Turn On Your Computer's Firewall

Why Should You Turn On Your Firewall?

Hackers use the internet to send out pings (calls) to random computers and wait for responses. A firewall prevents your computer from responding to these calls, acting as a protective barrier between your computerfirewallprototype1-2.png and the internet that allows only the network traffic you permit.

How to Turn Your Firewall On

Most new computers come with a built-in firewall, so there's no extra equipment or software to buy. Consult your computer’s security settings to determine if you have a built-in firewall. If the option exists, turn on the firewall. Default settings are typically acceptable for most people. UC-managed devices already have their firewall turned on. For more information about firewalls for Mac and Windows operating systems, see:

Testing Your Firewall

Once your firewall is turned on, test it for open ports that could allow in viruses and hackers. Firewall scanners such as ShieldsUP! from the Gibson Research Corporation simplify this process. To use this scanner:

  • Go to ShieldsUP!
  • Click "Proceed." 
  • Click "Common Ports" or "All Service Ports" to scan your firewall for holes.  

If your mobile device has built-in firewall or access control functionality, these features should be activated. Default settings are typically acceptable for most people.

Important: Faculty and staff should consult with the ITS Support Center or your ITS Divisional Liaison before changing the firewall settings on a departmental computer. Students can contact the ITS Support Center for help and advice.

Get Help

Contact the ITS Support Center if you need assistance with your firewall. If you have questions, contact the ITS Support Center or your ITS Divisional Liaison.

Back to “How to Stay Secure”