Eugene Kaspersky: “Stop Trusting Everyone on the Internet” Already

The Russian cybersecurity billionaire doles out some advice. 

Flickr / visually_conscious

Global cybersecurity expert Eugene Kaspersky held an AMA on Reddit Thursday morning, and when asked about his advice on what the average internet user could do to improve their digital security, he had an incredibly simple, one-sentence response: “Stop trusting everyone on the internet.”

Kaspersky is a controversial name in the cybersecurity realm. For instance, he’s been accused of colluding with the Russian government in ways to falsely bolster the country’s cyber-espionage specter — and that’s just one nefarious deed he’s been accused of.

But there is very little argument about how influential or important he is. National Intelligence agencies, private companies, and even video game players can all point to the Russian billionaire’s cybersecurity and anti-virus company, Kaspersky Lab, as having played some role or another in identifying threats to their systems and working to find solutions to prevent hackers from getting into vulnerable systems. Kaspersky is certainly someone to go to learn more about cybersecurity — even if it’s sometimes a bit reductive.

So naturally, Redditors were anxious to ask Kaspersky all sorts of questions. One user managed to get three in, which prompted Kaspersky’s single line answer to what someone could do to protect themselves online.

And it’s good advice! After last week’s Google Docs phishing scam took the internet by storm, the single best thing people can do moving forward is to be more vigilant about what they click on.

The same Redditor also asked Kaspersky: “If you were a person of interest in the murder of your neighbor in a tiny Central American country, what would your strategy be for clearing your name? (asking for a friend).” This is almost assuredly in reference to cybersecurity czar John McAfee and his legal troubles.

Kaspersky’s response was short and sweet: “I will recommend not to be in such a situation. But if you are in it I think the best strategy is to answer allegations face to face, not to hide from them. And call a lawyer.”