How to Increase Firewall Protection

By Matthew Caines

Increase your firewall protection.
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With the constant threat of Internet hackers and identity thieves it is vital that your computer is fully protected and always updated for the latest viruses and malware. The Windows firewall, a default with most PCs, is a powerful anti-virus tool that can be configured to increase your computer's protection.

Navigate to your Computer's Control Panel located in the Start Menu. Double-click on the "Windows Firewall" icon to open a new window. The Windows Firewall icon is represented by the image of a brick wall with the planet earth behind it.

Ensure that the Windows Firewall is switched on. If your firewall is not switched on your computer is susceptible to incoming viruses, Trojan horses and malicious files. Click the "On (recommended)" button to turn on your firewall.

Click the "Exceptions" tab at the top of the Windows Firewall window. You are still allowing certain programs and applications to download and transfer packages through your PC although your firewall is running. By altering the Exceptions of your firewall you can increase the protection of your PC. Clicking on the "Exceptions" tab opens a new window section.

Un-tick some of the programs that are more likely to contain or traffic malicious files. For example, P2P file-sharing programs such as Limewire, Ares and UTorrent are not 100 per cent regulated or checked for viruses.

Update your firewall with a Windows Service Pack. Windows is constantly updating the firewall software of its Operating Systems and this means that any new or previously-unknown malware will now be recognized and prevented from accessing your PC. Your computer will let you know and warn you when these new malicious files are accessing your computer.

You can access all of Windows' Service Packs on their Help and Support page; they support packs from Windows NT 4.0 all the way through to Windows Vista and 7. The installation instructions are very straightforward but usually require your computer to be restarted. See the Resources section for a link to the Help and Support webpage.