what is a firewall

 
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What is a computer firewall What is a computer firewall

:: Why to use a firewall

Your Internet connection is very similar to the server connection for a large company. You probably know that using the Internet places you and your computer at risk of attack. Large companies employ a staff of experienced security professionals to minimize the risk of an Internet attack to their computers, while you stand alone against the problem. What can you do to prevent damage to your system and data?

First, you should install computer software written by professional security specialists. This software is responsible for securing your computer and data while you are working or playing on the Internet. Attacks against computers are very common on the Internet. Hacker attacks are dangerous, not only because of possible damage to your data and documents, but through leaking confidential information, (e.g. bank accounts or numbers on your credit cards) to an unauthorized individual.

During such an attack, the hacker takes the opportunity to use your computer without your knowledge, appearing on the network in your name. The hacker can use your computer as the bridgehead to attack other computers (for example, banking or military computers). During such an attack, Internet Service Provider logs will record the attack. The log information indicates that the attack originated from your computer.

Finally, the hacker may not be skilled enough to successfully attack your computer. An unsuccessful attack may jeopardize the workability of your computer (malfunction) or result in the loss of data. You will need to ask a professional to reinstall Windows and all other applications, wasting your time and money.
Additionally, gaining access to your PC, the hacker uses your Internet connection which is paid for by you.

Hacker attacks increase the load and decrease the efficiency of your Internet provider. An attack may increase your fees from telephone companies and Internet providers. NetManager Light is designed to solve problems associated with Internet security on your computer. In your hands, this is a powerful and convenient tool for rejecting attacks to your computer. NetManager Light controls all Internet traffic, blocking all attempts to gain access to your computer.



:: How hackers get into your PC

When you are using the Internet, you have instant access to any other computer in the world, which is also connected to the Internet. At the same time, any other Internet user has the ability to access your computer. Undoubtedly, all unauthorized access to your computer encounters resistance from a built-in Windows Security System and security associated with other applications installed on your computer. How reliable are these measures?
The Windows OS and other applications are rather complicated software.

It is very difficult for developers to guarantee the bug-free implementation of complicated software. That is why, several times a year, Microsoft and other software developers release patches, service packs, etc., to fix bugs and security holes in operating system and applications. Despite all the efforts of developers, new problems and bugs are found in software security.

A detailed description of known problems in Microsoft product security may be found at Microsoft Security Bulletins.


Even using all latest patches does not guarantee you a safe Internet experience. The Microsoft website, as well as other software developer websites, offer information and service packs for problems which have already been solved. However, there are many unsolved problems in the security area, so you cannot obtain a hot fix for them. In addition to technical security issues, there is a human factor.

An example of the human factor may be due to the use of a simple password for the Windows login or even an empty password. Forgotten user accounts, shared directories, printers and other resources available to any user on the network are risk factors. Programs installed but not used (e.g. a non-adjusted IIS allows any one to launch any program on your computer) are also risks. Launched services you don’t understand well are potential human security problems. Every reason explained above can open doors to your computer for a hacker. To prevent attacks against your computer, you must have extensive technical skills and spend many hours configuring your system. This is a complicated effort.



:: How does a firewall work?

In buildings, firewalls are barriers that prevent fire from spreading. The concept is similar for computers. There are many varieties of "fire" because of Internet-hacker activity, viruses, worms, and so forth. A firewall is a system that stops the fire from spreading to your computer. A firewall is special software in your computer, filtering all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic. A firewall does not fix problems with your software - it prevents hackers from using your software security problems to launch their attacks.
One advantage of this method is its universality. A firewall will also deactivate Trojan horses (harmful components built into software by some unprincipled developers).

The firewall continuously checks all Internet traffic. If suspicious activity is detected, (information sent or received from the Internet that may be dangerous to your computer or your confidentiality) the transmission will be blocked and the user notified regarding the potentially dangerous traffic. The user can decide whether to allow this information or not.

The firewall guards the "doors" to your computer. The “doors” are ports through which Internet traffic enters and leaves your computer. The firewall only lets traffic through the ports that you have specified. This has two security benefits:



An attacker can’t sneak into your computer through an unguarded port.

Programs installed on your computer can't use unguarded ports to contact the outside world without your permission.


Microsoft is attempting to do so in their Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. We are not sure if this will be a successful story.

 


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