What is Personal Firewall and How Does It Work?

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The  personal firewall in the role of  high-speed Internet connection

It is important to understand why we need a firewall and how it helps us in the world of secure computing. We need to understand the goals of information security because it helps us to understand how a firewall may address those needs.

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What is a Firewall?

Most people think that a firewall is a of device that is installed on the network, and it controls the traffic that passes through the network segment.

However, you can have a host-based firewalls. This can be executed on the systems themselves, such as with ICF (Internet Connection Firewall). Basically, the work of both the firewalls is the same: to stop intrusion and provide a strong method of access control policy. In simple definition, firewalls are nothing but a system that safeguards your computer; access control policy enforcement points.

What Firewalls Do?

Basically, firewalls need to be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Defend resources

  • Validate access

  • Manage and control network traffic

  • Record and report on events

  • Act as an intermediary

Why you need Personal Firewall in the high-speed internet connection era

In the age of high-speed internet connection, you electronically connect your computer to a broad network over which, unless you have installed a personal firewall, you have limited control and from which you have limited protection. Until recently, unless you worked for an organization that provided high-speed internet connection.

Like anything, the high-speed internet connection has its own drawbacks. Ironically, the very feature that makes a high-speed connection attractive is also the reason that makes it vulnerable. In a way, connecting to the internet via high-speed connection is like leaving the front door of your house open and unlocked. This is because a high-speed internet connection have the following features:

  • A constant IP - Make it easy for an intruder who has discovered your computer on the internet to find you again and again.

  • High-Speed Access - Means that the intruder can work much faster when trying to break into your computer.

  • Always active connection - means that your computer is vulnerable every time when it is connected to the internet.

Defending yourself with a Personal Firewall

So now you have an idea of how you are vulnerable every time when you are online on a high-speed Internet connection, compared to an ordinary 56Kbps connection. What you now need to know is how you can defend yourself against the threat posed by this type of connection

A Personal firewall is important when,

  • You surf the internet at home using an 'always on' broadband connection

  • You connect to the internet via a public WiFi network in a park, cafe or airport

  • You run a home network which needs to be kept isolated from the internet

  • You wish to be kept informed when any program on your computer attempts to connect to the internet

  • Most Personal Firewalls are highly configurable so you can easily create security policies to suit your individual needs.

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