How to Activate Your Firewall

How to Activate Your Firewall

One of the campus security requirements is to maintain an active firewall on all your devices. A personal firewall protects your computer from potentially unwanted and harmful network traffic that can exploit security holes on your computer. More recent operating systems (Windows 7 and 8, and Mac OS X 10.6 or higher) have built-in firewall protection, but you still need to make sure that it is activated.

This guide will show you how to manage your firewall and ensure its working for you!

Windows 7, 8, and 10

Open Windows Firewall

Go to Search and type in "Control Panel". Then go to System and Security -> Windows Firewall

Turn Windows Firewall on and off by clicking the option on the left pane. The Firewall should be on by default.

Manage Sites and incoming/outgoing connections

Click Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall on the left pane. You will be taken to a new menu with a list of applications and how they are permitted to communicate on the network.

Click Change settings to change whether an app may be allows to communicate on Public or Private networks.

You may also choose to Allow another app or Remove an app from the list.

Mac OS X

Open Mac OS X Firewall

Click Apple Icon -> System Preferences -> Security

Click on the Firewall tab

Screenshot OSX directions

You may need to click the Lock icon in the bottom left-hand corner and enter your administrator password before changing the Firewall setting.

Manage Sites and incoming/outgoing connections

Click on Advanced to bring up a new menu

The Block all incoming connections option will block all incoming connections that are not basic Internet services. This means sharing services such as file sharing and iTunes music sharing. This is the recommended option for the ResComp network.

The Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections option will allow certain applications to make connections through the network. You can choose to add (+) or delete (-) which applications are allowed to do this as well as enable or disable connections these applications make.

The Enable stealth mode option will keep your computer from responding to any incoming test application connections from the network.