Protection your computer and valuable data today requires a variety of methods, ranging from installed computer security software to subscription based updates that can monitor your system in the background. As cyber criminals become even savvier than ever before, computer users need to utilize a variety of tools to ensure complete protection at all times. No single tool can provide all of the protection needed today – instead a suite or comprehensive program has to utilize methods both to limit external access to your machine (a firewall), as well as monitoring those files that you voluntarily download (spyware, anti-virus or malware protection).

Firewall Protection

A firewall is a layer in a computer network that serves to filter out unwanted traffic which is seeking to access your machine. There are a variety of types of firewalls, ranging from packet filters to proxy servers. The goal of a firewall is to limit communications between your machine and external servers only to those types of connections that are most desirable.

One of the most common firewall types is a software based packet filter, which analyzes both incoming and outgoing data to determine whether it is a risk to the machine. Intelligent programs can analyze and evaluate packets of data, while users can also set rules to determine which types of data should be allowed. Additionally, many software programs have an application-level gateway, which determines which programs should have access to your connection. For example, you can enable connection from iTunes but deny it to another program you are not aware of.

Other forms of firewalls include circuit gateways, which only allowed certain connections with the host. By applying security filters, the firewall can limit transmission of unwanted data. A stronger form of the gateway is a proxy server, which hides the actual network from inbound traffic, routing all data through an intermediary.

Spyware Protection

Commonly bundled with computer security suites, spyware protection is most often in the form of scanning software which checks against a known database of spyware programs. By updating the database frequently, the program is able to better to deny access to known types of spy and adware. Computer security firms provide frequent updates which helps computer users to keep their machines safe at all times. Additionally, anti-spyware programs have sets of intelligent rules which monitor your machine in the background. When a piece of software is exhibiting suspicious behavior, the software can intervene to prevent transmission of the data.

In addition to installing effective anti-spyware software, it’s important to always be aware of your behavior online: limit your online visit behavior to sites that you know particularly well and make sure to only download trusted software. By monitoring your own behavior carefully, and combining this with effective software solutions, you should be able to effectively combat threats to your personal computer. Both firewalls and computer scanners add a layer of protection to your machine, which helps to ensure that your machine is running at full speed at all times.

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