Computer Info You Can Live With
December 24, 2001
A fter last week’s newsletter on passwords (http://www.keystonecomputerconcepts.com/keystonekeyboard/Keyboard12172001b.htm) your passwords now look similar to the heading of this newsletter, don’t they? Please say that you changed your passwords! Okay, okay. I know Christmas is tomorrow and you’ve been swamped. But, starting on December 26th, no more excuses!
Just in case you are wondering, the password in the heading (I4L5H9C0) was created by combining a phrase I could easily remember with a number combination that was significant to me. The phrase was: “I love Hershey’s chocolate” (I do, by the way) and the numbers were 4590. Using the method explained on the FBI’s website (referred to in last week’s Newsletter) I took the first letter of each word of my phrase and intertwined the numbers. That’s how easy it is to create passwords that are extremely difficult for crackers’ software to figure out!
Continuing our trek into the vast unknowns of computer security, it’s time to talk about firewalls. I think you will find the theory behind firewalls quite simple. Downloading one is also a breeze. Using them, however, is a bit more complicated. In fact, I believe it is going to take us two issues of this Newsletter to cover all the bases regarding firewalls. I hope you’ll be patient and not lose interest!
Let’s start with firewall theory. What is a computer firewall? A firewall is either hardware or software - most of us home PC users use software - that prevents anything from entering OR leaving our computers without our permission. “Why would I need that?” I hear you ask. It works like this. Every time you go on the Internet, your computer is given a unique number so that other computers can have an “address” to which information can be sent. This number is called an IP number. If you are on cable, DSL, or certain intranets, your computer’s IP# is static - meaning that it never changes. If you use a dial-up modem to connect, your IP# changes each time you connect. Compare this IP# to your home address. You get your mail delivered to your address - not really to you. Now, compare a firewall to the lock on your front door. If you didn’t have one, anyone could walk in or out. Oh, I know, in the “old days” no one locked their front door. Unfortunately, times have changed. So it is with computers.
That pretty much takes care of the theory behind firewalls! In next week’s Newsletter, I’ll explain where to download one of the best firewalls for FREE. I’ll even give you guides for using it.
For now, let me wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, every one.”
Keystone Computer Concepts 877-651-3939