These days there are many malicious programs have joined the ranks of online threats. Malicious programs, such as Spyware, Trojan Horse, Keylogger, Rootkits, and many more, pose a very serious threat to Internet users.
These malicious programs become complex and sophisticated, causing single-purpose security software not adequate to protect you against them. We call these malicious programs – malware (short-term for malicious software).
Malware is a combination of several threats, such as a combination of viruses, spyware, trojans, and other malicious programs, making them hard to handle by single Anti-Spyware or Anti-Virus software.
Several security vendors have now combined their products of anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-hacker, and anti-spam protection into one call Internet Security Suite to combat malware.
An Internet Security Suite is all-around protection against malware. The benefit of having an Internet Security Suite is the cost. Usually, this cost less than you buy all standalone security program, such as Antispyware, Antivirus, firewall, and Spam filter together, and is able to provide adequate protection against malware.
Another issue is the compatibility, since all the security components are in the same package, so no incompatibility problem. You have better control of the program and a simple user interface.
You will have one central control to control all the security components, you can update, monitor, configure and scan without any restriction.
The best is that you have a wider range of protection. While antispyware and antivirus components protect you from spyware and viruses, at the same time firewall and spam filters give you a defensive cover against other malware. These make malware difficult to infiltrate or hide in your computer.
Computer users who have “always-on” connections such as using means of cable or DSL modem to access the Internet pose a high risk of being attacked by other computer users from the Internet.
You need a Firewall to shield your computer or network from outside attackers by preventing malicious connection or network traffic. A firewall can configure to deny certain computer applications or data to access Internet locations and allow only relevant or necessary computer applications or data to access the Internet.
Type of firewall
There are two types of Firewall – hardware and software. Hardware Firewall is used in the external environment while software one is installed in your computer. Each has its own advantage or disadvantage
Hardware Firewall is an external device that is positioned between your computer or network and your cable or DSL modem. One of the advantages of the hardware Firewall, it can protect multiple computers in a network environment and offer a certain level of protection to a single computer.
The other advantage is that it is a single device that runs at its own operating system offers the first line of defense against intruders. The main disadvantage is the price of the unit, it may be costly to get one.
Hardware Firewall cannot protect the individual computers in the network if one of the computers in the network is infected with viruses, worms,s or other malicious code; you may need the extra protection of a software firewall or personal firewall. Now, most of the cable or DSL modem includes a built-in Firewall, you are advised to get this type of modem.
A software Firewall or personal Firewall is a program that is installed or comes with the operating system. If your operating system has a built-in Firewall, consider enabling it to add another layer of protection even you have an external Firewall installed. You can also obtain software from vendors like ZoneLABs or Checkpoint, they have a very good software firewall product called ZoneAlarm PRO and they also have a free vision from home users, consider getting one install.
Configuration – things to know
Most firewall products, both hardware, and software-based come with a default setting configuration that is acceptably secure for most users. If you need to configure to suit your need, you need to consult the manual or online documentation as different firewalls have different configuration parameters. . Another point to take note if you configure firewall “too strictly”, you may block legitimate data from accessing the Internet so you must take this into consideration when setting up the Firewall rules.
One word of caution
Although Firewall provides you with a certain level of protection but Firewall does not guarantee that your computer will not be attacked. This is because Firewalls offer little to no protection against viruses. The best advice is to use a Firewall conjunction with Anti-Virus software to strengthen your computer resistance to attacks.