Firewalls - the lock on your door to the Internet.

The Internet consists of millions of computers connected to high speed communicatons lines, and while your system is connected, it is possible for any other computer on the net to connect to yours. The Internet is there to allow people to share information using their pc's. The problem is, there are users on the net who are looking to gain something by connecting to your computer and exploiting it. Many of these are seeking personal info such as credit card or social security numbers, others are looking to use your computer as a decoy in the commission of cyber crimes and still others simply for the power trip of knowing they can do it. They search for likely victims by scanning for open ports on random computers, looking for a way in. It is also possible for a program to find it's way onto your system that will help these crackers, called a Trojan horse or a back door. These programs are very dangerous because they can give total access to your system to a total stranger without your knowledge.

In the every day world of building construction, a partition that isolates a room completely from the area adjoining it is called a firewall. Designed using materials able to bear high temperatures, it rises from the surface of one floor, to the underside of the floor above it, with no breaks. Any openings to allow shared services such as pipes, wires or duct work to pass through are sealed tightly so that there are no gaps. A firewall isolates a room completely from the area adjoining it, preventing the heat and smoke of a fire from entering or leaving the room.

In computing, a firewall can be likened to a firewall partition. It is designed to isolate a computer from the blazing activity of the outside network, yet allows the needed and desired things to pass through. It can keep the sparks of a Trojan Horse server on your system from sending smoke signals to the prowlers and thieves on the other side of it and prevent the heat of the port scanners from lighting your vulnerabilities up to them.

There are hardware and software firewalls available to protect your system, and a good one will prevent unauthorized programs from connecting to others from inside and keep prying programs from being aware of your system's existence on the outside. For the vast majority of individuals on the net a good software firewall is adequate. There are a lot of them available and some are better than others, especially when it comes to protecting you from back door programs on your system.

To secure your system using one of these products you simply obtain a licensed copy of the software you choose and install it. Before you do so, I'd strongly recommend that you visit

and test your system. Steve Gibson, the author of this site has done extensive research into the available firewalls today and offers a wealth of information on protecting your system.

If you would like to try a simple to use, effective firewall program, then go here:

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