Antivirus, Anti Malware vs Internet Security – What’s the Difference?

in Online Security

Antivirus, anti-malware and Internet security are terms used interchangeably often, but really, these two are quite different.

For one, a virus is a FORM of malware while malware refers to all malicious software. Now, where does Internet security come in?

In this article, I’ll guide you through the different levels of protection you get from Antivirus, Anti-malware, and Internet Security and the lowdown on all things that will make your internet searches SAFE all the time.

First Things First, What’s the Difference Between Internet Security, Virus and Malware?

Internet Security vs Antivirus vs Malware

Internet Security

Internet security refers to the measures and practices that are put in place to protect computer systems, networks, and information from unauthorized access, theft, damage, or other malicious activities on the internet.

It involves various techniques, including encryption, firewalls, antivirus software, and secure protocols, to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of digital information and resources.


Much like the virus in your body after a bad rainy day, the virus spreads from one computer system to another by duplicating itself and altering the programming of your files.

Note that a virus is a code and are self-replicating at that! Different kinds of computer viruses can impact and cause alarming damage to your PC.


Malware generally refers to any bad software. I’m warning you: these bad boys bring insane harm to your device and even steal information from you!

Alternately, think of malware as an umbrella term that includes Trojans, worms, and yes even viruses under its bubble!

Short summary: what is the difference between internet security, antivirus and malware?
Internet security refers to measures and practices that protect computer systems, networks, and information from online threats. Antivirus is a software tool within internet security that detects, prevents, and removes malware from a computer or network. Malware is any type of software designed to harm, disrupt, or compromise a computer system, network, or device. It is one of the threats that internet security and antivirus software aim to protect against.

Antivirus vs Anti Malware: Are They the Same Thing?

The short answer is NO.

Antivirus is like your general solution to the classic kinds of threats. Quite obviously, antivirus programs target viruses, but they’re not just limited to these!

They’re a good defense against the common kinds of malware and “older” and more “traditional kinds of threats like worms and phishing attacks that you might get from opening suspicious email attachments.

Antimalware, on the other hand, deals with the newer, more dangerous types of threats. Think of this malware protection like your teenage sister always on the lookout for the latest trends.

Anti-malware programs aggressively protect your devices by trying to keep up with the latest threats and rewrites its battle book to know how to effectively combat its enemies on the internet.

While both the antivirus and the antimalware have a specific type of viruses and malware to fight, they both offer some good level of security whenever you surf the net.

How Does Internet Security Play In?

Antivirus software and other security products, such as security software, are essential for protecting IT systems from malware attacks.

Malware programs come in various forms, including malware strains, computer viruses, and malicious software.

The difference between antivirus and antimalware lies in the way they detect and remove viruses and malware.

Antivirus software typically focuses on detecting and removing known viruses, while antimalware uses machine learning and background scanning to detect and remove both known and unknown malware threats.

Security experts recommend using both antivirus and antimalware software for maximum protection against the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape.

Additionally, web browsing habits and malware distribution also play a significant role in determining the effectiveness of antivirus software and other security products.

As the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to have reliable security software in place to protect your IT systems from malware attacks.

Antivirus software and other security products use advanced techniques such as machine learning and background scanning to detect and remove various forms of malware, including viruses, malware strains, and malicious software.

However, it’s important to understand the difference between antivirus and antimalware software, as they each have their own strengths and weaknesses in detecting and removing malware.

Additionally, web browsing habits can play a significant role in preventing malware attacks, and it’s important to stay informed about the latest malware threats and distribution methods.

Consulting with security experts and regularly scanning, detecting, and removing malware from your systems can help keep your organization safe from these ever-present threats.

Internet Security is the general term that describes security software to protect your computer devices from the bad stuff of the internet.

You can even classify antivirus programs under Internet Security.

While you get some form of warning of a threat with an antivirus program, Internet Security software goes the extra mile to block these risky links altogether.

Some protection features found in Internet Security are firewall and anti-spyware.

Internet Security software also makes sure all important data you put on the internet, like passwords and even credit card numbers, are secure!

A difference between antivirus and Internet security programs is the latter can be a bit costlier as compared to your standalone anti-virus programs found on your computer.

But I tell you, the extra security features provided in an internet security suite software WILL GO A LONG LONG WAY to spare you from any heartbreak and headache in the future.

RECAP: Difference Between Antivirus vs Anti-malware vs. Internet Security Software

cyber attacks are growing

When it comes to protecting your IT systems from the ever-changing cyber threat landscape, security software such as antivirus programs and other security products are essential.

These security software programs use machine learning and other advanced technologies to scan, detect, and remove malware threats, including various forms of malware strains, such as viruses and malicious software.

They also offer background scanning and protection to help prevent malware attacks before they occur.

However, it’s important to understand the difference between antivirus and antimalware software, as they each have their own strengths and weaknesses in detecting and removing malware.

By staying aware of web browsing habits and utilizing the expertise of security experts, you can better protect yourself against malware distribution and potential attacks.

Now that I’ve given you a good grasp on the basics of these programs, the key differences you get with each boils down to the level of protection you can have against various threats and different forms of malware.

An Antivirus program gives you the classic protection on your “traditional” kinds of viruses. However, once these viruses become newer and more complex, you will have to turn to Antimalware for better defense.

Antivirus and antimalware both do wonders in giving security to your device and its system.

But if you need the extra safeguarding against INTERNET threats, like maybe a firewall feature, you will need an internet security program.

Some programs, like the McAfee Total Protection, go much further with providing you with a premium security suite that includes comprehensive defence protocols like “cryptocurrency account protection and online backup storage.”

This software can also cover protection for at least 10 users. With this bundle, you can keep a whole household safe already!

Do I Need Both Antivirus and Anti Malware?

It’s generally better to have a layered security system that combats against BOTH your traditional viruses (that’s your antivirus software) and another piece to kill newer types of malware (that’s your antimalware).

Antivirus and antimalware software are both very effective security programs that can heighten your computer protection with the knowledge that threats become more complex and more elaborate each time.

It’s incredible to think that all the differences between antivirus and antimalware software go hand in hand to give your computer the maximum protection it needs.

What Is the Best Antivirus Software?

Good antivirus software should not only have real-time scanning to regularly check the safety of your system but also should have the ability to update its defenses to address the more novel types of viruses and effectively remove it along the way!

The Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is often a top-rated antivirus software that runs very fast scans for your device’s security and also features ransomware protection that.

You can also get the McAfee Antivirus Plus or the Norton Antivirus Plusboth of which provide incredible security against websites that might steal important data like passwords.

What Is the Best Anti Malware Software?

Like the Antivirus, Anti-malware software offers a good amount of defence against the latest type of threats that lurk on the internet.

The Norton 360 Deluxe is a comprehensive program that does not only provides security against suspicious links but also has malware removal tools to keep your device secure.

In the same way, other reliable software like the Bitdefender Total Security and Malwarebytes Free process fast scanning in order to eliminate the nasty malware from your devices.

Questions & Answers

Wrap Up

The importance of having reliable antivirus software and security products cannot be overstated in today’s increasingly connected world.

The threat of malware and malicious attacks is always present, and it is critical to have effective malware detection and removal mechanisms in place.

There are various forms of malware, including viruses, worms, trojans, and ransomware, among others, each with its own unique characteristics and attack methods.

The use of background scanning, machine learning, and other advanced techniques can help in identifying and preventing malware threats.

It is also crucial to understand the difference between antivirus and antimalware software programs and how they complement each other in protecting IT systems.

By staying informed and adopting safe web browsing habits, we can minimize the risk of falling victim to malware distribution and cyber threats.

Consulting with security experts can also provide valuable insights into the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape and the best practices for securing our digital assets.

The internet is a wonderful place, but an incredible amount of danger lingers around.

It’s always best to come equipped with a security suite that protects you from different forms of malware attacks and the age-old computer virus.

I hope this short read has helped you decide the kind of protection you need for your devices.

Save yourself from future headaches and arm yourself with protection TODAY!


About Author

Matt Ahlgren

Mathias Ahlgren is the CEO and founder of Website Rating, steering a global team of editors and writers. He holds a master's in information science and management. His career pivoted to SEO after early web development experiences during university. With over 15 years in SEO, digital marketing, and web developmens. His focus also includes website security, evidenced by a certificate in Cyber Security. This diverse expertise underpins his leadership at Website Rating.

WSR Team

The "WSR Team" is the collective group of expert editors and writers specializing in technology, internet security, digital marketing, and web development. Passionate about the digital realm, they produce well-researched, insightful, and accessible content. Their commitment to accuracy and clarity makes Website Rating a trusted resource for staying informed in the dynamic digital world.

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