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Firewall & Security Software: Cyber Safe Advice

Online security has never been more important. This article takes a look at how you can use Firewalls and Internet Security Software to boost your online safety.



Firewalls are a crucial barrier between the internet and your computer or network. These protect against hackers and some viruses, so are well worth putting in place and monitoring.

Personal Firewalls should be installed on every individual computer. If you use Windows operating system, they will have their own firewall already installed on the computer and it will already be active for your convenience.

A standard Apple Mac OS X system doesn’t have such vulnerable services listening by default, so it doesn’t need a tacked-on firewall to help protect itself.

To enable and configure your Mac’s firewall:

  • Click the Apple menu, select System Preferences, and click the Security & Privacy icon.
  • From here, click the Firewall tab, then the lock icon, and enter your password.
  • Click Turn on Firewall, and then click Firewall Options to configure your firewall options.
  • From here, you can configure the options and add applications to the list.
  • An application you add to the list can have incoming connections allowed or blocked.

The firewall settings are in the Control Panel of Windows computers.

Internet Security Software

If you have a firewall on your computer what is the need for Anti-virus software?

As mentioned above, Firewalls are vital but they do not protect your computer from all forms of cyber-attacks, therefore anti-virus is nowadays an imperative addition to the software catalogue.

Anti-virus software comes in various forms and can range from free downloadable software to software which is purchased from a shop and used for an annual fee.

Anti-Virus will scan a variety of areas on your computer including emails and files that are opened, and will perform regular scans on all files to thoroughly check the whole system. However it will not prevent cyber activity that isn’t initiated by a virus.

Most important of all is to ensure that updates (patches) for firewalls and internet security software is updated regularly as it needs to keep up with the huge volume of new viruses & threats that are created daily.