With computer hackers, security breaches and stolen identities constantly in the news, online security is becoming more and more of a worry for those with networks in their homes or offices. Most homes now have always-on internet connections such as broadband. This means computers in your home or small business are at constant risk of a nefarious person using this connection without your knowledge.
An internet firewall is a primary tool to safeguard your personal information and digital files. They are a basic computer defensive measure that can provide protection against hackers and identity theft and bring you a sense of security.
They accomplish this through:
- Monitoring Traffic
Networks, including the internet, works by sending and receiving information in groups known as packets. Firewalls check these packets to make sure there are no problems with the information inside. Some firewalls monitor incoming packets only, but many are two-way walls that prevent you from accidentally sending dangerous packets as well. This may happen in the case of spam e-mail links or other viruses.
- Stopping Hackers
Hackers are people who break into a computer through its network connections for illicit reasons. While most people think of hackers as an extreme group of criminals, there are many people who you would not consider criminals who can put you at risk thanks to your home or office network. A neighbor who uses your unprotected internet connection to download copyrighted movies is putting you in danger of being prosecuted for intellectual property theft. Internet peeping Toms are becoming more and more common through the same method. Firewalls prevent this from occurring.
- Blocking Viruses
While firewalls aren’t guaranteed to stop every virus, they are a primary line of defense against the viruses known as trojan horses. Trojan viruses latch onto files sent through your internet connection and spread to other computers when the files are opened. They also silently send your information to their source through your internet connection, which can be a method of identity theft. They usually go undiscovered until they begin to damage files and prevent your computer’s operating system from working correctly.
- Preventing Keyloggers
Keyloggers are sophisticated spyware applications used by identity thieves. They run quietly on your computer, logging everything you type and sending the information back to their host. When you log into your bank or enter your credit card information online, this information is captured. They can then use your financial information to steal your identity or empty your bank account.
For more information on the type of firewall that best fits your needs, contact us today. We offer several brands, and can advise you on the best fit for your cyber security arsenal.