Do you need a Firewall at Home?

     What has this world come to?  Not only do you need to lock your doors and windows to avoid a break-in at home, you now have to lock your computer?  There are many products on the market to protect an individual pc that connects to the internet via modem, DSL, or cable.  But do you really need one?

      If you use a dial up service and connect for an hour or so and disconnect, the chances of a hacker finding your pc and causing damage is fairly slim.  On the other hand, if you have a broadband connection with a static IP address and leave your pc on most of the time, the chances grow significantly.

     Personal firewalls are made by many companies.  The most popular products are BlackICE™ PC Protection,; a free product called Zone Alarm,; Norton Personal Firewall 2002 or Norton Internet Security 2002,; and the recent PC Magazine Editor’s Choice winner: Sygate Personal Firewall, 

      These products defend against a variety of threats including intrusion, port scans, Trojan horses, and worms.  Some guard against spyware and feature Ad blocking and cookie control.  Some will back-trace the suspicious events being recorded.  Others permit you to control what applications may access the internet.  Most maintain one or more logs about security events.  When an attempted breach occurs, there is either a pop up window or the icon in the system tray will start flashing, and one of the products mentioned will send out an email.

     These products are cheap.  Why take the chance?    


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