What is a firewall, and why do I need one?

by | Sep 27, 2017 | Blog, Networking

Firewall SecurityPronounced fire+wall, the dictionary definition is, “a part of a computer system or network that is designed to block unauthorized access while permitting outward communication.” It is essentially a security system that will control all incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of rules. And, if your PC is connect to the internet, you need it.

A PC connected to the internet is a potential target for a multitude of cyber threats, such as hackers, keyloggers, and Trojans that attack through security holes that are unpatched. Additionally, if you shop or bank online, you are vulnerable to these threats, as well as identity theft and other malicious attacks.

What does a firewall do?

A firewall limits access to computers and to the network, and it can also be used to access a network through a private, secure authentication certificates and logins. You can program them however you’d like in order to identify what you want to get out and what you want to get in. Everything beyond that is not allowed. A firewall can be either a hardware firewall or a software firewall, and the most secure firewall will come from a configuration of both.

Essentially, a firewall works as a barrier between your PC and cyber space. When you are on your PC, you are sending and receiving information in packets. A firewall will filter these packets to see if they meet the criteria that you’ve set up, and based on that criteria, it blocks or allows the content through to your PC. By doing this, hackers can’t get inside your PC to steal information like passwords, bank account information or business data from you.

Why should I use one?

  1. Firewalls can be configured to prevent employees from sending certain types of email or transmitting sensitive data outside of the network.
  2. Firewalls can prevent employees from perusing certain websites like social media networks.
  3. Firewalls prevent outside computers from accessing computer information inside the network.
  4. Protection from malware, malicious software and damage causing corruptive files to be transmitted onto your computer.
  5. Good firewalls include a feature that updates a list of known malicious and okay applications, making your computer protection continuously up to date.
  6. A good firewall can also make your PC invisible to hackers when you are online.

In conclusion, a firewall is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your business or personal computer because it will keep your personal information private and keep your PC safe from viruses and malware. If you are curious about which firewall is right for you, please give us a call!