How to Protect Your Data: Firewall Tutorial

How to Protect Your Data: Firewall Tutorial

How to Protect Your Data: Firewall Tutorial

A firewall is a crucial tool for protecting your data. It sits between your computer and the internet, preventing hackers from gaining access to your private information. But how do you know if it’s working? This tutorial will teach you all about firewalls and how to protect yourself against cyber attacks.

What is a Firewall?

A firewall is a security system that controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It inspects each data packet entering or leaving the network at predetermined checkpoints to decide what type of action should be taken upon it. Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software or a combination of both.

How Does A Firewall Work?

A firewall typically works by allowing connections from your local network and blocking all others. This means that only trusted devices such as your computer or mobile phone will be able to connect with you, while hackers cannot access any of your information on the web without a direct connection. 

Firewalls can also limit inbound traffic to certain types, including incoming email messages but not outgoing ones. You can also configure a firewall to alert you whenever something new tries to connect with your device.

The Benefits of Having a Firewall

In Your Organization

A firewall will help in protecting the company and its employees against hackers. It also helps to stop or prevent unauthorized people from connecting with the computer network, resulting in having sensitive data stolen, such as login credentials for email accounts and other online services.

In Your Home 

Having a software-based personal firewall on each device connected to an internet router can be beneficial because it lets you control what happens over that connection. Software firewalls may allow only specific programs access through them while blocking others entirely, for example, Skype but not Firefox. 

This means that any harmful viruses or malware running within those programs won’t have permission to send information back out over the internet without your knowledge.

Types of Firewalls

Firewalls can come in various forms depending on the type and brand, but usually, only one is installed at any given time. The most common types include:

Hardware Firewall 

A hardware firewall is built into the device itself and prevents all traffic except matches preconfigured rules or connections from your local network. These are easy to configure and work well for home users who do not need advanced security options like VPNs.

Software Firewall 

A software firewall comes in many forms, such as antivirus packages or third-party applications like ZoneAlarm. While they may be more convenient than hardware firewalls because you don’t have to buy new devices, they lag when blocking new threats. They are also more difficult to configure because you need advanced computer knowledge to effectively set up rules and monitor connections. To see a more in-depth difference between a hardware and a software firewall, read the article Is A Firewall Hardware Or Software.[“Is Firewall A Hardware Or A Software” article link here]

Network Firewall 

A network firewall is run by your internet service provider (ISP) or organization that connects your business, school, etc. It protects all devices on their shared network from each other as well as outside attacks. Since they control everything coming in and out of the local area network (LAN), these tend to be very secure but can cause problems with connectivity when incorrectly configured between different types of hardware like routers, switches, servers, firewalls, workstations, tablets, smartphones, and Wi-Fi access points.

How to Set up Your Firewall

Windows Firewall 

The firewall in Microsoft Windows is not enabled by default because it only protects your computer while connected to a network, so you are using it on the go if there’s no point. To enable this feature, open up the Control Panel and click ‘System and Security. Click ‘Windows Defender Firewall’ then toggle the switch next to ‘On (recommended)’ at the top of the window.

Linux IPTables 

The steps for enabling IPTables will depend on which distribution you’re running since they all use different configuration interfaces. You can check out tutorials online or contact your administrator for specific step-by-step instructions. If configuring manually isn’t an option, make sure that any software firewalls you’re running are set to high security and include both incoming and outgoing connections.

Mac OS X 

Apple has included a firewall with every version of their operating system since Snow Leopard, but it is disabled by default for compatibility reasons. To enable this feature, click on the Apple logo, then select ‘System Preferences’ from the dropdown menu that appears underneath. Under ‘Security & Privacy, click on the lock icon at the bottom left of the window to make changes, then select ‘Firewall.’ 

Ensure all network types are selected except for those used by other computers or devices in your home, which should be turned off if possible. You can also configure specific programs to automatically allow these new settings when they try to connect to your device.


Open the Settings menu, then choose ‘Security’ and enable ‘Firewall.’ This is only available on newer versions of Android, however. If you are unsure which version you have installed, you can find out by tapping the build number in Settings until a notification appears saying that it has been unlocked for development purposes. 

To configure this firewall, select the three dots at the top to open up advanced options where you can toggle individual settings like allowing or blocking traffic to specific programs, websites, etc., based on their network activity. For maximum security, leave everything set to high unless told otherwise by an administrator who understands what they’re doing.

Common Misconceptions About Firewalls 

Firewalls Block All Incoming Traffic 

Firewalls can only control which programs and services have access to the internet, providing very little protection from hackers who use malicious software that doesn’t need an open port or network connection to enter your system. This is why a different security solution should also be used for maximum effectiveness.

A Firewall Will Protect Me Against Phishing Attacks

False! Just like how firewalls don’t prevent malware, they won’t stop you from being tricked into entering any private information on a fake website either since these are designed as lookalikes with modified code that lets them bypass filters using tricks such as Unicode Domain Name System (DNS) resolution through manual editing of the hosts’ file. A firewall can only protect you against certain dangerous things like outside attacks or DDoS attacks. Read the article What Does A Firewall Protect Your Company Against to see what a firewall can or can not protect against [What Does A Firewall Protect Your Company Against article link here]

A Firewall Is 100% Effective. 

Even if you have a perfect security solution in place, it’s not difficult for hackers to bypass firewalls using techniques such as hijacking or Denial of Service (DoS) attacks which are designed specifically to target them. 

For example, malware can simply change your configuration settings to allow blocked programs without being detected by the software itself. 

There are also limits on how many simultaneous connections each device should allow before they start dropping packets, and sometimes even legitimate traffic gets caught up in this net too! This means there will always be ways around any protections unless they’re implemented perfectly every time, making it necessary never to rely entirely on one layer of defense.

I Don’t Need Any Help Because My Firewall Is Secure. 

It’s important to remember that these systems are also vulnerable to exploits unless they’re kept fully up-to-date, which can never be taken for granted even if you think your security software isn’t the problem. 

For example, there was a vulnerability in how Malwarebytes protected its users discovered last year by an anonymous researcher who claimed he wasn’t able to get his findings through official channels despite contacting them multiple times before going public with it himself. 

In this case, the company admitted that their previous fix only hid the method of attack from casual hackers rather than patching it entirely but then released a new version within 24 once they’d had time to analyze and test the exploit and issue a statement saying that they had resolved it.


There are many different types of attacks that can be launched against businesses and other organizations. Firewalls protect you by blocking all unauthorized communications before they reach your internal resources, which means unwanted users will not be able to access or use them for their purposes. They can protect the entire network, including digital assets.

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