Your PC is vulnerable to many security breaches and new threats that come up every day. It is therefore important to keep your system safe by installing a firewall. But do you know how exactly firewalls work and give protection to your PC? Here is everything you need to know and want to know about firewalls and how they keep your system secure and safe.
If you are spending a lot of time on the internet, then you definitely need a firewall. A firewall gives your PC the security that is much needed against hackers and offensive websites. To put it very simply, a firewall is a wall or barrier that keeps all the unwanted things from gaining access to your PC.
The primary function of a firewall is to filter information. If incoming information seems unsafe then the firewall will not allow it through. This helps protect your computer from questionable content that can prove to be dangerous for you.
A firewall software becomes even more important if you have a home network, where there is more than one computer accessing content through the internet. If there is no firewall, all one needs to do, is get access to one computer in the network and he can get access to all PCs on the same network.
There are three major ways in which firewalls can give protection to your computer security.
1. Packet filtering
By this method, the firewall analyzes small bits of data against filters. If the packet makes it through, then it is sent to the requesting system and if it doesn’t, then it just gets discarded.
2. Proxy service
By this method, the firewall gets information from the internet and then sends it to the requesting system. Any outgoing information is retrieved by the firewall and then sent to the internet.
3. Stateful inspection
This method in firewall is similar to the packet filtering method, but it also looks at specific parts of the packet and then compares it to the trusted information. If a particular piece of information is sent out of the firewall, then it is checked for particular characteristics and then the incoming information is compared to these. If both pieces match, then the data is allowed through, otherwise it is rejected.
One of the best things you can do with firewalls is you can customize it. IP addresses are one way to go about it. If there is a particular IP address that is reading most of the company files, then firewall can be set to block all traffic from that IP address. The other way to go about it is select particular domain names and block it.
Another great way to secure your computer is through protocols. By this method a firewall can block IP, TCP, HTTP, SMTP and other common protocols from accessing your PC. The firewall can be used to block particular ports that prevent certain type of server from being accessed except by allowed computers.
A firewall can also be used to block specific words and phrases. This will make the firewall block anything that is given in a keyword. However, the keyword has to be an exact match, but a user can add as many words, phrases and combinations as you like. This type of firewall filtering is helpful in blocking adult content from computers whether it is the workplace or home. It can also to a certain extent act as a parental control.
Most of the operating systems today come with a built-in firewall. However, you can also install a firewall according to your preferences.
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