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IS&T recommends using a software-based firewall when using Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems. As with any computer safety measure, always check with your local IT support provider prior to enabling a personal firewall.
A personal or host-based firewall is software installed on a computer that controls communication to and from that computer when connected to a network or the internet. It provides a line of defense against someone who might try to access your computer remotely without your permission.
A personal firewall can help prevent unauthorized access to your computer by blocking unsolicited communications. Using a defined set of rules, the firewall determines whether to allow or block connections to your computer.
For any questions about enabling or configuring personal firewalls, contact the IS&T Service Desk or your local IT support provider.
Windows has built-in firewall that are turned on by default. You only need to configure Windows Firewall if you are having a problem connecting to the Internet. These web pages provide further information about Windows Firewall:
Mac OS X systems have built-in firewalls that are not turned on by default. The firewall configurations can be found in System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
Linux has a built-in firewall. See Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3: Chapter 20. Basic Firewall Configuration.