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Firewall software is not very expensive and well worth a small investment to protect your data. Windows XP comes with a built-in firewall and may conflict with other firewall software, so make sure you use one or the other but not both at the same time. There is free firewall software available however many are not kept up-to-date which seems to negate the purpose behind having a firewall. There used to be many free firewalls software programs but now there are only a few left. You need to examine what you are getting for free and if it will provide the security you want. You can settle for a simple lock on your door, or you can get a full-blown security system. The costs associated with having your system attacked are high, so generally it is worth a small investment to make sure you are protected. Both Norton and McAfee offer personal firewall software for a low price and are respected in the industry. There are many other firewall software programs out there, just make sure you are truly getting the security you need.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|