Computers are an important part of many people’s lives. They affect personal and business matters in a multitude of ways. Often times, your most personal information is stored on your computers. When people use computers, they open themselves up to the risks of having their information tampered with or stolen. This is why setting up proper protection is one of the best things that you can do for your computer and yourself.
One of the most fundamental ways to protect your computer is to use a firewall. A computer firewall acts as a protective barrier to keep harmful items away from your computer. It is a program that filters information that is coming from the internet to your computer. If the firewall believes that something has the potential to be harmful to your computer, it will block it from accessing it. Firewalls are used on personal and business levels.
There are four types of firewalls that are typically put into place. The first one is a packet filter. Packets are small chunks of data, and they are filtered by this particular firewall according to the specifications that were set-up by the user. Packets that make it through the filter must be granted permission to enter the computer by the user. The ones that do not make it through are discarded.
The next type of firewall application is a circuit-level gateway. This firewall applies protection mechanisms at the time of connection. Packets are then allowed to move without further information.
A proxy-server retrieves information from the internet and sends it to the requesting service. It looks at all messages that travel by the network, as well as hides the address of the network.
A newer type of firewall is a stateful inspection. It does not examine every part of a packet, but sends the most important parts to a database of trusted information. Information that is requesting to enter the firewall is compared to defining characteristics of information that is sent from inside the firewall. If the outgoing and incoming information is compatible, then incoming information is allowed to enter. If it is not, then the information is discarded.
Firewalls are completely customizable. When you set them up, you have the ability to block certain IP addresses, domain names, ports, protocols, or specific words and phrases. This is primarily done in companies that desire to restrict the internet access given to their employees. Parents with small children may also desire to filter the information their kids are able to access. Most operating systems come with a built-in firewall. Users with internet connections also have the ability to install firewall software on their computers. There is also firewall hardware. You can connect your computer to the firewall hardware, and then connect the firewall hardware to either a cable or DSL modem. Firewall hardware is extremely secure and can be relatively inexpensive.
There are many firewall options to choose from. You can set them up in whatever way you want. The higher you set the security standards, the greater ability you have to protect yourself from outside threats. The highest level of security will block everything, but you have the ability to manually select the information you trust. Sometimes, it is better to be safe than sorry.