A firewall is in computer terms means a barrier between your Internet connection and the rest of the world.  This is something you definitely want.  Now, there are a couple of ways to accomplish this.  If you are still using Windows 98 stop using the Internet.  For the rest of us, here is what I suggest.  Buy a router, any kind of Internet based router.  This is what is called a hardware based firewall.  It will stop all incoming attempts to get at your computer or network.  How it does it’s magic is not really important, just that it is the best defense you can have.  The other type of firewall is software based.  This requires you install a program and then tell it what to do.  And hope you get it right.  For most of us, this is not a good fit.  We are just not proficient enough about this stuff.   XP comes with it’s own software based firewall that does not seem to do any harm.  I strongly suggest you have it turned on.  You have no real way of knowing that you firewall is doing it’s job, other than the fact you have no problems.

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