30 July 2006
As far as I know, Windows Firewall, which comes with Windows XP Service Pack 2, is fairly effective at inbound protection (warding off hackers and other threats coming from the outside world), but it doesn’t have any outbound protection.
Outbound protection is important because it can prevent spyware on your computer from sending the information it has collected back over the internet to whoever is trying to spy on you.
If your firewall features outbound protection, it means that you can grant or refuse permission to any program that wants to access the internet. So if something does slip through the spyware and adware precautions you have implemented on your computer, you’ll be able to prevent it from doing any real harm.
What you can do about it:
One of the best programs to keep you safe with inbound and outbound protection is the ZoneAlarm firewall. And, of course, it’s free and super easy to set up.
Don’t forget to turn off Windows Firewall after you have installed ZoneAlarm. Here’s how: Start>Control Panel>Windows Firewall> then select “Off” in the tab/section called “General”.