A firewall can prevent any communication from getting to your computer including information that you may want to receive like web pages or e-mails from someone else. You could use a firewall to prevent everything from getting through to your computer and only accomplish the same thing as unplugging your computer from the internet or computer network.

Firewalls are not made to do this, but rather make sure that you keep control of the kind of communication you want your computer to send and receive. This control can help prevent viruses and spyware that do not communicate through the doors that you have left open. They cannot do anything about the communication that passes through those open channels however, so spyware and virus scanners are still critical for protection of the open doors on your computer at all times.

Firewalls are also a security measure taken by nearly all corporate and secure local networks to keep unauthorized people away from confidential data and computer resources. Any computer on the internet without a firewall is wide open for any outside person to attack. These attacks may even take the form of an individual that just wants to see how many computers they can hack into and destroy. The argument that “there is nothing that anyone would want to see on my computer” may be true, but that does not mean that someone won’t do harm to your computer while they are there. This computer hacking is like a hunting sport to computer hackers and your computer is the targeted game.

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