What is a firewall? Why do I need one for my computer?

A firewall is a protective barrier that prevents unwanted sources such as

viruses, worms, trojans and other malicious code from accessing your computer

or network. Firewalls can be either hardware-based or software-based. These

two types of solutions can also be used in conjunction with one another.


C&IT highly recommends that you use a firewall. Newer operating systems (such

as Windows XP or Windows Vista, and Mac OS X 10.4 and above) have software-

based firewalls built-in. To configure these built-in firewalls, click the

provided links below.


Windows 7



Windows Vista



Windows XP






If you have difficulties turning on your firewall or have a system not listed

above, please contact the C&IT Help Desk.