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Are You Protected? The Importance of Firewalls

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a type of barrier that you can enable on your computer. It works like a shield to protect you from cyberspace. When you connect to the Internet, you start to send and receive information (packets) over the web. It’s like you open your front door and become visible to the world. It keeps unsecure and unwanted access to your computer while you’re browsing the web. Think of it as your personal bodyguard.

How do I know my firewall is on?

Most computers automatically turn your firewall on every time you log on to your computer. However, you should check to make sure yours is enabled.
On Windows system, click the “Start” menu and type “windows firewall” into the search box. You will have an option to enable your Windows firewall on your home (private) network as well as any public networks you may connect to. Check the box that says “Turn on Windows Firewall”.
On Macs, open up your “System Preferences” (the icon in your dock that looks like gears) and click on “Security”. Go to the “Firewall” tab and click on the padlock in the bottom corner in order to edit the setting (you will be prompted for your computer’s password). If there is a red circle followed by “Firewall: Off”, then hit the “Start” button under it in order to turn your firewall on.

Is having a firewall enough?

No matter if you’re on a home network or a public network, you’ll need to make sure to have some kind of anti-virus software installed on your computer. Hackers, Trojans, and other security threats are becoming more advanced as time passes and you must have more than one countermeasure enabled on your computer to be as safe as possible. Be sure to at least enable your firewall, however, as it is one of the most basic ways to protect your private information from outside sources.

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