What is a Firewall?
A firewall is a set of security programs designed to protect the
resources of a private network from users of other networks, especially the
internet. Firewalls prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network.
They are commonly used in local area networks to limit the exposure to hacker
Hackers and crackers are computer users who try to gain
unauthorized and illegal access to your computers. Their action is often
malicious, they can install an application in your computer, use your computer
to hack another machine, or steal or corrupt your data files including banking
and identity data.
Broadband users are more susceptible to hacker attacks than the
dial-up users. Their internet connection is always on even if they do not open
the email program or web browser. Broadband connection often has a static
IP address with open ports. Hackers who scan for open ports routinely can easily
locate these live computers. Dial-up users have to log in using different IP
addresses, therefore, they are more difficult to track. Home users are
also more vulnerable to hacker attacks as most corporations have already
installed hardware or software firewall.
A personal firewall is a must if you are connected to the
internet frequently and want to protect your system and private data resources from unauthorized intruders.
Antivirus and antispyware programs cannot protect your computer from hacker
attacks like a personal firewall does.
Some common features of a firewall program include:
1). Masks the IP address of your computer, making it invisible
on the internet.
2). Allows you to set program controls, so you can allow or deny
internet access to your programs.
3) Stops programs from reaching the internet without your
4) With the use of ID feature, prevents personal
information from leaving your computer without permission.
5) Blocks pop-up ads and cookies.