Antivirus vs. VPN: Do you need both for online privacy and security?

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You probably know by now that bad guys lurk within every corner of the internet. You have to watch out for spyware, ransomware, phishing attacks, IoT invasions and more. Oh, and don’t forget the super scary “zero-click attacks,” which hit the headlines recently. Basically, reachers discovered hackers used military-grade spyware to remotely access iPhones and even replicate their data.

Normally you can avoid this type of malware by just not clicking on suspicious text messages. Zero-click attacks are a frightening game-changer because they can infiltrate your device … even if you don’t interact with the text. Tap or click here for the full story — along with a few secure messaging options you can use to stay safe.

With all of these cyber threats prowling the internet, you’ll want to stay as safe as possible. Luckily, you can use a ton of tools for self-protection, like antivirus software and a VPN. If you’re not sure what these are — or how they’re different — here’s everything you need to know.

What to know about antivirus software

Every cybersecurity defense strategy needs this. Having antivirus software is like hiring a 24/7 bodyguard. It’s always scanning your device for danger, which is super useful when you remember that new code flows to your processor every time you open an email, website or app.

Of course, not all code is helpful. A ton of it is infested with malware that could introduce a boatload of problems to your device. Once you’re infected, you’re toast.

With antivirus software, though, you don’t have to worry about these worst-case scenarios. When it recognizes suspicious code, it automatically removes the threat and keeps your device safe.

Basically, it’s an essential part of your digital security system. By preemptively spotting threats, it kicks away dangerous code and constantly protects your processor. It works in the background to keep you safe. If you don’t have one, you definitely need to get one before it’s too…