Does using a VPN protect against malware? Most internet consumers believe that VPN and antivirus perform the same role. They can’t differentiate between various forms of malware.
Worse yet, they end up penetrating the internet unprotected. They better risk their privacy than get more confused with tech terms.
You don’t have to risk your privacy due to a misunderstanding of tech terms. Read between the following lines to get answers to your worries. Ready? Let’s dive right in.
First, you don’t need prior experience with computer science. All you need is a basic understanding of underlying concepts. These are:
What Is Malware?
Malware is the abbreviation of Malicious software. It is a program designed to damage your computer, server, or client. Here’s is more clarification:
A computer is an electronic device you use to access the internet. A set of instructions (program) allows it to communicate with other computers on the internet. The Internet is a network of computers.
For computers to communicate, there must be the data-sending end and the feedback deliverer. In a network, the client is the sender of the request. It is the computer you use to access the internet.
Whenever you type something on your computer’s browser, the request goes to the server. The server (information center) processes your request, then sends you the appropriate response.
The client-server path is the backbone of all privacy issues. Request/response flows in the path as data packets. Hackers tend to target these packets because that’s what most of the sensitive data they need moves.
Alternatively, the hackers may target the files of your computer. This brings us to types of malware.
Common Types of Malware
Depending on the target component or cunning behavior of the malware, the following are the frequently applied malware:
Hackers embed viruses in documents or script files. The viruses dissipate their power when a program launches within the filesystem. Hackers mostly use them to harm computer hardware or steal financial and personal details.
Hackers use this software to overload servers. Payload- code that directs the worm to perform actions- steals personal information or deletes your crucial files.
- Trojan Horses
Here, the hacker uses software that disguises to resemble legitimate files and software. Hence, the hacker tricks you into downloading the malware. After the download, the hacker has full access to your computer’s files. The software can proceed to collect your sensitive information.
- Adware, Spyware, and Ransomware
Adware is disruptive pop-ups injected on your browser. They may contain adverts or code that collects your critical browsing data. The worse form is ransomware.
Here, the hacker silently pushes a software that encrypts your files. You lose control of your device. The hacker can, then, force you to pay them a lump sum amount of money or you lose your files.
Remedy to Malware
To protect yourself from malware:
Clear cache: When you suspect that a malware tracks you, move to settings of your browser and clear all cookies and cache.
A cache is a temporary memory created by your device to hold information on sites your visit. The sites you visit create a temporary memory location on your device for easier identification when you next visit the site.
Uninstall recent downloads: when the malware refuses to leave your computer even after clearing cache, they may be hiding in recent downloads
Use adblockers: Since you now know that adware comes in disruptive adverts, block all ads from accessing your device.
Use anti-malware software: Antivirus could be the last option in your fight against malware.
You may be wondering, “Where and why should I use a VPN?” And this is the most exciting part.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) hides your internet traffic. This allows your computer (client) to access a censored network. To use a VPN, get one of the best free VPN services or dive straight into a premium service.
So, does using a VPN protect against malware? NO. Let me explain.
While malware runs at the device-level, VPN obscures the outer layer of the client-server path. It’s the antivirus that focuses on the filesystem malware nodes, hence able to protect your computer from malware.
What does this imply? You need both a VPN and an antivirus.
Does Using a VPN Protect Against Malware? [Conclusion]
You need to understand the basic structure of the internet to decide on the extent of applying either antivirus or a VPN. With this knowledge, you’ll understand that both an antivirus and a VPN are necessary for your mission to an efficient and secure internet connection.