How A Personal Firewall Helps To Protect Your Home Computer From Hackers

How A Personal Firewall Helps To Protect Your Home Computer From Hackers



How a​ Personal Firewall Helps to​ Protect Your Home Computer From Hackers
There are two types of​ firewall available to​ the​ home computer user .​
a​ hardware firewall is​ a​ device which sits between your computer and the​ internet .​
At home for example it​ could reside on​ a​ broadband router which is​ used to​ share your internet connection with a​ number of​ computers .​
One of​ the​ advantages of​ a​ hardware firewall is​ that it​ can be used to​ protect more than one computer at​ a​ time .​
For this reason hardware firewalls are deployed in​ corporate networks .​
For home users who own just one computer a​ personal firewall is​ more commonly used and more cost effective.
A personal firewall is​ a​ software application that monitors and can block the​ flow of​ data between the​ internet and your computer .​
The firewall is​ a​ key part of​ your computer security set up .​
It prevents hackers from gaining access to​ your computer using an​ internet connection.
Hackers gain access to​ your computer through open ports that are used by your computer to​ communicate with the​ internet .​
The most basic firewall programs,​ like Windows XP's firewall,​ monitor and can block inbound traffic by closing these ports .​
If theses ports are closed a​ hacker cannot access your computer directly via the​ internet.
More advanced firewall programs like products from ZoneLabs or​ Symantec also monitor and can block outbound traffic .​
This extra level of​ security is​ important and is​ worth investing in​ .​
For example,​ if​ malicious software like a​ Trojan Virus or​ spyware were installed on​ your computer without your knowledge the​ firewall would alert the​ user when it​ tried to​ connect to​ the​ internet and prevent it​ communicating with its host.
A firewall usually works at​ two basic levels .​
Firstly,​ packets of​ data are analysed based upon IP address and content to​ see whether they comply with a​ set of​ rules which a​ user can input to​ .​
The second level the​ data is​ analysed is​ at​ the​ application level .​
the​ firewall determines whether an​ application can send and/or receive data and the​ port which it​ should be communicating through.
The firewall learns through continuous interaction with the​ user .​
It seeks user approval from programs when they first come in​ to​ contact with the​ firewall .​
Most firewalls also allow the​ user to​ allow or​ block applications through a​ stored list of​ program which can be accessed through the​ firewall’s user interface.
There are a​ number of​ sites which will help test your firewall’s effectiveness .​
a​ number of​ these sites are run by security software vendors so it​ is​ recommended you test using an​ independently run site to​ double-check any results .​
One of​ the​ best independent test sites is​ run by the​ Gibson Research Corporation .​
They offer a​ free test called Shield Up! which can be found at​ their website - www.grc.com .​
The test checks a​ number of​ well-know and vulnerable ports on​ your computer and then provides some useful additional information to​ help improve your security while online.
It is​ important to​ remember that the​ firewall is​ only part of​ your computer security and does not negate the​ need for a​ good anti virus solution,​ a​ spyware removal tool and a​ degree of​ caution / common on​ sense on​ the​ type of​ websites a​ user visits .​
For example,​ the​ firewall will not scan for viruses or​ remove them from your computer.




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