Firewalls IT and Library Services

A firewall is a secure boundary between your computer and any network which you are connected to, and it helps protect your computer from other users on the network who would like to exploit you or your computer.

The University provides a firewall to protect you whilst you are using our network.  It is on constantly in the background and you don't need to do anything. It will protect your computer from Internet threats (from outside of our network) but it does not protect you from other users within the University network, so if a user's machine within the University's network attempts to pass you a virus, malicious file or compromise your machine in any way, the firewall does not protect your individual machine. 

In instances where other individuals whose machines are on the same network as you contract a virus or are compromised, having your own firewall (in addition to the University one) will minimise the risk to your machine and provide it with an extra level of protection. University imaged Windows 7 machines operate a local firewall (the one built into Windows which staff cannot access to deactivate) although non approved university imaged machines on our network may not.

If you have a machine at home or are connecting your own or a machine which is not an approved university image one to the University's network (via wireless connection or wired Mac OS for example), you should make sure it has some kind of firewall installed. 

Please bear in mind that a firewall is not enough on its own to protect you and should be used in conjunction with other measures like anti-virus and anti-spyware packages.

As with all other types of security, it cannot protect you if you give your password to others, give permission for other machines to connect to yours (by doing that you're agreeing to let them through your firewall) or let someone else use your machine.  It will also offer limited protection against many viruses, spam, spyware.  Finally it cannot protect you against fraud or activity using 'social engineering' techniques or if you have it turned off!