Combatting hackers


Recommended programs:

Cost: Free

Sygate personal firewall
Cost: Free

Norton personal firewall
Cost: £40

McAfee personal firewall plus
Cost: £20

Additional resources:

Gibson research corporation

Webveil - anonymous surfing
Each time you logon to the Internet, you may be vulnerable to hackers snooping around on your PC. Hackers are unscrupulous programmers who spend their time searching for weaknesses to exploit. Their reasons range from just being nosy to finding vulnerable computers for use as invisble proxy servers to even deliberately damaging your PC and your Internet connection.

To guarantee your safety while surfing, the best solution is to install a firewall. There are commercial firewalls available but there are also free applications which work quite adequately. I have a ZoneAlarm firewall installed on my PC and was amazed to see the number of times my PC was 'pinged' by external sources when I first connected to the Internet.

If you are using Windows XP, you can use the firewall which is included with the operating system: click on 'Start -> Connect To' and then right-click on your Internet connection. Select the 'Properties' button, click on the 'Advanced' tab and make sure the 'Internet Connection Firewall' checkbox is selected.

When your firewall is configured, your PC should be much less vulnerable: all incoming data will be checked and most firewalls will even check your applications and ask your permission if one of them unexpectedly tries to access the Internet.