Every Computer OS comes with some integrated tools for preventing Virus Attacks and Network intrusions. Network Firewall is one of the major ways to do that. It is activated when you are connected to a private or public network – such as an Internet connection.
A firewall is a system that can prevent unauthorized access from other devices, via the network. It’s actually placed in-between an internet-connected computer and a public/private network, the best example being the Internet. Most computers come with in-built Firewalls, but you have an option to install third-party ones as well. These are the basics you should know about computer firewalls.
But, have you ever thought how a computer firewall can protect you from virus attacks? There are different ways to do that. In this article, we will tell you the major functions and virus-attack-prevention methods used in a computer firewall. Shall we start?
Why Does a Computer Firewall Exist?
This question should be answered before we move on. As we said, it’s a system – either digital or physical – that can be placed between connected-device and the Internet (or, any network, for that matter). Because the system has complete control over network actions, and the ability to track each of them. In normal case, you will be notified if someone or something is trying to access your computer via the network. You’d have seen some firewall-based notifications while trying to install certain programs or release certain features. In short, we can say the computer firewall is used for complete monitoring of network actions, to and from.
Method #1 A Computer Firewall Can Restrict Information Flow
This is the primary method of a computer firewall, towards the removal and prevention of virus attacks. As we said earlier, a firewall is placed between your computer and the Internet. And, it has complete controls over the flow of information that happens between these two entities. Because the function is to pose some restrictions on information flow, there should be some algorithms too, which there are. These algorithms do help the systems to distinguish between wanted and unwanted type of network communications.
In fact, it is possible to find a list of white-listed connection set in every firewall. All the incoming and outgoing set of connections are monitored on a regular basis. This Access Control Guideline will protect your computer from a bunch of unwanted network communications. For instance, if a hacker is trying to connect to your PC and steal information, you would be notified about that.
Method #2 IP-based Information Filtering
This is another method for preventing virus attacks, as well as to have better controls over the Internet. It’s possible to block incoming or outgoing connections to/from certain networks or IP addresses. This is good if you are taking an extra cover of protection from possible threats. This section is a bit broader, because the IP-based information filtering system is something so smart.
For instance, you can set the firewall to block the access of particular websites or services. This method can be used by organizations to block access to a bunch of unproductive ones. The same is used for destination filtering and source filtering. When you are on a confidential, internal network, these things make sense. In short, this makes sure that malicious websites/services will not have access to your computer or network. It is equally useful for preventing yourself from accessing such bad sites/services.
It has to be noted that a firewall can be host-based or network based. In case of network firewalls, there are hardware and software distinctions as well. And, as we said earlier, you have the freedom to select in-built or third-party firewalls for your computer. Chances are, when you purchase a popular antivirus program, you will also receive a firewall package. Both these utilities work together to ensure the best protection for your computer and network-based activities. One more thing is that, with the right selection of firewall, you have the best-level protection too. And, unless you really need it and know the consequences, never try to turn off a computer firewall in your Windows PC, Mac or any device.