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A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that helps screen-out hackers and viruses that try to reach your computer via the internet. Using a firewall is the most effective and important first step to help protect your computer.
Allowing content through your firewall
To allow content through your firewall, you would create an exception to enable a particular program to send information back and forth through your firewall – another term is called unblocking. An alternative way to allow content through is to open one or more ports, which is like opening a 'tiny door'. However, this is less secure. It's generally safer to create a program exception than to open a port. If you open a port, it stays open until you close it, whether or not being used program. If you create an exception, the "door" is open only when needed for a particular communication.
To help decrease your security risk:
- Never create an exception or open a port for a program that you do not recognise.
- Only create an exception or open a port when you really need to, and remove exceptions or close ports that you no longer need.
Please note: it is important to turn on your firewall before you connect to the internet.
A Net Nanny is a piece of software you can download and install onto your computer to help filter inappropriate content and prevent it being viewed by children. There is a wide choice of similar software products available online. Some of the others most commonly known include: Control Kids, SpectorPro and Content Protect.