Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Erect a Firewall

A firewall is a hardware or software tool that effectively separates your network from other computers or networks it encounters. You should deploy a firewall on any computer that has a high-speed Internet connection, including DSL or cable. Software firewalls, such as McAfee Personal Firewall Plus, Symantec’s Norton Personal Firewall, and ZoneAlarm Pro from Zone Labs, cost little, install easily, and provide adequate coverage to a single PC or personal network. Hardware firewalls, which cost much more, are generally intended for corporate use.
Depending on your OS (operating system), you may not need a third-party product. WinXP bundles with ICF (Internet Connection Firewall), a built-in firewall you can implement with minimal fuss and no expense. To activate ICF, open the Control Panel (from the Start menu), click the Network And Internet Connections category, and then click the Network Connections icon. In the resulting window, select your Internet connection to highlight it, and click the Change Settings Of This Connection option in the Network Tasks area in the pane on the right. When the Properties dialog box appears on-screen, choose the Advanced tab and select the checkbox next to Protect My Computer And Network By Limiting Or Preventing Access To This Computer From The Internet. Click OK to activate ICF. Note that you must log on as the activate ICF. Note that you must log on as the Administrator to activate the ICF.

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