Protect from and protect against

Ex. 1 The cover protects the machine from dust.
Ex. 2 Waxing your car will help protect against rust.

I noticed the prepositions, from or against, go after the verb protect.
But I can’t find the difference between them. I think using from and against are quite similar. Are they interchangeable in the two sentences?
Thank you!!!

There is little or no difference.

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So, “Physical exercise can protect you against heart disease” and “Physical exercise can protect you from heart disease” are the same, right?!

Maybe not exactly the same. I don’t know if this is a rule, but in all the examples I can think of, “protect from” is used when there is a direct object: “Eating this will protect you from heart disease”
And “protect against” is used without a direct object:: “Eating this will protect against heart disease.”
Do you see the difference? Again, I do not know if this is a rule of any kind, but this sounds like how I would use each of the two prepositions. “Protect you against” sounds very slightly odd, though it’s probably okay.


Yes, I saw the difference. Thank you so much for pointing it out.