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The Firewall and How to Use It

The Internet has given us much joy with the ability to access to a lot of things. However, there are its dangers in that exact advantage, as online threats can access into our computer through that medium. However, some online threats like having your computer hacked and viruses contaminating your computer can be prevented with the use of firewall. The firewall acts as a barrier between your computer and the public Internet to filter out unwanted programs to your computer.

There are a few scenarios in which firewalls provides limited or no protection against. Such are most viruses, spam, spyware installations, fraudulent activity, and viruses that use back doors through the firewall. They are also unable to protect your computer against things you have given permission for other computers to connect to yours, or people to physically access your computer or network. Firewalls can also be switched off, disabled, or given exceptions for different programs, so you may have intruders coming in then. Hackers can also overcome firewall if they have gained the password for your firewall. Despite these limitations, it is best to use it as a first line defense against minor problems, so the other bigger ones can be dealt with other protection programs.

How to use the firewall is not difficult. First, you can click Start, followed by Settings, and then Control Panel. Under Control Panel, double-click the Windows Firewall. In the tab, General, check to see that the firewall is on. You do not need it to be off unless you have third party firewall software installed in your computer. Generally, you do not need to use the exceptions options, which allow you to choose the list of programs which are allowed to pass through the firewall into your computer. Yet, if there are specific programs you want to allow in, you can click on Add Program and then select the program. Specific ports that are required for a program to open can also be added. You can check the listings to ensure that everything is as desired; undesired listings can be deleted by highlighting the entry and then clicking Delete, although some listings cannot be deleted. The Advanced tab does not need to be changed as it looks at network connection settings, security logs, ICMP and default settings. Lastly, click OK, and you are done. You can edit the settings from time to time if needed once you know how to use the firewall.

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