Virtual Security: Understanding the Importance of a Firewall

by Bradley Jones
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Considering how nearly everyone is so engrossed with the appeal of the digital world, it is often hard to distinguish the line between the two areas nowadays. However, despite this borderline addiction to the convenience of using technology in everything, not everyone is yet aware that, much like in real life, security is likewise a crucial aspect when you are working or performing tasks online. Even though it might seem like security is not much of an issue when you are inside a virtual space, your pertinent information that should not even be shared with anyone who has malicious intent is bared and exposed when your system is not secured with any protective measures. As such, understanding the various security measures available at your grasp is essential in ensuring that you are always knowledgeable about how to protect your data, and ultimately, protect yourself from harmful attacks.

“But I already have an antivirus. Isn’t that enough?”

Yes, an antivirus is an essential part of your computer’s security system. It essentially scans your system for any suspicious programs that are maybe trying to extract your information or are making your programs act maliciously. However, that is not necessarily enough to completely protect your private bubbles, especially considering that its action is essentially reactive.

Firewalls are likewise necessary as this prevents the entry of threats to your computer in the first place. With its constant monitoring of your system and network traffic, firewalls can screen attackers by pinging unwanted traffic and preventing it from gaining access to your system. Considering that almost everyone is now connected to the Internet, this virtual network is often used by attackers due to the “invisibility” of the attack – unless, of course, you have a firework installed that could even monitor these probes in the background.

How Threats Reach Your System

In most cases, attackers would find a computer with low-security settings, apparent vulnerabilities, and essential inconsistencies to make the system easier to attack and probe. Most viruses like worms and Trojan Horses, aka “Bots,” are utilized in this way – using the Internet to attack unknowing individuals.

Types of Firewalls

There are essentially two types of firewalls that should be installed in your system: client firewalls and hardware or appliance firewalls.

A client firewall is a software located in your system itself that monitors the network traffic of your computer itself. This would generally monitor the input and output of data from your computer to ping any malicious or suspicious stream of data observed. On the one hand, an appliance firewall is a hardware positioned between the Internet and your computer, acting as a screening method for your network connection.

An Effective Firewall’s Protection

If you do have an effective firewall system in place, the following functionalities are often prevented and avoided thanks to the holistic protection that your system offers. Although it is still possible to probe your system when the attacker is somehow dedicated, it still does make your system a more challenging target – preventing any instances of malicious attack as much as possible.

  • Remote Login
  • Hijacked Emails
  • Backdoor Attacks
  • Denial of Service
  • Email Spams/Bombs
  • Viruses
  • Harmful Macros

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