Do you know how safe your PC really is? Tests such as those carried out by the BBC show that a computer’s security can be compromised literally within seconds of going online. They set-up a PC as a “honeypot” for potential attackers and watched in amazement as trojans, worms and other nasty beasts converged on it within seconds like a cloud of flies. It found that such attacks happened on average every 15 minutes with Windows Messenger found to be the biggest culprit.
One of the best ways to prevent such a situation is to make sure that your router ports are secure. Programs such as Portslock can help you do exactly this by taking control of your TCP/IP connections. According to the developers, 80% of attacks specifically try to exploit vulnerabilities in your ports which many firewalls fail to protect properly. Programs specifically tailored to port protection such as Portslock circumvent firewalls by going straight to the source of any potential holes.
Another alternative is Atelier Web Ports Traffic Analyzer. Whilst this program does not protect your network ports, it constantly monitors traffic for any unusual activity. Via a simple graphical interface, you can see the real-time flow of traffic through your router and identify attacks whilst they are happening.
Whilst protecting your ports can never replace a professional-standard firewall, these simple and free programs can dramatically reduce the chance of unwelcome attacks on your system.