Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)
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Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST)

1.2 Configuring your own firewall

In this section you will locate the personal firewall on your own computer and, if necessary, make modifications to its settings to provide the best possible protection.

You will need to have Administrator level access to the computer you use as you will be making changes to important parts of the operating system. If you do not have these permissions, request temporary administrator rights from the machine’s owner.

If your computer is in an office environment, or is supplied by your employer, please check that you are permitted to change the firewall settings before attempting this section. Many employers have preferred settings that are maintained by specialist staff and you should not attempt to change them without permission.

If you use Windows 7 or Windows 8, continue with the next part ‘Configuring your own firewall (PC)’.

If you use a Mac, go straight to ‘Configuring your own firewall (Mac)’.

Configuring your own firewall (PC)

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_cyber_security_vid_1116.mp4
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Transcript

Configuring your own firewall (PC)

If you have Windows 7, go to the Start menu. Choose Control Panel, and then System And Security.
One of the options is for Windows Firewall. Click it. Click Turn Windows Firewall On or Off. You may need to enter an administrator password depending on how your Windows is set up. If the firewall is not already active, click Turn on Windows Firewall for each of the network types that your computer supports. The Windows Firewall gives you a range of options depending on how much data you wish to allow through the firewall.
When the firewall is first activated, the majority of applications are automatically blocked. But you can overrule this block by checking the Notify Me check box when the Windows Firewall blocks a new app.
From now on, every time an application first attempts to connect to the network, Windows will prompt you, asking if you wish to give it permission to do so. Your choice is remembered by the firewall. You should only give permission if you are sure the application is safe.
If you want to get maximum protection from the firewall, select the Block All Incoming Connections option, including those in the list of allowed apps. This will prevent other computers connecting to your machine unless your computer has requested data. This is a very useful option if you're travelling and using public Wi-Fi networks.
End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Locate the personal firewall on your own computer and, if necessary, make modifications to its settings to provide the best possible protection.

Download the PDF [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   of these instructions to keep as reference.

You can skip the next part, unless you also own a Mac and want to configure a firewall for this as well.

Configuring your own firewall (Mac)

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_cyber_security_vid_1117.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

On an Apple Mac, you can access the firewall using the System Preferences. Choose Security and Privacy. On the Security and Privacy Preferences pane, select the Firewall tab. If the firewall is not already enabled, click the Turn On Firewall button. You may need to click the padlock icon and provide your password to do this. Once the firewall is enabled, you can access its settings by clicking the Firewall Options button. Clicking the Block All Incoming Connections button will stop network traffic from external computers other than the traffic relating to some basic network services.
The list of software under this check box specifies the programmes that are allowed to send and receive data from the network. Software can be added to this list by clicking the Plus button underneath it. The check box to automatically allow assigned software to receive incoming connections allows those applications that have been digitally signed to send and receive data.
Finally, the Stealth Mode button can be used to prevent your computer from responding to ping messages that are sometimes used by attackers to identify potential targets. Any changes we make to the firewall settings have to be confirmed by clicking the OK button at the bottom of the window.
End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Locate the personal firewall on your own computer and, if necessary, make modifications to its settings to provide the best possible protection.

Download the PDF of these instructions to keep as reference.

Other firewalls

Other firewalls are available either to download or as software packages that can be bought from retailers.

You may prefer to use one of these programs, but if you do, please remember:

  • you should only keep one firewall running at a time since multiple firewalls will not offer significantly better protection and can interfere with one another
  • you must keep one firewall running at all times.

Once you’ve set up your personal firewall, identify a type of traffic that you might want to allow (or deny) on your computer.

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