Our lives are continually being shaped by the internet, a 21st century marvel that’s opened the door to global connectivity, endless possibilities and modern day conveniences. But the internet isn’t without its pitfalls, dark corners and lurking predators, hence the reason why it’s imperative to employ the security of a firewall before venturing into cyberspace.
A firewall is usually a piece of software – often built into most modern operating systems – that enforces specific rules about what kinds of data can travel back and forth between a network. They essentially filter traffic, with the purpose of minimizing the risk of malicious files and viruses travelling over the public internet.
In other words, a firewall can be thought of as a virtual barrier constructed for damage control, preventing internal and external cyber attacks. Firewalls help protect your devices from unauthorized remote access and unsuitable/immoral content, making your online life more secure. Generally speaking, most computers are safer with a firewall, but it’s dependent on what your internet activities actually involve.
There’s a great range of firewall types in existence, with the two main types being network-based and host-based. Network-based can operate as a virtual firewall service or can be built into cloud infrastructure, while host-based are firewalls installed on single servers, monitoring outgoing/incoming traffic.