Due to the Ukraine war and the associated risk of cyber attacks in Germany, the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is now warning against the use of virus protection software from the Russian manufacturer Kaspersky.
According to the BSI, anyone who has installed software from Kaspersky should replace it with alternative products. Fortunately, Microsoft has already integrated a protection program with Defender. But is that enough?
Windows Defender not the best choice
Windows’ built-in virus scanner Defender provides reasonable protection, but there is a better way. For example, with one of the many free protection programs that work reliably. This is the conclusion reached by Stiftung Warentest in a comparison of 20 paid and free virus scanners (“test” issue 3/22).
The best free virus scanner in the test was Kaspersky Security Cloud Free. It came in third overall and, with an overall score of 1.6, was only a tenth worse than the paid test winner from the same company for 40 euros a year. But there are alternatives.
Virus scanners you should use instead of Kaspersky
Also scoring “good” (overall score of 2.0) in the test were the three next-place free solutions, Avast Free Antivirus, AVG Antivirus Free and Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (no longer available). Windows Defender is the worst protection program in the comparison, but still satisfactory (overall score 3.1).
Also interesting: Do virus scanners make the laptop slow?
Kaspersky fights back
Kaspersky, meanwhile, stressed in a statement that as a private company it has “no ties to the Russian or any other government.” It said it had moved its data-processing infrastructure to Switzerland: “We assure our partners and customers of the quality and integrity of our products and will work with the BSI to clarify the decision and address any concerns raised by the BSI or other regulators.”