A firewall is a system or gateway that prevents unauthorized
access to your computer or private network. It is usually the
first line of defense in protecting your private information or
data. A good firewall will help protect you from malicious
attacks of spyware, adware, malware, worms, trojans, and hackers.
Firewalls are security mechanisms that control who can access
and send data thru your network or computer. They can be applied
to both hardware and software on your computer; many systems use
a combination of each for greater protection. All data or
messages entering or leaving your computer has to pass thru the
firewall, which checks all messages and blocks those that don’t
meet your specified security criteria or rules.
To put it in simple terms: think of a firewall as a security
guard or a security scanner for your computer or network.
Anything going in or out must be checked thru this system and
must obey your rules!
Of course, this is just a simple explanation, firewalls can be
very complex; consisting of a whole combination of techniques
that can be used in concert depending on the level of security
you wish to achieve.
These firewall techniques may include:
Application gateway — places security mechanisms on specific
applications (FTP, Telnet, etc.)
Packet filters — examines each packet using your computer and
accepts or rejects according to your rules
Circuit-level gateway — security measures for such connections
as TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) or UDP (User Datagram
Proxy server — all messages entering or leaving your network
must go thru this proxy server, effective for hiding your true
network or computer address
Also, for greater security, many networks use encrypted data.
If you are operating a computer or a server, putting up
firewalls will provide protection for your data and information
that’s passed along your network. If you regularly surf the
Internet, placing a firewall on your own personal computer is a
must. There is no reason not to have a firewall in place, you
can download a free firewall from www.zonealarm.com for your own
Keep in mind, no system is foolproof; any computer or network
hooked up to the Internet can be hacked! Therefore, most people
in the know, always keep a back-up of their important
data/information on a secure off-line source: floppy disks, CDs,
or on a computer that’s not connected to the Internet. Do daily
or weekly back-ups to make sure your data and programs are safe.
Still, a good firewall will go a long way in protecting yourself
from any unauthorized access to your computer. With the
occurrences of spyware, adware, and other more invasive scumware
increasing daily; putting up a firewall and protecting yourself
should be your first line of defense against such unwanted and
rude visitors. Nuke them at the gate and save yourself from some
Put that firewall up right now!