Cyber Protection: Your Home Internet Firewall
When the subject of the biggest robberies and heists in history come up, many people think of Bonnie and Clyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or even Al Capone. The exploits of these legendary criminals struck instant fear with the people of their day and often still create a strange curiosity when their names are mentioned now.
While the criminal element is still with us, the landscape has changed. When it comes to cyber data and security, most people are at risk whether they know it or not . . . even the ultimate crime-fighting department – the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While this infamous organization can take at least partial credit for the capture of both Capone and Bonnie and Clyde, they were also the unassuming target of one of the biggest cyber hacks in history.1
AllTimeLists.com has the details:
“In November 2016, the FBI had one of the worst computer hacks in its history. After their entire database and operating system was hacked, the identities of every undercover FBI and Homeland Security agent in the United States were released to the Dark Web. This didn’t only compromise lots of ongoing FBI operations, it also endangered the lives of many of those agents whose covers were blown.
“To make the story even weirder, the person accused of this attack was a 15-year old kid from England. Apparently, in the internet age, a kid with a laptop can be more devastating than an entire armed mob.”
Think about it, if a 15-year-old can put a powerful government agency at risk, is anyone really safe from computer hacking? And while you may think that not being a company or organization makes you less at risk, it’s simply not the case. In fact, nearly 60 million people have been affected by identity theft in 20182 alone and in the same year over $2.8 billion was lost in fraudulent internet activity.3
Through the years, computer scientists and technology specialists have developed security device tools to add more protection to the internet experience and safeguard private data. One of these types of cyber protection is a home internet firewall. Let’s take a closer at firewalls, how they work, and how they can protect your private data.
What is a home internet firewall?
Home internet firewalls serve as a defense system between your network or computer and unsafe cyber connections, such as trojans and hackers who may infiltrate your computer setup and personal files. Firewall technology traces its roots to the early 1980s before the internet was available for public use and when internet firewalls were used to protect scientific data.
Types of internet firewalls.
There are two types of home internet firewalls:
A software firewall which may include things such as antivirus software used to block incoming malicious connections from your computer and internet of things (IOT) devices. This includes things such as spyware, malware and firmware for outside intrusion detection and intrusion prevention.
A hardware firewall comes as separate pieces that connect to your WiFi router for your WiFi network, typically through ethernet ports, or they are included as a feature on your router. They differ from software firewalls in that they are able to stop malicious connections before they enter your home network. This adds extra protection for internet connected devices, such as laptops, smartphones or tablets, that already have firewall software installed and protection internet devices that do not have firewall software installed.
Key internet firewall features.
Although your WiFi router may have a built-in internet firewall, it may still be of value to have an “extra” internet firewall in place. If you are ready to invest in a hardware firewall, here are some features to consider:
Advanced web filtering
This empowers you to select what type of content you will allow on your home internet network and what types of content you want the firewall to block. You can often block content by website address, subject matter or by keywords. You can even set parental controls to prevent kids from accessing inappropriate content.
Stateful packet inspection
These firewalls monitor traffic on your home internet network and block packets (data) depending on where the IP address or IPv6 address is coming from, or other criteria that you select. With this firewall, you can inspect incoming and outgoing packets then determine what kinds of data you will allow and disallow through your internet connection.
Most internet firewalls have a virtual private network (VPN) that gives you safe access to your data and personal files but keeps anyone from outside your VPN server network from doing so. When working properly, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your personal data is protected.
Remote access VPNs
This type of VPN allows you to access your private network remotely – you can safely log on to your personal network anywhere, anytime. You will also have the same level of network security as when you are accessing your network from within your home. Note that there are other types of VPNs that are used for small business applications, such as protecting companies from data phishing.
What is the best home firewall for reliable internet security?
There is a lot of great firewall hardware on the market and many brands and model names to consider, including: Bitdefender Box, Soho SonicWall, USG, Ubiquiti, Fortinet. Netgear ProSafe, Cujo, Cisco, Zyxel, and more.
Do you have the firewall protection you need?
Now is a great time to evaluate your home internet setup to make sure your wireless router and internet-connected devices are armed with the necessary firewall hardware and software you need to protect you from data intrusions and cyber hacks.
It’s safe to assume you’ll love Suddenlink.
Once you evaluate your home internet security, why not review your internet service provider (ISP), too? Are you getting the most from your internet investment? If not, check out the award-winning service of Suddenlink. our Altice One package that delivers TV, internet, WiFi and streaming apps all in one.
Make the safe – and smart – choice with Suddenlink and stay connected to your favorite parts of the world around you.