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Cybersecurity 101: What Is a Firewall?

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Without network security, you leave yourself open to hackers. More consumers are becoming tech-savvy and trying to protect themselves. 44% of adults fear cyber attacks more than they did before Covid-19.

One simple and effective way to make sure you’re safe is by installing a firewall. What is a firewall?

Continue reading to learn everything you need to know. Find out what a firewall is, how it works, and how to install one.

What Is a Firewall?

It’s a device that monitors incoming and outgoing internet traffic for optimal network security. You program the device to look for certain security breaches and the firewall allows or blocks data packets based on that.

Check out US IT Services to learn more.

How Do Firewalls Work?

What are firewalls and how do they work? You know what a firewall is, let’s go over how they keep your network safe.

Think of a firewall as a gatekeeper. It stops unwanted sources and traffic from getting access to your operating system. You do want holes in your firewall. Blocking everything won’t work.

That’s where authentication and firewall systems work together. There are a few comparisons to be made between a firewall vs. an authentication process. They’re not adversaries, usually, these two work in tandem.

The firewall keeps suspicious traffic out. Authentication decides what is suspicious and what should be allowed through.

There are a few common ways that you can use them together.

Built-in database authentication allows users to authenticate based on the database. It’s simple to configure and effective, be aware that it’s not scalable.

Certificate authentication is a public or self-signed certificate. It will not trigger a firewall. This is more for public-facing websites. The typical browser doesn’t have to worry about these.

How to Install a Firewall

The good news is that odds are your home laptop already has a firewall installed. You might even have two. Your router works as a firewall. First of all, you have to know that there are two different types of firewalls.

There’s hardware and software. Hardware firewalls are physical. Store them in real space. Software firewalls are digital. They’re a program you download to your device.

It’s recommended that you use your router as a hardware firewall.

Use software firewalls when you want to have some sort of control over other computers on your network. Think of parents wanting to decide which sites are safe for their children to browse and which ones aren’t.

Install a Firewall Today

Now that you have an answer to your question: “what is a firewall?”, you can install one. You may believe that only large businesses with important assets need a firewall. You’d be wrong.

Any device with information that you wouldn’t want someone else to control needs a firewall. Installation is much simpler than most people think. Anyone with basic computer skills can use a firewall.

Visit our tech page to learn more.


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