For Seniors: How to Enable the Microsoft Windows Firewall

A firewall keeps other people or programs from accessing your computer without your permission. You’ll want to enable your Windows firewall so that you can avoid several kinds of attacks on your computer data.

Antivirus and security software programs may offer their own firewall protection and may display a message asking if you want to switch. Check their features against Windows and then decide, but usually most firewall features are comparable. The important thing is to have one activated.

  1. Choose Start→Control Panel→System and Security→Windows Firewall.

    The Windows Firewall window appears.

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  2. Check that the Windows Firewall is marked as On. If it isn’t, click the Turn Windows Firewall On or Off link in the left pane of the window.

    The Customize Settings window appears.

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  3. Select the Turn on Windows Firewall radio button for Home or Work (Private) Network Location Settings and/or Public Network Location Settings and then click OK.

    Don’t turn on a firewall if you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Using a firewall with a VPN results in you being unable to share files and use some other VPN features.

  4. Click the Close button.

    The Windows Security Center and the Control Panel close.

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