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Personal firewall

(also host-based firewall)

Personal firewall definition

A personal firewall is a software app that monitors and manages network traffic going to and coming from a computer or other device. The personal firewall protects an individual device by working as a sort of firewall that filters and checks traffic, unauthorized access, and other security risks. Personal firewalls provide an additional layer of security for personal computers, compared to the traditional firewalls that protect particular network segments. Personal firewalls are a crucial security solution nowadays due to the popularity of laptops, which require stronger protection, because users can browse on public wifi networks. Personal firewalls provide a variety of security capabilities to defend a device from malware and unauthorized access.

See also: anti-phishing service, host-based firewall

Personal firewall security features

  • Email notifications. The personal firewall alerts users when someone wants to access their email account or if there is unrecognized activity in their inbox, but only if it comes as a security measure.
  • Inbox protection. Personal firewalls utilize anti-spam or anti-phishing features that prevent malicious emails from entering users’ inboxes if it comes as an addition to the personal firewalls. They also have filters that may block malware emails or attachments.
  • IP address shielding. This feature ensures that hackers won’t be able to target the computer by providing a different IP address if they sense there is a threat to the device.
  • Intrusion prevention and detection. Personal firewalls monitor network traffic and prevent malware threats before they enter users’ computers.
  • Application control. This feature restricts unauthorized access to some applications, which secures all of the users’ data.
  • Packet filtering. Packet filtering disables traffic from particular IP addresses, bans certain traffic types (such as a peer-to-peer or file-sharing activity), or only permits traffic from specific ports (such as HTTP or HTTPS).
  • Some include antivirus tools. They check the traffic for viruses, worms, and other harmful codes and detect unusual behavior.