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Firewall Utilities

Because I'm talking about bad things done by bad people, I'll talk firewalls. If you're unfamiliar with the term, a firewall is a hardware or software barrier that you place between your computer and others on a network or the Internet.

Why would you need such a thing? When you open a connection to a network or the Internet, it's a two-way connection. Information can go out as well as come in. This problem wasn't a big one when everyone used modems to get onto the Internet. Modem users open a connection to the Web to do email or Web surfing, and when they're done, they break that connection. By contrast, DSL, cable, and satellite broadband connections are always on; users don't have to open and shut their passages to the Web. Although the convenience is terrific, it also makes it far easier for other people on the Web to gain access to your computer and, if they so desire, to do some damage.


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