, like passwords and financial details, in ways we don’t want. 

Full Prohibition: 

To keep Americans safe, the Commerce Department won’t allow new deals with Kaspersky after July 20, 2024. Also, Kaspersky software won’t get updates after September 29, 2024, which means it won’t protect against new threats. This ban affects everyone, including anyone using it on their personal machines. 

Stay Safe 

Your device’s safety and your personal information are very important. Keep up-to-date and make smart choices about your cybersecurity. If you’re using Kaspersky, now is the time to look at other options to keep your digital life secure.