When it comes to online protection, there is a lot of confusion. Between VPNs, two-factor authentication, antivirus software, and firewalls, there are so many ways to protect yourself that it can be difficult to keep track of them all.

One big mistake people make is buying a favor and wiping their hands. They will think, “Well, I got this high-rated program, so I’m completely safe!” Unfortunately, that’s not enough.

If you really want to protect your widgets, you will need to understand the programs you use. Firewalls and antivirus programs are incredibly useful, but they are often confused with each other. People may use one and think they don’t need the other, which weakens overall security. Thanks to our sponsor, TotalAVwe have created a guide for these two safety tools: what they are, how they are different and how they can help you.

What is a firewall?

If you’re not quite sure what a firewall is, think of it as a modern version of a medieval goalkeeper. Hundreds of years ago, guardsmen in armor stood at the front gate of their city, watching closely all the merchants who imported their goods for trade. Your firewall is a digital guard that monitors the flow of data to and from your system.

Just as armored guards would stop suspicious visitors, so your firewall blocks suspicious data from entering your system. A firewall is a protective barrier that separates your devices from the dangers of the Internet.

But it’s not like antivirus software that neutralizes malware on your phone or computer. It will also not scan for files; it’s just a fuse that checks the flow of data on the network and makes sure it’s safe before it enters your device.

Guardians are helpful, of course, but they can’t fix or catch every problem. You will need antivirus software for this.

What is antivirus software?

This is a critical asset in your safety toolbox. Antivirus software runs in the background to protect you when you surf the web. It is designed to proactively search for and eliminate digital threats, such as malware, Trojans and more.

Antivirus software is an essential part of your digital security system. If you don’t have it, a virus can only enter your machine after a bad click or download.

This is because digital threats are ubiquitous; you will even find them on children’s sites. Unfortunately, even websites that seem to be run by the government are not always safe. Criminals create copy sites that look like a real deal to reduce your vigilance.

Bottom line: Viruses are everywhere. Scammers work incredibly hard to invade your devices. That’s why you need antivirus software to do the hard work.

Do you need both?

Yes. Although both programs are useful, they do not perform the same tasks. You will want as much protection as possible, so you need to strengthen your security measures and use both.

Remember: Antivirus software runs in the background to protect your devices. Firewalls are like guards watching for dangerous data that enters. When both work together, cybercriminals have a hard time invading your digital life.

When it comes to online safety, one option stands above the rest.

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Best of all, you can protect up to five devices with one account. Works with your Windows computer, Mac computer, iPhone and Android smartphones.

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Firewall vs. antivirus: What’s the difference and do you need both?

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