Okay, so I don’t have any information on my computers that the CIA would be interested in. However, I do deal with a lot of big companies, and I have a great interest in protecting their information from prying eyes. In this article, I’ll take a look at Zone Labs’ ZoneAlarm, which establishes a firewall on your Windows 2000 Professional PC or system.

Building a firewall using ZoneAlarm
Not only do you have to protect yourself from viruses and similar programs, you also have to protect your system from other computers that might put programs on your system that can do major damage. Some of these programs can be installed on your system from a remote location and run transparently. Normally, you wouldn’t even know that the program is there. These types of programs are designed to do a lot of damage, such as:

  • ·        Jamming a Web site by continuously sending files or requests to the Web site’s server (also known as a denial-of-service attack).
  • ·        Taking an inventory of your computer system and use that information to send out data about you and your system every time you log on to the Internet.
  • ·        Uploading files to the originator’s computer.

It’s really scary when you find out that your system is under such an attack and your security has been compromised—it’s as if you come home one night and everything has been stolen from your home. Luckily, there are many programs that can help protect you from this sort of thing. One in particular that I’ve found really helpful is a freeware program called ZoneAlarm.

How does it work?
ZoneAlarm establishes a firewall on your PC or system and helps prevent other computers from accessing your ports and installing programs on your system. The firewall controls the door to your computer, helping to protect your data and files.

ZoneAlarm includes four interlocking security services that deliver easy-to-use, comprehensive protection:

  • ·        Application Control—Lets you decide which applications can and cannot access the Internet.
  • ·        The Internet Lock—Blocks Internet traffic while your computer is unattended or while you aren’t using the Internet.
  • ·        Security Levels—Automatically configure the firewall and eliminate the risk of improper configuration.
  • ·        Zones—Allow you to grant access rights.

What’s it going to cost me?
ZoneAlarm is a great product and it is freeware. It has been checked for virus infection, but when you download it, you should check it again just for peace of mind.

Most of the freeware sites out there have ZoneAlarm for you to download. You can also find it at Zone Lab and ZDNet’s SoftSeek.com .

Dallas G. Releford has worked in the computer field as a programmer, MIS manager, PC specialist, and other related positions. In addition, he has written a novel, which was published on the Internet and led him to an interest in the electronic publishing field. He also writes articles, electronic books, and just about anything else that involves the written word. To learn more about Dallas’ business, visit his Web site, which is called The Editor’s Eye .

The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein, but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.