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Think of a firewall as a doorman whose job it is to open a large locked door. When doorman knows who is knocking at door either by an announcement or because he recognizes person he will let them in. With your firewall firewall is unlocked only on your authorization allowing data to be passed on or received. It learns after awhile who is trusted and who is not.
A firewall comes standard with Microsoft Windows XP (Microsoft.com). But in order for it to protect, you must turn it on. Other solutions are Symantec’s Norton Personal Firewall which you can buy by itself or bundled in Norton Security Suite (symantec.com). McAfee (McAfee.com) also has a good firewall as well as free version of Zone Labs firewall called Zone Alarm (zonelabs.com).
And, finally you should have good spyware software to protect against hackers or companies from snooping to find information about you through your internet connection. It is commonly used by companies for marketing purposes. Free spyware software that is widely used is Spybot's Search & Destroy (safer-networking.org) or Lavasoft’s (lavasoft.com) free version of their Ad-aware spyware application. Spy Sweeper from Webroot (webroot.com) is an excellent choice and does not cost very much. Spy Sweeper has received many top reviews from computer magazines.
If you install a virus protection software, Firewall and spyware software your computer will be well protected and you will have peace of mind. And, you needn't spend a lot. In each category you can find a free version that is very good and will help keep your computer problem free.
Ken Katz runs the Free Article Site: Power-in-knowledge.com. The site has a lot of useful information and articles in many categories concerning the internet, electronics and business. If you would like to use this article on your website, please give a link back to my site: www.power-in-knowledge.com .