Firewall – The first step of Internet security


We know that Internet is a way of quick communication, business, various types of information and entertainment. Its use increased day by day. It had bed impact like others – it spread virus, spam, spyware etc. A personal computer connected to the internet without a firewall can be hijacked and added to an internet outlaw’s botnet in just a few minutes.

What is Firewall?

A firewall is a dedicated appliance, or software running on another computer, which inspects network traffic passing through it, and denies or permits passage based on a set of rules. A firewall is an integrated collection of security measures designed to prevent unauthorized electronic access to a networked computer system. It is also a device or set of devices configured to permit, deny, encrypt, decrypt, or proxy all computer traffic between different security domains based upon a set of rules and other criteria. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and blocks those that do not meet the specified security criteria.

There are several types of firewall techniques:

Packet filter: Looks at each packet entering or leaving the network and accepts or rejects it based on user-defined rules. Packet filtering is fairly effective and transparent to users, but it is difficult to configure. In addition, it is susceptible to IP spoofing.

Application gateway: Applies security mechanisms to specific applications, such as FTP and Telnet servers. This is very effective, but can impose a performance degradation.

Circuit-level gateway: Applies security mechanisms when a TCP or UDP connection is established. Once the connection has been made, packets can flow between the hosts without further checking.

Proxy server: Intercepts all messages entering and leaving the network. The proxy server effectively hides the true network addresses.

A firewall can block malware that could otherwise scan your computer for vulnerabilities and then try to break in at a weak point. The only way to make a home computer 100% secure is to turn it off or disconnect it from the Internet. The real issue is how to make one 99.9% secure when it is connected. At a minimum, home computers need to have personal firewall and anti-malware software installed and kept up-to-date to find and remove viruses, spyware, Trojans and other malware. A home network that uses a wired or wireless router with firewall features provides additional protection.

Personal Firewall Cooices:

Microsoft Windows Firewall — The Vista and XP Service Pack 2 operating systems have personal firewalls built in that are turned on by default to block threats from the Internet. You should leave this feature turned on until you replace it with third-party software and/or hardware.

Two-Way Third-Party Personal Firewall Software — These firewalls block both incoming and outgoing threats. A computer has outgoing threats when it becomes infected with a virus, trojan horse or spyware. A challenge for this type of firewall is to distinguish between threats and legitimate software. Three common ways to address this are by vendors including a list of safe software for the firewall to check [white list], malware to block [black list] and/or by issuing a pop up alert to the user asking for advice on what to do [better for experts]. For links to vendors and reviews of over fifty products, see our Personal Firewall Reviews page. Recommended products with links to vendors:

nternet Security Software Suites — These products include two or more security features such as a personal firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware and more. For links to vendors and reviews of over 20 products, see our Internet Security & Utility Suites page. Recommended retail products with links to vendors:

Norton Internet Security

ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite

Kaspersky Internet Security

Hardware Firewalls — A hardware firewall is usually a small box that sits between a modem and a computer or network. The firewall is either based on “network address translation” (NAT) which hides your computer from the Internet or NAT plus “stateful packet inspection” (SPI) for more protection. There are three basic types of hardware devices that include firewalls for home users, Wired Routers, Wireless Routers, and Broadband Gateways. They are inexpensive enough to be used with one computer and can also be used to create a home computer network. They can be used in addition to a software firewall on each computer because they run on a separate box preventing most compatibility problems. Recommended broadband gateway retail products with links to vendors.

D-Link DIR-655 Extreme N Wireless Router

ZoneAlarm Secure Wireless Router

Important Tips — Never use two personal firewall software products at the same time. Fully uninstall one before installing another to prevent compatibility problems. After installation, be sure to test it with an online service like Security Space to make sure that it is configured correctly.

Secure Your PC From SpyWare

What is SpyWare?

Spyware is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, without the user’s informed consent. It’s main target is to extracting money from you. At its worst, Spyware can take control of your computer, directing you to web pages you didn’t want to go to, downloading other nasty stuff in the background, and even harvesting email address, passwords and your credit card details. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habit, sites that have been visited, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software, redirecting Web browser activity, accessing websites blindly that will cause more harmful viruses, or diverting advertising revenue to a third party. Spyware can even change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and loss of Internet or other programs. In an attempt to increase the understanding of spyware, a more formal classification of its included software types is captured under the term privacy-invasive software.

Where does Spyware come from?

Spyware can come from different sources like email or harmless-looking popup window asking you to click a button to proceed. You’ll click it anyway, just to get rid of it. Clicking OK is what’s infected your PC! Other sources are freeware or shareware software, an operating system that is un-patched and hasn’t got the latest security software, downloading stuff from peer-to peer applications – the list is long!

Spyware is not considered to be a virus, so your Anti-Virus software won’t spring in to action once an infection takes place – it will stay sleeping in the background, unaware that anything malicious is going on. The best tool for the job is a dedicated Spyware Detection system. Some of the most popular Spyware scams are these products:

  1. SpyAxe
  2. SpySheriff
  3. PSGuard
  4. WorldAntiSpy
  5. Spy Trooper
  6. Razespyware
  7. SpywareNo or SpyDemolisher
  8. WinAntiVirus or WinAntiSpyware 2005
  9. SlimShield tied with “Winhound Spyware Remover”
  10. Spyware Bomber (shut down by the FTC)

Hopefully, you haven’t bought anything on the top ten list!

How get Rid of Spyware?

The best way to do that is with software from very reputable companies. The following are the most well-known (and free) anti-spyware solutions:

Ad-Aware is probably the easiest to use of the three. Once you download your chosen anti-spyware solution, you need to install it on to your PC. After you have installed it, start the software and do a full scan of your computer. For your sefty, it IS recommended that you have more than one anti-spyware solution on your PC. Because no anti-spyware can find 100 percent of threads, if anyone miss some threads others can find and destroy them.