Tagged With firewall

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Certain networking or file-sharing programs will always bump up against Windows Vista's super-finicky firewall, and turning it off is no one-click affair. The How-To Geek has a useful addition to what, by now, might be a collection of Vista shortcuts: Turning the firewall on and off with a quick double-click. Hit the link below for a guide on making on and off shortcuts, complete with icons that make it clear what you're doing.

Create a Shortcut Icon or Hotkey to Turn Windows Vista Firewall On or Off

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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The Ubuntu Unleashed blog has an excellent guide to the ins and outs of the Uncomplicated Firewall (ufw), a new feature in Ubuntu Linux 8.04, or Hardy Heron, that makes it easy to control the traffic into and out of your system. While turning on the firewall is as simple as typing sudo ufw enable, you can do a lot more with ufw, including:

Check the status of ufw with the ports in the listening state: sudo ufw status Block a single host: sudo ufw deny from {IP address} Allow all access to port 80 (for web serving): sudo ufw allow 80/tcp

Hit the link for a handy bookmark or printout that lets you control your net security with single terminal commands.

Howto: Use, setup, and Take advantage of the New Ubuntu Uncomplicated Firewall UFW

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A strong firewall is one of the best defenses against malicious software attacks on your system. Newcomers to computer security who aren't running a firewall should check out Yahoo's Tech Security Guide on the matter. The key point is that anti-virus alone is not enough to protect your computer:

A firewall plugs the security holes ... and blocks that bad, random traffic from coming through to your computer. Anti-virus won't help you in many of these cases. You really need a firewall to stop a lot of this stuff.

Most home Wi-Fi routers have a firewall built-in, and at the office the IT department most likely has you covered. But when your PC is out and about on open networks, are you content to rely on Windows' built-in firewall, or do you use a third-party app? Educate us in the comments. (And Mac users, here's how to turn on Leopard's off-by-default, built-in firewall.)

What is a Firewall and Why Do You Need One?

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Windows XP/2000 only: Software firewall ZoneAlarm is offering free downloads of its basic firewall package with a spyware scanner/cleaner and a year of free updates until 5 p.m. PST today (although you'll get an email with a download link that's valid for a week after that). Program maker Check Point Software claims the free offering is made to coincide with Microsoft's monthly "Patch Tuesday" and the ensuing new vulnerabilities that hackers start working on. Regardless of the piggy-back marketing, ZoneAlarm is an easy-to-use port protector, and a little free spyware protection couldn't hurt either. ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware is a free download for Windows 2000 and XP only.

ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware

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Computer security firm publication Heise criticizes Mac OS X Leopard for shipping without its firewall enabled by default like Windows Vista and advises users to turn it on. To do so, in System Preferences' Security area either block all incoming connections or set explicit exceptions for services that can communicate through the firewall, like file or screen sharing, as shown. (More on that in an upcoming post.)

Holes in Leopard's firewall