How to configure Norton Smart Firewall

Question: 

Norton includes a small yet efficient tool to block unwanted connections called Smart Firewall.

Could you please explain how to use it?

Answer: 

The Smart Firewall included in Norton 360 controls the communications between the Internet and your computer. Properly configured firewall may protect you against common security issues including the following:

  • Intrusion attempts Norton Smart Firewall detects and blocks Internet intrusions stopping hackers in their way to your computer
  • Port scans Hackers often probe ports open on your computer to find vulnerabilities they can exploit. Norton Smart Firewall cloaks all ports on your PC to disallow scanners gathering reliable results about your system.
  • Illegitimate connection attempts Norton Smart Firewall warns you whenever an application running on your computer attempts to connect to or from remote computers.

A properly configured firewall blocks illegitimate or dangerous traffic both from and to your computer, while it allows authorized traffic to pass through this barrier without interruption. Thus, turning off Smart Firewall decreases your overall system security level. Make sure your Smart Firewall is turned on at all times.

Explaining Norton Smart Firewall rules

Firewall rules control what network traffic is allowed and what traffic is disallowed from and to your computer. The firewall automatically monitors all traffic generated, checking it against firewall rules and decides to either stop a communication or to pass it. Norton Smart Firewall uses these types of firewall rules:

  • Program rules Control Internet access from the application level. This rule type relates to a given application: you may either allow or block Internet traffic that a given program sends.
  • Traffic rules Control all incoming and outgoing Internet connections.

Norton Smart Firewall rules are processed in a specified order. Normally, traffic rules are processed before the program rules. Traffic rules are processed in order of appearance in the traffic rules list, from top to bottom.

How to add Smart Firewall Traffic rules and Program rules

When you install Norton 360, firewall settings automatically create most of the firewall rules automatically, so that there's no need to configure them by hand. However, if you feel like you need to fine-tune your firewall traffic rules, you can customize them at any time.

NOTE: Only advanced users should customize the firewall rules. If you aren't familiar with creating your own firewall rules, adding improperly configured traffic rules may have you disconnected from the Internet. Make sure you know where to seek help before you proceed.

Two types of firewall rules can be added: Traffic rules and Program rules.

To add a Traffic rule do the following:

  1. Click Settings in the Norton 360 main window
  2. Click Firewall in the Settings window, under Detailed Settings
  3. Click Add on the Traffic Rules tab
  4. Follow instructions in the Add Rule Wizard

To add a Program rule do the following:

  1. Click Settings in the Norton 360 main window
  2. Click Firewall in the Settings window, under Detailed Settings
  3. On the Program Rules tab, in the Program column, select the program to which you want to add a rule
  4. Click Modify
  5. Cick Add in the Rules window
  6. Follow the instructions in the Add Rule Wizard
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