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Security & privacy

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

Presented by ExpressVPN

Presented by ExpressVPN

Protect your privacy. Get three months free when you sign up for one year at

You probably know 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 “zero-click attacks.” Researchers recently discovered hackers used military-grade spyware to remotely access iPhones and even replicate their data.

Usually, you can avoid this type of malware by just not clicking on suspicious text messages. Zero-click attacks are frightening because they can infiltrate your device … even if you don’t interact with the text. Tap or click here for the full story.

With these threats prowling the internet, you’ll want to stay as safe as possible. Luckily, you can use many 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 constantly scanning your device for danger, which is helpful 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.

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

It’s an essential part of your digital security system. 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 need to get one before it’s too late.

We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. We love it because you’re getting even more than antivirus protection; you’re getting the whole package. TotalAV offers a security suite that protects your computer and smartphone from today’s threats.

With Kim’s special link, you can get an entire year of coverage for just $19. That’s 85% off the regular price. You can’t beat that.

How a VPN is different

Short for “virtual private network,” a VPN is a secure bridge between your activity and the worldwide web. Its primary function is to protect your online traffic, so creepy snoops can’t watch what you’re doing. Anyone can see what you’re doing when you browse without any protection.

So when you’re looking up something embarrassing like “What does the mole on my lower back mean?” or “How to clean up spilled milk,” someone else now knows what you’re doing. (Those were some harmless examples. We’re willing to bet you’ve looked up weirder stuff than that … and we don’t judge you whatsoever.)

The bottom line is that a VPN redirects your online traffic to another source, so when someone tries to see what’s going on, they’re redirected. Just like that, your privacy’s protected! Tap or click here for our easy guide on what they are, how they work and how much safer you’ll be while browsing the web.

You could also think of a VPN as a digital raincoat. If you stroll out into the stormy internet, you’re bound to get soaking wet. But with a VPN, there’s more of a barrier between you and the countless instructions you’ll encounter.

On a more technical note, a VPN hides your IP address and location. It also encrypts your data. Overall, VPNs keep your online activity private; they can even open up access to sites and services that may be restricted in certain areas.

There’s no better option than our sponsor, ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest and the best in the business. With Kim’s link, you can get an extra three months free when you pay for a year. That’s a great deal.

Simply put, a VPN protects your privacy, while antivirus software keeps you secure

Antivirus software protects you from all the threats to your computer’s hardware. A VPN protects you from invasive surveillance. For example, you probably know how Big Tech companies make a mountain of cash by collecting your internet traffic and selling it to third-party advertisers.

Browsing with a VPN is a way of saying, “Not on my watch. I’m not your cash cow.” Using antivirus software sends a clear message: “Watch out, hackers. I’m protecting my devices from all your break-in attempts.”

Now that you know exactly how each program works, we recommend checking out our sponsors, TotalAV and ExpressVPN. With these two professional programs pulling double duty to protect you from different threats, you can browse without worrying.

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