Home Page

Firewalls

Email & Spam

Security Terminology

Security Topics

VPN & Cryptography

Wireless

 

General

Top 8 Internet Security Tips

Why both, Firewall and Anti Virus?

Free or purchased security - Which one?

 

What is Guide

What is a Firewall?

What is a Virus?

What is Spam?

 

Security Products Guide

Which Anti-Virus Software?

Which Firewall?

Which Spam Filter?

Which Internet Security Suite?

 

Essential Security Guides

Securing Windows XP Guide

Securing Windows Vista Guide

A Guide to Wireless Security

 

 

 

 

Windows Firewall Advanced Vista Features

 

 

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Page 10

 

 

 

 

Page 6

Advanced windows firewall

By default Vista's Windows firewall allows any program running on your computer to connect to the network. You will notice that inbound connections are blocked but outbound connections are allowed. This means that you are NOT protected if a virus was to send your personal information from your computer out to the internet into the hands of a hacker, as no rule exists to stop it. It is very easy for malicious software to do this. This activity is very common for spyware, viruses and trojans

To overcome this problem you would need to configure Vista's advanced Windows firewall to block outbound connections, as shown below.


To access the advanced Windows firewall, click, start, control pane, administrative tools, Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

 

You will now see the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security tool. Within the overview section click on Windows Firewall Properties near the bottom.

 

Windows Vista Advanced Firewall

 

You will now see the Properties dialogue. Click the Private Profile tab. The Private Profile is the one used when you are using a PC at home and are connected to the internet.

 

Windows Advanced Firewall Private Profile Settings

 

If you have a look at the Outbound connections, this is set to allow. Click the drop down box and select Block. Click OK to close the dialogue.

Windows firewall will now block all your programs from accessing the internet so you are fully secured. However this means that some of your applications will not work, or some will only partially work. One for sure is the internet explorer application. You will now NOT be able to view the internet, so we need to configure a rule to allow internet explorer out to the internet.

 

Creating a rule

We will now create a rule to allow internet explorer to connect out through your Windows firewall so you can browse the web.

In the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security window, select the Outbound rules on the left hand side. In the middle you will see a long list of items that will not mean anything to you. You do not need to worry about these.

 

Windows Advanced Firewall outbound rules settings

 

On the right hand side, click the New Rule link. You will see the new Outbound Rule wizard. As we are configuring a rule for internet explorer, leave the Program option selected, and click on Next.

 

Choosing a rule type in Windows Advanced Firewall

 

Select the option This program path, and then click the Browse button. Click the Computer icon on the left, double click the hard disk drive, double click Program Files, double click Internet Explorer folder, and then double click iexplorer.

Now click on Next.

 

Choosing a program path in Windows Vista Advanced Firewall

 

Select Allow the connection and click Next.

 

Choosing an action in Windows Vista Advanced Firewall

 

Now within the Windows firewall to ensure the Domain, Private and Public options are selected as you will want to use internet explorer where ever you are. Just for your reference, Domain option is for when you are at work, Private is for when you are at home and Public option is for when you are connected to a public network such as a coffee shop or an internet cafe. Now click Next.

 

Choosing a profile in Windows Vista Advanced Firewall

 

Give this rule a meaningful name, like Internet Explorer, and then Select Finish.

 

Choosing a name using Windows Vista Advanced Firewall

 

Well Done – You have now told your Windows firewall to block all applications outbound, apart from internet explorer. Your computer is now in a very secure state and your computer is protected from any malware (viruses, trojans, etc) attempting to send out confidential information about you.

However you may have other applications that need access, so you may want to follow these steps again using the Windows firewall, and select the application you want to allow. Applications such as anti-Virus software, proxy servers, and other programs that require updating would need access to the internet to update them. Use this with caution though, as hackers attempt to compromise applications and can use them to cause harm to your computer, and even steal your confidential data.

It can be a bit of a repetitive task using the Windows firewall if you have lots of applications that need access to the internet. Most third party firewalls handle all this for you, so you would not need to create any outbound rules. They will inform you when a program needs access to the internet and will ask you whether you want to block or allow it, and by selecting either block or allow the third party firewall will create the rule automatically for you. In fact Internet Security Suites such as Kaspersky, Norton and ZoneAlarm have a huge database of known trusted programs, in which they allow out for you and block the un-trusted ones, leaving you completely hassle free!

To the point, Windows firewall needs to be manually configured, a bit of thinking, and creates an uncertainty within a user not knowing whether they have set it up correctly.

This is why it it is much better purchasing a third party firewall, they do all the work for you and you can be assured everything is secure. If this is what you are looking for, take a look at my Firewall Guide or my Internet security suite guide.

Next Page | Previous Page

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Page 10