Why You Need To Know About Internet Firewalls

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by Barbara J. Feldman on September 25, 2007

Have you ever sent a message to someone over the Internet that you would prefer no one but you and the person you sent it to, to see? Do you do your banking online or have you ever made a purchase from a website? If you have done any of these things even once, then you should be interested in firewall protection. If you are regularly online or do business online you really are putting yourself in serious danger if you do not take the precautions necessary to make sure that you have a working firewall on your computer.

You need to know about firewalls in order to protect all of your electronic data. Firewalls protect you from the prying eyes of those who would try to hack into your system or otherwise monitor your activity in order to take advantage of you. Did you know that a hacker could be slowly tearing down your system at this very moment without you knowing it? If you have not installed security features on your computer this scenario can be a very real fear.

Perhaps you have a firewall but are not sure what exactly it is protecting you from. Every day hackers are learning new tricks and getting better at learning how to bypass security systems and make their presence in seemingly harmless content practically invisible. Firewalls are able to see through most of these hacking tactics to protect you from such things as remote log-in and control, viruses and bugs, and tainted e-mail messages.

Firewalls are meant to protect one of your most valuable possessions, your identity. Without a firewall hackers can hack into your system and operate your programs remotely from another location. This means that a hacker can use your identity to make decisions in your name. This means using your accounts (both financial and otherwise) and possessing sensitive information without your knowledge.

Firewalls also help to protect your computer and your identity from viruses and other bugs that can be contracted through opening spam mail or from unprotected downloads. While some viruses are intended to weaken your security system, other viruses are meant to destroy your system all together. Obviously you want to avoid either scenario from becoming a reality.

An Internet firewall not only protects you from identity theft and threats to the operation of your computer, but firewalls can also protect you from factors that just cause a lot of grief to Internet users. For example, some hackers find pleasure in sending what are called e-mail bombs. E-mail bombs are not necessarily intended to implant a virus into your computer. Rather they are intended to bombard your inbox with so many messages that you are unable to use your e-mail account.

If you have firewall security in place, make sure that you know how to adjust the setting on your individual control panel. Keep in mind that for maximum Firewall protection you would have to block out all Internet sites as no site is ever 100% safe from hackers, viruses and other bugs. Obviously there is no point to even having the Internet if you are just going to block every site. Therefore, a better idea is to indicate in your settings which specific websites you trust as safe. You can add to this list as you visit different websites. Although this method takes a great deal of work some people would rather be safe than sorry. Newer downloads of Internet protection warn the user when they are about to do something that could compromise the safety of their computer system. Opening e-mails from unknown senders and downloading new software from the Internet are two actions that send up red flags in most security systems.


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