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For example: "I'm trying to protect myself from the brainwashing aliens."

My idea is that against seems like a stronger word to me. Making the item or topic at hand seem more... how should I say... of a negative thing? Not clear. But I also know it's more common for people to say, for example "I'm trying to protect myself from you/the aliens."

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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It depends on whether or not there is an object. So in this case: "I'm trying to protect myself from the brainwashing aliens." the object would be myself. This usage is correct.

[WITH OBJECT] ‘he tried to protect Kelly from the attack’
[no object] ‘use a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB’
Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/protect

For example, you could say:

(a) ‘use a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB’
(b) ‘use a sunscreen that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB’

In (a) there is no object, but in (b) the object is your skin.

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