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How do I Choose the Best Spam Firewall?

Article Details
  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A spam firewall is one of the tools available to consumers to reduce the chances of falling victim to criminals while surfing the Internet. Since this type of program protects the computer in real time, it can complement anti-virus software. Finding a great spam firewall may seem like a difficult task, but there are essentially three components to look for: it should auto-update, mask the computer's presence on the Internet, and have a learning mode.

It might not seem like a big deal for a spam firewall to update automatically, but new threats are developed each and every day. In fact, hackers and programmers have become so proficient in designing ways to penetrate computer systems, there is often a 24-hour window of opportunity until anti-virus software can detect a previously unknown threat. Sure, many new threats are detected automatically by computers, but the ultimate goal is to stop all attacks in real time, meaning that a great spam firewall is often the only protection a consumer has. A simple email attachment or a compromised website containing such a virus could render a computer system worthless in seconds, which is why real-time updates are so essential.

A learning mode is also essential in a great spam firewall because it learns what programs are considered safe by the consumer. While the pop-up confirmation windows can be annoying at first, this is the only way a spam firewall can safely determine what should be able to freely connect to the Internet and what shouldn't. With a learning mode in place, Trojan viruses are essentially harmless because they can not connect to cyberspace in order to give hackers access; a good spam firewall blocks both incoming and outgoing connections. Taking the time to teach the firewall what programs are trustworthy will ensure a true barrier of protection is always in place, regardless of the severity of the threat encountered.

While stopping dangerous programs from installing on a computer system is the trademark skill of a quality spam firewall, invisibility to hackers is better still. A great spam firewall will completely eliminate any tracks that would indicate that the computer in question is connected to the Internet, and hackers can not attack what they can't see. There are many great versions of a spam firewall available for download, but few of them have this feature included, so it is important to find one that does.

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