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1. What is a Firewall and what does it do?

2. Do I need a Firewall?

3. Where can I download Firewall Software for my computer?

4. What is Nuking?

What is a Firewall and what does it do?
A Firewall is a piece of hardware or software/or a combination of both, designed to protect networked computers from unauthorized hostile intrusion. A Firewall sits at the junction point or gateway between the two networks, usually a private network and a public network such as the Internet and examines all traffic/packets of data routed between the two networks both incoming and outgoing - to determine whether it should be allowed to pass or be blocked.

All connections to the Internet are done with small packets of information. As these packets are sent from one machine to the other, the two machines agree on the connection and then check each other to see if the packets they sent are being received accurately on the other end. Every Internet packet must contain a destination address and port number, so that the receiving computer knows who sent the packet also every packet must contain the IP address and a port number of the originating machine. In other words, any packet travelling around the internet contains its complete source and destination addresses.

Since the Firewall Software inspects each and every packet of data as it arrives at your computer - BEFORE it's seen by any other software running within your computer - the firewall has total power over your computer's receipt of anything from the Internet.

A port, opening on your computer to receive and send data, is only "open" if the first arriving packet requests the establishment of a connection and is answered by your computer. If the arriving packet is ignored, that port of your computer will effectively disappear from the Internet. No one and nothing can connect to it. This is the Firewall theory and you can accept or reject data from anywhere. In effect, you can "filter" out the other computers that you don't want to see your computer.

Do I need a Firewall?
Nowadays, its advisable to have one especially if you use the Internet quite a lot, after all some form of protection/security is better than having nothing at all. If you are a business, then Firewall Software can be vitally important especially if loss or damage of data (caused by an unauthorized malicious person gaining access to your computers) would be detrimental to your company. Using the Internet for short periods of time is not as open to threat as much as someone who maintains a 24/7 connection.

For example, if you have a continuous connection and no Firewall Software, then it's a bit like going to bed and leaving all your doors and windows open.

Where can I download Firewall Software for my computer?
There are several good free Firewalls which are available for download. A list of free Firewall Software is located below for personal computer security.

Zone Alarm
Tiny Firewall Software

4. What is Nuking?
Briefly, there are two types of Denial of Service attacks (DoS). Otherwise known as a Nuke/Nuking.

1. Ones that exploit bugs and backdoors in an Operating System which cause a general freezing, Blue Screen Errors/ crashing of your operating system. These are generally the worst of all attacks because they can sometimes force a complete software re-install on your pc.

2. Ones that attempt to flood your connection with data to force disconnection from an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) or your ISP (Internet Service Provider)

'Nukes' can take place anywhere on the Net, whether you're on ICQ, talking to friends, or just general surfing. The best solution is the latest operating system patches and fixes which can help avert this type of attack especially on some of the older Windows Operating Systems. Update your Operating System with the latest security patches and fixes. Get yourself some Firewall Software, there are many reliable FREE ones out there.

Related Pages:

Spyware, Malware & Scumware
Evidence Eliminator
Lavasoft - Adaware


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