Q:

Why is a firewall important?

A:

Firewalls screen data coming in and out of computer networks, blocking unauthorized access and halting traffic from unsafe Internet sources. On shared networks, firewalls may automatically stop all traffic from an "infected" computer to protect data on any connected computers. Firewalls act as the first defensive shield against hackers, but they aren't invulnerable and have limited ability to detect Trojan viruses or malicious software known as malware.

Hackers design malicious code that covertly invades a computer to weaken its defenses, destroy important files or install harmful software that records personal data. Computers overflowing with malicious content can then be used to attack other network computers.

Firewalls compare incoming and outgoing traffic to a list of security criteria, allowing trusted data to continue. Newer firewalls typically analyze data at multiple inspection points, known as the packet, circuit and application layers. Most firewalls can be configured to perform specific security tasks, and they often contain proxy servers that store data temporarily until it's evaluated more thoroughly.

Many computing devices have built-in firewall software; however, installing software from a CD or setting up external hardware may prevent the firewall from being completely compromised if the computer is overrun with viruses. Firewalls aren't meant to be used alone because they are largely ineffective against malware from spam emails, phishing scams and website links. They should be used as one defensive component in a system that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam protection.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How can you turn off Mac Firewall?

    A:

    Turn off the Mac firewall from within the System Preferences menu in Mac OS X 10.5 and up. You need only your Mac desktop or laptop and your administrator username and password to complete the process.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is a firewall necessary?

    A:

    A firewall is necessary because it blocks unauthorized access to private networks, safeguarding them from hackers, viruses and worms. A firewall works by monitoring all messages entering and leaving the intranet and restricting those that do not meet security data. A firewall can take the form of hardware, software or a combination of both. Some of the most common forms are packet filtering, circuit-level gateway implementation and web application firewalls.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does the Internet work?

    A:

    The Internet connects millions of computer networks together worldwide using a system of standardized protocols, such as TCP/IP. These protocols ensure that all the smaller networks that make up the greater Internet can communicate with each other.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are examples of information technology?

    A:

    Examples of information technology include personal computers and their accessories, computer networks, landline and mobile phones, flash drives and most types of software. Information technology is any piece of software or equipment responsible for delivering, storing or sending information, most commonly text, images, video or audio.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore