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Tips On Preventing Identity Theft With A Firewall

A firewall can be either a hardware product or software program that is designed to prevent outsiders from accessing your computer or network, and in some cases used to prevent applications already located on your computer from accessing the Internet in order to transmit back to a host.

These applications can be understood as having a Server/Client relationship. The program that is installed on your computer can be referred to as the client, and when the client attains the information that it was designed to acquire, it connects to the Server to transmit the data.

Some of the programs that get installed on your computer, such as the free P2P programs that allow you to share music or movies, are generally referred to as Adware or Spyware programs, because they gather information about you such as your geographical location, what websites you visit, maybe your age and gender, and then target advertisements to you based on that information. Some of the more crooked programs will go so far as to capture credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, birth dates and account numbers and try to transmit this information back to a Server computer. Thus your identity related data can be compromised if you don’t have a firewall on your PC.

Ideally, you would want a firewall that not only blocks connections from the Internet, but would also notify you if a program already on your computer is trying to connect to the Internet. Some of the programs installed would of course have a valid reason for trying to connect to the Internet, such as an antivirus program that needs to connect to a Server to download the latest definitions in order to keep your computer safe from the latest types of infections. You may also have an Operating System that would need to connect to the manufacturer’s servers to download the latest security fixes or patches.

There is a wide selection of firewalls available for consumers, both hardware and software based. Do as much research as you can and check with respectable sources and which product or suite of products would best fit your needs. My personal recommendation is to stay away from small and unestablished companies, and instead use one of the major company’s that are recognized as an authority.

For example, Symantec, Checkpoint and Network Associates are well known companies for their firewall software products.

 For hardware firewall, you may look at Linksys, Netgear and Cisco, as they have created solid products for use with the average everyday consumer.  Again, these are just examples of personal taste, so do as much research as possible to determine which solution would fit your needs.

While configuring a software or a hardware firewall for outgoing and incoming requests, allow only those programs/IP’s etc. which you know are genuine and known to you and needs the access (incoming – to your PC or outgoing – from your PC to Net or other remote network). Allow only that much access that is must and not more than that. Identity theft is a serious issue and can prove disastrous if it occurs. This article will definitely help you in preventing your personal, confidential data from being compromised online to a large extent by means of installing a firewall.

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Tags: how to prevent identity theft by using a firewall, tips to stop identity theft by utilizing a firewall

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 10th, 2011 at 10:20 pm and is filed under Application SW, Firewall, Security. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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