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PC Security: Firewalls - Part Two

Everybody needs a firewall, whether they are on a network, or on a single, non-networked home PC. Many individual PC owners mistakenly think that firewalls are only for networked computers, and this is just not the case!

In order to guard against viruses and worms, the access to the Internet must be controlled. The firewall on your computer is what helps you to control this. Firewalls allow you to set your own security level, from high, medium, or low. Based on their settings, and what you have allowed and disallowed in the past, the firewall will close unused ports, and hide open ports from hacker tools.

Fortunately for the average user, firewalls are very easy to configure these days. In fact, the defaults that are used are usually perfect, but if changes are needed, making them is very simple. Firewalls are made up of two main components. The first set operates much like 'company policy.' It allows you to set up a set of rules for specific programs that are used on your computer.

This component is referred to as the application filter. It determines whether or not the programs that you've identified are allowed to use certain ports. For example, an Internet browser uses Port 80, and your firewall should be set to allow a browser to access that port, so that you are able to access the Internet.

The other component controls data and traffic that comes into your computer from outside sources. It does this with the use of a packet filter, which analyzes the data. A packet is essentially a group of data pieces, and these packets must meet the requirements, or comply with the rules that the firewall recognizes. If the packet does not comply with the rules, you are notified, and asked what should be done.

While firewalls offer us a great deal of added protection, it is important to understand that a firewall is not adequate virus protection. Along with the firewall, you need a good virus protection software application. The anti-virus software generally works with the firewall to protect your system.

Remember that viruses can be obtained by means other than open ports on your system. They can come in email attachments, in downloads, and even be uploaded to your computer with a disk. Therefore, along with the firewall and anti-virus protection, you should also have an anti-spyware utility, and of course use caution and common sense when using your computer to access email and the Internet.

  PC Security: Index
  PC Security: Internet Browsers
  PC Security: Spam
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 1
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 2
  PC Security: Spam Scams
  PC Security: Email Security and Spam
  PC Security: Email Security
  PC Security: Computer Viruses
  PC Security: Protecting Computers From Viruses
  PC Security: Worm Viruses
  PC Security: Trojan Horse Viruses
  PC Security: Rootkits
  PC Security: Removing a Virus
  PC Security: Virus Hoaxes
  PC Security: Server Viruses
  PC Security: Home Network
  PC Security: Cell Phone Viruses
  PC Security: Spyware
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 1
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 2
  PC Security: Parental Control Software
  PC Security: Malware - Spyware and Adware
  PC Security: Data Backups
  PC Security: Pop Up Windows
  PC Security: Safe Public Computer Use

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