Defensive Perimeter

Cyberattackers may be invisible, but they're not invincible. These 10 defenders help keep you safe.

You may not don battle gear, but switch on an Internet-connected PC, and youve stepped into a war zone where countless insurgents relentlessly pound your system, looking for ways in. "Keep Your PC Safe", part of the comprehensive new Security Special on our Security Watch page, provides the Special Forces training you need to prevail. As backup, in this roundup weve stockpiled reviews of the products recommended in that PC combat manual.

Firewalls are the first line of defense, and there are two types—software (often called personal firewalls) and hardware. If you connect to the Internet, you should be running both. The first can cloak your system so its invisible to the outside, block connection attempts, alert you when any program attempts to access the Internet, and even thwart viruses before security vendors know about them.

Norton Personal Firewall 2004 deftly addresses the needs of everyone from beginners to experts. ZoneAlarm Security Suite 5 is a one-stop security shop that incorporates extras such as antivirus software and site filtering. Both won Editors Choice awards when we reviewed them.

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