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A firewall utility program is a program, which acts like a gatekeeper. It tells you if another computer on the Internet is trying to access your computer as well as if you are trying to access another computer on the Internet. You set the rules of which computer can come in and where you can go on the Internet.

Once you are connected to the Internet, you have created an opening that a hacker can use to get into your computer system. Now many of you are saying that you really don't have anything stored on my computer that anybody would be interested in such as top-secret government or work files.

You have a computer with resources such as memory and hard drives and processing chips that a hacker can use with either his own computer or a whole bunch of other unsuspecting users who are connected to the Internet at the same time. With the combined resources, a hacker may have enough resources to develop some heavy-duty programs that could bring down the defense computer system in Washington DC as an example.

Many of us have stored also somewhere in our files, information about our identity which could be used if someone needed information for a phony address, phone number, credit card info, etc. Also if you do not shred your garbage, a lot of this information are on bills and checking accounts statements which are thrown away. This identity crime is made a lot easier with ways to find information on a person with having just one piece of information, and searching for the rest of the details on the Internet.

So you see, it is important for you to be using some sort of firewall utility program . This normally is not included in your computer unless your operating system is Windows XP. Windows XP's firewall utility program has limited capabilities that will prevent others on the Internet from accessing your computer while connected to the Internet but not controlling connections from your system to the Internet.

There is a free firewall utility program that is available to download from the Internet that controls both incoming and outgoing connections. Below is the web address for this program - Zone Alarm. Of course they have other versions you can buy for a fee, but the free version provides enough protection for the average home user. I currently use Zone Alarm, which you can set the security levels, and it will remember the sites you have said where it is ok to go.


See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


  • () ValHaring - 23 Sep 2002
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Topic revision: r2 - 2002-10-21 - ValHaring
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