Have you securely closed the “doors” of your computer or mobile device? You can do so reliably by activating your firewall to monitor Internet traffic towards your device.
- Make absolutely sure to activate the firewall that comes with your operating system before you connect your device to the Internet or another network.
- Certain online software, such as online games, require certain “access doors” (socalled ports) to be open. Please make sure that you only ever open any ports actually required, and that you don’t completely deactivate your firewall.
When users are surfing the Internet on your computer, tablet or smartphone, invisible “access doors” (ports) are opened on your device to communicate. These offer a target for attackers from the Internet. A firewall installed will close these doors as much as possible and will monitor all data traffic between your devices and the Internet. Your firewall will alert you if it discovers any “suspicious” network traffic.
Risk minimization using a firewall
If your computer is not protected by a firewall, attackers can use your Internet connection for illegal activities or intercept data from your machine. A firewall can be used to minimise this risk. How effective a firewall is though depends on its proper configuration.
What to do
Similar to antivirus software, firewalls are also available as additional utilities and can sometimes be downloaded from the Internet for free. Most current operating systems (for instance Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, macOS or Linux) are fitted with a firewall anyway, and this is usually completely sufficient. Check the security settings of your operating system to see whether this integrated safety mechanism is actually activated though.
To active the firewall, click «System Preferences» in the «Apple» menu. Under the «Firewall» tab, you can activate the firewall under «Security & Privacy». This will now remain activated even when you restart. You can also watch our demo clip on «Activating the Mac Firewall» to find out how to activate the firewall.
Mac OS X (10.8)
Smartphone and Tablet
You cannot simply install a firewall under any of the current smartphone operating systems. While root privileges are required with Android devices, on iPhones you will have to use Jailbreak to do so. Both the root and Jailbreak processes can damage your device and will deactivate various of the operating system’s security mechanisms. We therefore do not recommend any such processes.
No firewall apps are currently available for Windows phone devices.