In order to maintain safety when browsing the Internet, it is important to have certain programs and services. However, not all of them act the same. Sometimes we can think that a specific application can free us from some attacks, when its mission is different, even if it is related to security. In this article we talk about why a VPN cannot replace an antivirus, nor prevent certain computer attacks.
VPNs Help Security, But They Don’t Prevent Many Attacks
We can think that VPNs are very useful for protect connection and avoid problems. The truth is that yes, it is so. They are essential to be able to navigate public Wi-Fi networks and prevent personal information from being leaked or having problems with data theft. But if we go further, if we think about the general protection of a computer, the truth is that it is not the best application.
We can say that an antivirus is always going to be essential, regardless of whether or not we use VPN. Both programs can complement each other and one does not eliminate the need for the other. In fact, a VPN is not going to prevent us from downloading malware or that we are the victim of a Phishing attack.
Let’s take the example that we are browsing a unsafe website, where there is a file that is actually a virus lodged. The VPN is not going to alert us to this, nor is it going to analyze that file once we download it. On the other hand, an antivirus does do all this and it is really useful to prevent and to eliminate in case we have already downloaded it.
Nor will it stop a Phishing attack. Even if we surf through a VPN, we can always end up on a fake web page where we are going to log in and our data ends up on a server controlled by an attacker. This will occur regardless of whether or not we use this type of software.
What does a VPN provide for security?
So what does a VPN really do for security? It is very useful for encrypt the connection and prevent personal data from being exposed. When we navigate through open networks, public places such as a library or a shopping center, we do not really know who may be behind it and with what intentions. This type of program helps preserve data.
It will also allow let’s hide the IP address and our location. This can be another reason for security, especially when entering some pages that may be insecure and could use that type of information that is displayed against us.
Therefore, a VPN does also contribute in security. Of course, it does not fulfill the functions that some users may believe, such as serving as a substitute for antivirus or preventing Phishing attacks and other similar ones that may occur when surfing the net.
In short, it is very interesting to have a VPN and we should install a program of this type whenever we connect to public networks. However, we must also be aware that they will not be a substitute for antivirus, nor will it prevent certain computer attacks.