Great Balls of Firewall
Firewalls seem to be in style nowadays. For those unfamiliar with what a firewall is, It pretty much is a program that sits between you and the outside world- think of a toll house that stands at the boundary line between your world and the web. There are many different brands of firewalls from companies like Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, and many others.
Actually if you are familiar with Windows XP, there is a free firewall program that you can use to supply a basic protection between you and your network. If you prefer more comprehensive solutions you can do a search for free firewall programs on the net or purchase one.
It's billed as the one-stop solution to prevent hackers and unauthorized access by intruders (both human and program generated). However firewalls are not impregnable.
A moderately intelligent hacker could hijack you firewall and make it execute in ways that are not to your benefit. There are online testing services that are either free or charge a token fee that will help you check to see if your firewall is working or not, or whether it has been compromised.
You may have also found that a firewall will not always play nicely with your other programs, such as antivirus and anti spyware related software. This usually can be changed within the firewall program, where you can configure which programs and services on your computer are allowed to travel to and fro between you and the network.
If you're not familiar with a firewall at the present moment, don't worry. Most of the offerings on the market are easy to install and setup. However the one little pain in the neck may be that in the leading off, every time you open a new program the firewall may give you a pop-up box that asks how you want to configure access for it.
Beyond that it's not big deal, works like a charm. So if you haven't configured a firewall for your computer or network, then it may be high time you did so.
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