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Helpful tips to effectively manage your firewall

Better be safe than sorry; an age-old saying that holds true even in today’s computer age. The minute you log on to the internet the first thing that comes to your mind is, ‘Is my computer safe?’ Did you know that any computer connected to the internet has close to 130,000 ports through which a hacker can gain access to your data? This is the reason why security is of paramount importance to every internet user. Whether you access the internet through a wireless or wired connection, internet security should be your top priority.

What is a Firewall?

Firewall

In simple terms, a firewall is a set of filters and rules (more like a virtual wall) that guard Here are a few helpful tips to manage firewalls effectively:your computer from other computers on the internet. Firewalls monitor the data that is sent to and from the internet. You can either have a firewall installed as software or have it as a separate hardware unit. Firewalls provide an improved and advanced form of security that has become the standard.

  • The first obvious step is to keep the firewall protection always ‘ON’. If you are doing some specific work like installing software or troubleshooting, you may temporarily disable your firewall.
  • You should protect the firewall from attack. This is called the stealth rule. This does not allow communication flow between your firewall and unauthorized sources.
  • Updating to the latest OS software version for your firewall is a must.
  • Keep the rulebase simple. When a packet reaches the firewall it checks against the rulebase. So it is best to place the most accessed rule at the top so that the firewall need not match against all the rules in the rulebase. This would in turn reduce the load on your firewall.
  • Deny, deny and deny. This is a rule that comes in handy when you are in doubt about the authenticity of the request. You can always allow the blocked connection later when needed.
  • If you work heavily on VPN (Virtual private network) then using AES 128 (Advanced Encryption Standard) should be preferred. Although AES 192 and AES 256 bits are available, it may put undue load on your firewall’s performance.
  • Instill the practice of testing and auditing your firewall for vulnerabilities. This will help you update your firewall protection as and when required.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instruction manual before you attempt to do any of the above. 

With these simple steps your firewall should give your computer the best safety and security it deserves.

By-line (author bio):

This is a guest post by Jena Branch of Buycox.com, a site that offers savings and current information on cox communications.

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7 Comments

  1. Shirley says:

    Great post. I know that so many people do not know how to really manage their firewall, and then that is how so many problems with hacking arise. This is useful info.

  2. Ted says:

    Do you know what is scary? Not everyone knows what a firewall is. And what is scarier is that those who do still have hacking issues. Thanks for writing up this very useful post because it is very informative.

  3. Jim says:

    Wow I really thought my firewall was secure enough to just have. Thanks for the tips! This is an eye opener.

  4. Yvette says:

    Thanks for this eye opening facts about your firewall. Apparently you are not as safe with it as you think. That is really scary.

  5. Jen says:

    Thanks for pointing this out. So many people believe that just having a firewall keeps you safe. It doesn’t and this blog post confirms what I have told so many all along.

  6. April says:

    That is true. Never be fooled that you are completely safe just because your computer has a firewall. You need to be sure to know it is properly working before you can just relax.

  7. Cara says:

    I actually knew that having a firewall was not enough to keep your computer safe. Thanks for bringing this out as people really need to be aware of this.

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