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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Basic Function of a Computer Firewall

The word firewall is a very term in the world of computing. It is a part of a security of a computer or network but for today’s topic where going to focus a personal computer firewall. First what is a computer firewall, well it could be a software firewall or hardware firewall, wait a minute here this is getting to deep before we go any further let’s see what a firewall in general do or how does it gets to function. Firewall checks information coming from the Internet or a network and then either turns it away or allows it to pass through to your computer, depending on your firewall settings. In this way, a firewall helps prevent hackers and malicious software from gaining access to your computer. Windows Firewall is built into Windows and is turned on automatically.

The firewall has different settings depending on its work areas. For a firewall of a personal computer the general setting is usually determine by the owner which program is allowed or denied access to computer. Allowing a program to communicate through the firewall, sometimes called unblocking, is when you allow a particular program to send information through the firewall. You can also allow a program to communicate through the firewall by opening one or more ports. If you run a program such as an instant messaging program or a multi-player network game that needs to receive information from the Internet or a network, the firewall asks if you want to block or unblock (allow) the connection. If you choose to unblock the connection, Windows Firewall creates an exception so that the firewall won't bother you when that program needs to receive information in the future.

The recommended general default firewall settings are listed below:

·         The firewall is on.
·         The firewall is on for all network locations (Home or work, Public place, or Domain).
·         The firewall is on for all network connections.
·         The firewall is blocking all inbound connections except those that you specifically allowed.
·         E‑mail viruses

Windows FirewallImage via Wikipedia
The two items listed below are the two most common applications that a computer firewall can prevent from entering your computer. With the help of a properly set firewall the two items below can be prevented from infecting and gaining information from your computer.

E‑mail viruses

E‑mail viruses are attached to e‑mail messages. A firewall can't determine the contents of e‑mail messages, so it can't protect you from these types of viruses. You should use an antivirus program to scan and delete suspicious attachments from an e‑mail message before you open it. Even when you have an antivirus program, you should not open an e‑mail attachment if you're not positive it's safe.

Phishing scams
Phishing is a technique used to trick computer users into revealing personal or financial information, such as a bank account password. A common online phishing scam starts with an e‑mail message that appears to come from a trusted source, but actually directs recipients to provide information to a fraudulent website. Firewalls can't determine the contents of e‑mail messages, so they can't protect you from this type of attack.

Simulação da participação de um Firewall entre...Image via Wikipedia

If I have a router with a built-in firewall, should I also turn on Windows Firewall?

Yes, because router-based firewalls only provide protection from computers on the Internet, not from computers on your home network. For example, if a mobile computer or guest computer connects to some other network, becomes infected with a computer worm, and then connects to your home network; your router-based firewall won't be able to prevent the spread of the worm. However, a firewall running on each computer on your network can help control the spread of worms.

However, running more than one firewall program on your computer at the same time could cause conflicts. It's best to just use one firewall program, in addition to a router-based firewall.

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