A firewall filters the information coming through the Internet connection into your computer, permitting communication only with sources you know and trust. It helps prevent unauthorized access, protecting your home network and family from potential hackers and offensive websites.
If you do not have a firewall installed on your computer, any personal information stored on your computer or distributed using the web may be accessed by a hacker for as long as your computer is connected to the Internet. This is especially true for high-speed Internet connections, which generally maintain the same network address, increasing the window of opportunity for attack (a dial-up connection uses a different network address every time it connects).
- Restrict traffic that travels through your firewall by only granting access to those programs and/or traffic that you are familiar with.
- If you do not share files or documents with other computers on your network, disable the File Sharing feature. Doing so will prevent others from being able to download or view your files or documents.