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Because you are reading this chapter’s introduction chances are very good that you already know a little about the Internet and why it is both an incredible and dangerous place to visit. The Internet is gold mine of information and opportunity. Unfortunately it has also become a hunting
ground for less-than-scrupulous individuals who have both the tools and the know-how to penetrate your computer and steal your personal and financial information or who simply enjoy playing practical jokes or deliberately harming other people’s computer systems. The introduction of wide spread high-speed Internet access makes your computer an easier and more attractive target for these people. The mission of this book is to introduce you to personal firewalls and to help you protect your data and your privacy when you are surfing around the
World Wide Web.

1 Learn about the hacker community and the dangers of surfing unprotected
on the Internet
2 Examine the dangers of high-speed cable and DSL access
3 Discover how easy it is to protect yourself by installing your own personal
4 Review the differences between software and hardware firewalls and decide
which solution is best for you
5 Find out which features you should look for when you go firewall shopping

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