Every person who makes use of a computer — which is just about everyone has definitely heard of or has come across the term firewall. Some may know a firewall as sort of a security suite that protects computers from any possible attacks or harmful elements floating on the Internet. However, it is not all about protecting the computer from all the bad stuff and there is certainly more to it which may cause confusion for some people.
image source: credits to http://en.wikipedia.org/
The main source of confusion is probably the fact that there are two different kinds of firewalls—there is the Personal and the Network firewalls. These two kinds have one thing in common, though, and it is their ability to filter and screen communication to and from different computers in order to provide security. Their major difference is that a personal firewall is installed on a person’s computer for the purpose of protecting the computer. A Network firewall, on the hand, is installed on a router or a network computer for the purpose of protecting all the computers that are within the network. The confusion usually arises because most people, when talking about Network firewalls do it in way that gives the impression that they are talking about a kind of firewall that is tangible, or hardware. Although consumers can now purchase routers and computers that come with pre-installed firewall applications, it remains to be a software concept. Truth be told, there is no such thing as a tangible firewall when it comes to computers.
Why You Need a Firewall
A network is required to have a firewall at every interface point with other systems or networks. A firewall placed at every connection point with other networks in an intranet ensures that when malicious software or a virus attacks a certain part of the network, it won’t be able to penetrate other parts of the network. The rest of the network will be isolated and they will potentially be spared from the attack. On the other hand, having a firewall at your computer’s connection points to the Internet is also one of the most important things you can have. The Internet is the haven of hackers who have nothing better to do than create new viruses and malicious software that aim to cripple your system and computer. Some may think that having firewalls at important connection points is common sense but you will be surprised at how some people, network administrators even, take this for granted.
Verizon issues a Data Breach Investigations Report or DBIR yearly which is mostly based on the data supplied by the US Secret Service and many other security agencies stationed in Australia, the Netherlands and in England. According to the latest DBIR report released, around 96% of the breaches recorded were not extremely difficult and some 97% could have been easily avoided through basic and simple Internet protocols. Furthermore, it was discovered that two of the most common reasons behind these security breaches is poor or a total lack of virus scanning and the absence of firewalls. What’s perplexing is that it isn’t hard to procure exceptional firewalls or reliable protection security suites. Some can even be downloaded for free. This is why it is important for computer users, whether they use them for personal or professional purposes, to educate themselves on the basics of computer safety. If only people can spend time doing other online stuff like on VoIP calls or web browsing, they should also be able to spend some time knowing what to do in order to safeguard their data and their system. There are several programs found online that can protect you from potentially harmful attacks without having to give out your credit card details. The detail is in knowing what you need to do and what your computer requires.