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A firewall works as a wall, or a shield, between your PC and cyber space. When your computer connects to the Internet, you are constantly sending and receiving information in small units called packets. The firewall filters these packets to see if they meet certain criteria set by a series of rules, and thereafter blocks or allows the data. This way, hackers cannot get inside and steal information.

Firewalls have played an import roll at large companies, which must secure their networks against determined attackers. However, the dangerous surge in email and Web-borne threats – including viruses, worms, hijacks, and increasingly aggressive spyware – means that home PCs require this protection as well. As the name implies, a firewall acts as a barrier between your PC and the Internet. Firewalls not only prevent unauthorized access to your PC or network, they also hide your Internet-connected PC from view.

There are several reasons why you must ensure that your firewall is up and running.

1. Loss and or manipulation of data: if you own a business, you deal with tons of data every day, data that belongs to your customers. This data is extremely critical and the loss of this information could produce numerous problems.
2. Business restricted documents and confidential data: as a business, you may store very critical documents and you may have to protect yourself from competitors or anyone with bad intentions.
3. Loss of reputation: If you were to lose your customer’s information or some personal or important documentation, this can be critical to your business reputation, and you may also have to pay restitution.

Without a firewall, your computer is operating with an “open door” policy. Bank account information, passwords, credit card numbers, virtually any sensitive information on your computer becomes available to hackers. Hackers can get in, take what they want, and even leave one of their own “back doors” in place for ongoing access to your computer whenever they like. Some firewalls do not have what is called “outbound protection”. That means they cannot control information that leaves your computer. This is risky, since hackers have ways around inbound firewalls. So do not leave your business or personal computer unprotected – get a firewall today.