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Chapter 8. Configuring Your Internet Con... > Securing Your Internet Connection

Securing Your Internet Connection

Internet connections are vulnerable to attacks from outside users, and always-on connections, such as those that use a cable modem, fixed-base wireless, or some types of DSL connections, are extremely vulnerable to being hacked and compromised by other users. Computers that are connected to routers and computers that are ICS clients are protected against most types of incoming threats because their actual IP addresses are not visible to the Internet. However, an ICS host is vulnerable, because it must be connected directly to the Internet. To block incoming threats, computer experts recommend using a firewall appliance or firewall program. The simplest firewalls work by examining incoming data packets and blocking those that are not requested by the computer or are attempting to perform unauthorized actions (such as activating a Trojan Horse program).

Windows XP is the first version of Windows to incorporate a built-in firewall, the Internet Connection Firewall. The Internet Connection Firewall works with all types of Internet connections, including dial-up, broadband, and LAN. It is enabled from the Advanced tab of the properties sheet for the connection, as shown in Figures 8.12 and 8.28. ICF might already be enabled if you installed Windows XP on a standalone computer with an Internet connection, and it is automatically enabled when you run the Network Setup Wizard or New Connection Wizard on systems with a direct connection to the Internet.


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