Firewalls

Should I buy a hardware firewall?

CUJO smart firewall

Episode 1448

Tom from Madison, WI

Tom wants to know if the CUJO Smart Firewall is a good idea. Leo says that he already has a firewall with his wireless router. That handles about 80% of all bad traffic. Also using OpenDNS can filter out even more. Then he could have a software firewall to handle the rest. Everything that CUJO does, he can do with other services that cost less or free. Mesh Routers also offer the exact same protections.

How to Tell If Your Computer Has Been Hacked

There are a lot of ways that bad actors online can compromise your computer. As their techniques become more sophisticated, it becomes more difficult to know whether or not your system has been compromised. There are some signs to look for, however, to tell if your computer is affected by malware.

You can always scan your computer with antivirus software. Microsoft includes its own antivirus utility as part of Windows 8 and above. You can also use the Malicious Software Removal Tool by pressing the Windows Key + R, typing in "MRT," and pressing enter.

How can I be secure online during a cruise?

Tiny Hardware Firewall

Episode 1326

Jim from Colorado

Jim is about to go on a river cruise and he's concerned with security when using Wi-Fi on the ship. Leo advises using the Tiny Hardware Firewall. It's a hardware firewall that can protect up to five devices because it uses a built in VPN that protects him. It will slow it down a bit, and the internet is slow on those cruise Wi-Fi hotspots, but it will keep him clean from the last mile.

Why can't I use my Nest Cam with my network?

Nest Cam

Episode 1284

Frank from Pomona, CA

Frank is having trouble installing his Nest Cam. It won't work unless he turns off his firewall. Leo says that's not good. But it's the nature of a firewall, as it blocks a conversation between incoming and outgoing traffic. That's why Leo recommends using a router instead. He can also use the DMZ feature, where he could allow the Nest Cam to bypass protection. Leo doesn't recommend it, but it can be one option.

Do I need firewalls if I have a router?

Episode 1175

Joe from Canton, OH

Joe just got a router and wants to know if he really needs firewalls anymore. Leo says no. Joe could turn on the Windows firewall, but any third party firewall isn't really needed because the router is essentially a "dumb box" that prevents attacks from incoming traffic.

Routers, though, aren't impervious to attack, so he'll need to keep the firmware up to date, or even use a third party firmware like Tomato or DDWRT.

Can computers infect each other from within my network?

Network

Episode 1069

Jeanette from Royal Oak, MI

Jeanette's son's computer was hacked and she's concerned that her Mac computers will be infected if he connects it to her network. Leo says that she should go into the security system preferences and turn on the computer firewall. That will protect her individual computers inside her network. What about her iPad? Leo says that she doesn't really have to worry about the tablet getting infected. Nobody is writing viruses that can infect an iPad from a Windows PC.

Do I need a separate router for my DSL connection?

Episode 917

Andrew from Los Angeles, CA

Some DSL modems have a router built in. Routers are beneficial because they act as a firewall, too. So if Andrew's modem has a router built in, he's good. If not, then a router is important because it stops a lot of internet malware hacking attempts. Andrew is wondering if he could go without a router, and rely on Nod32 for his security. Leo says that he shouldn't, but he should also turn on his Windows firewall because that would also protect him from any computer that are corrupted and on his network.