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Kaspersky Lab, one of the leading providers of antivirus software, announced on Tuesday that it plans to offer a computer-protecting service for free.
The service, Kaspersky Free, includes antivirus scanning and protection for your files, emails, and web usage, as well as automatic updates and a quarantine service to safely contain malicious computer bugs.
Usually, certain features that are key for effective protection, like automatic updates, don’t come with free antivirus services. But Kaspersky Free still isn’t the full-fat service you’d get with the paid service, which costs $50 a year for a single device. Missing in Kaspersky Free are features like a virtual private network to protect your privacy, extra security for online shopping and financial transactions, and parental controls.
Still, Kaspersky Free seemingly provides the protection most people need to protect themselves from cyberthreats. And it won’t come with ads, which you’ll often find on free antivirus software.
Kaspersky Lab said it would roll out Kaspersky Free globally over four months, with the US being one of the first countries to receive it.
It’s incredibly important to have security against malicious attacks on your computer, as threats come hand in hand with owning a computer connected to the internet.
Kaspersky’s move comes amid increasing scrutiny of its software and its base in Russia. The US government recently removed the company from its list of approved vendors because of a vulnerability in Kaspersky’s antivirus software that could provide the Russian government access to US government systems that use the software, The Washington Post reported. According to The Post, Kaspersky has “strongly denied” any ties with the Russian government, and it has offered to cooperate with federal investigations.
It’s not clear whether US government systems run Kaspersky’s standard, commercially available software, or whether they use specialized versions of the software designed for official use.