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Personal Firewall

A personal firewall is an application which controls network traffic to and from a computer, permitting or denying communications based on a security policy that you personally define and control.

A personal firewall differs from a conventional firewall in terms of scale. Personal firewalls are typically designed for use by end-users. As a result, a personal firewall will usually protect only the computer on which it is installed. Many personal firewalls are able to control network traffic by prompting the user each time a connection is attempted and adapting security policy accordingly. Personal firewalls may also provide some level of intrusion detection, allowing the software to terminate or block connectivity where it suspects an intrusion is being attempted.

What does it give you?

Alert about outgoing connection attempts
  • – Monitoring applications that are listening for incoming connections
  • – Prevention of unwanted network traffic from locally installed applications
  • – Information about an application that makes a connection attempt
How to choose the best personal firewall program
  • – Your computer and network performance shouldn't degrade too much.
  • – Use programs that include the firewall application. Not as a standalone application.
  • – Use one that doesn't create a lot of alerts, but protects in the background with minimal user intervention. It should contain a built-in an intruder detection/prevention system (IDS/IPS)).

Take home:
Make sure your anti-virus or other security program has a built-in anti-virus and keep it running at all times to protect your computer. However, make sure it does not block connections for software you trust and use regularly