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Part IV: Ground Zero: Securing Your PC A... > Securing Your Standalone PC: Broadba...

Chapter 11. Securing Your Standalone PC: Broadband Connections

As we saw in Chapter 10, “Understanding Your PC Operating System and Its Security Features,” many security features are inherent in each operating system, to greater or lesser degrees. Utilizing these security options is a definite necessity, but you might want additional security functions as well. As we have been continuously discussing, the easy access that consumers have to the Internet makes for an easy target. Internet service providers (ISPs) do not provide security features with the broadband connections they sell (Digital Subscriber Line [DSL], cable modem, and satellite); it is up to individuals to protect themselves. The term broadband usually refers to a connection that can carry at least 384Kbps from the Internet to your PC. In practical terms, we use it to describe connections through cable modems, DSL, satellite, and wireless connectivity from service providers. Much like the pioneers who settled the West in the United States, today's consumers are settling new territory in cyberspace. With new frontiers come new dangers. The dangers discussed in Chapter 5, “Illegal Threats to Individual Privacy,” must be addressed if people are to keep their home connections secure.

Another danger to keep in mind is the advent of wireless technology. This new method of connecting to the Internet has its own dangers. You must realize that whether you are at home, at the office, or traveling with your wireless laptop, the Internet provides threats from all directions. With a connection to the Internet, you are a target for attack. As we have seen with worms and viruses in the news, threats come from more directions than just hackers. Personal firewalls are effective weapons against those who would invade your personal domain via your Internet connections. (Firewalls are discussed in more detail later in this chapter.)


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