What is a Firewall?

 

Regardless of what type of firewall you choose to use, having one on your computer is a really good idea. A firewall helps to prevent computer hackers from accessing your computer through the Internet, and stealing sensitive information or infecting your computer system with some form of computer virus. A hacker can gain access to your system by “back doors” or open ports that connect your computer to the Internet. With a firewall in place these ports are blocked from inbound traffic, effectively closing the door in the hackers face.

Of course, damage can also be done to your computer from outbound traffic as well. Say for instance a hacker was able to slip by you with a Trojan, virus, spyware or phishing scheme that went undetected. The next time you booted up your computer and connected to the Internet, information on your computer could be sent out to the hacker. Many firewalls also block outbound traffic that will help prevent this from happening.

There are basically two ways that Firewalls work. Generally, data that comes in is analyzed by the firewall to determine the IP address it is coming from and the content that it contains. The firewall system then checks to see if this information is compliant with rules that you are able to configure. It can also analyze information at the application level. The firewall program will determine whether or not the application should be able to send or receive data through the port you are connected by.

Firewall programs are extremely important to the protection of not only your computer system, but your personal information as well. Many anti-virus programs come with firewall protection. Firewall protection should be considered an essential part of any computer’s security strategy.

Do need help choosing a firewall for yourself or your company? Call Businets.