Q:

Why is a firewall important?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

Know More

Full Answer

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.

Learn more about Computers & Hardware

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some different types of e-commerce?

    A:

    Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is a subset section of e-business, which is the exchange of goods and services via computer networks such as the Internet. It also refers to any business transaction where parties do not make direct physical exchanges but interact electronically.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a computer router?

    A:

    A computer router is a device that connects computer networks together by forwarding data packets so that users may share the connection. A router is not required to use a computer, but it provides the ability to use two computers without having separate Internet connections.

    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:
  • Q:

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a firewall?

    A:

    A firewall can be a vital piece of network security that keeps hackers out of a computer system, but it can be complicated to set up properly. Firewalls are designed to scan any traffic that passes through them, allowing only legitimate packets and blocking anything unauthorized. However, they can also inadvertently block legitimate traffic, especially if misconfigured, and make Internet communication programs harder to use.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore