Firewalls are software programs for your computer that are comparable to exterior doors to your house or apartment since they keep potential intruders out. What is a thief strolled past that open door, when no one was home, and robbed you of anything of value including personal information? That is probably the time you’d kick yourself for not having a door! A firewall is the “door” to that offers computer internet security and if you don’t have one, well, enjoy your time with your computer because it won’t last long. According to AOL, the average computer that connects to the internet using DSL has a lifespan of two-weeks unless firewall and virus protection are used.
Imagine if your house didn’t have doors and instead of checking each home on foot, a thief could just send out a signal worldwide that would list the addresses of houses without doors that could easily be robbed. On the Internet hackers use malicious code such as viruses to go forth and find vulnerable computers, except instead of reporting back to the creator about people with no computer internet security, the viruses can attack on the spot! With a firewall, your computer will not be detected by viruses. Many people without protection have a false sense of security and think it is too much work for a hacker to figure they are personally not using a firewall, when in fact it is quite easy as you’ve just seen. To see well your computer would hold up to an attack perform a free internet security test (perfectly harmless) at AuditMyPC.com.
Some of the actions taken by viruses, spyware, malware and adware are meant to annoy you by changing your browser settings or adding a new toolbar. Without the computer internet security offered by a firewall you could also encounter malicious programs that delete files, steal personal information or destroy computers. If you currently do not have a firewall and need free internet security to get you buy, check out CyberGuard which will rid your computer of adware.
The type of firewall you use depends on how many computers are in your household and which operating system are used(Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.) Windows users will want to upgrade their system to Windows XP which comes with a firewall that is turned on by default. If you are already running XP you have the firewall, but make sure to install the Service Pack 2 which offers solid computer internet security and can be found at Microsoft’s update site. If you are running Windows 98 or 2000 and would rather not upgrade to XP you can install a software firewall on each computer you have. If you are unsure which version you have go to <start> and then click <run> then type in winver and click <ok>. This will tell you what version you are running and will let XP users know if Service Pack 2 is installed. Computer upgrades are recommended for those using outdated systems and by doing so you’ll also receive the latest firewall protection. Mac users can either purchase firewall software such as DoorStop, or upgrade to Mac OS X which has a built-in firewall.