PC Q: Firewall, Yes; Patches, No More?

The question hit me: If I have a firewall, then do I still need all the Windows patches and my pop-up blocker? Wouldn’t the firewall have the highest hierarchy to protect my PC from trouble beyond the firewall? Hmm…

  • Jinx

The software companies and the troublemakers are always trying to stay ahead of each other. Might as well get all the updates. Better safe than sorry and all that.

A lot of the patches have to do with vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. These vulnerabilities are usually exploited through hostile web pages or specifically crafted e-mail messages. The firewall would do nothing in these cases.

Same thing with pop ups. A pop up is initiated by a web page, not an unsolicited inbound connection (assuming you’re talking about HTML pop ups and not messenger spam).

Your firewall protects you from someone secretly connecting to your computer and that is about it. There are hundreds of other ways to get in trouble on the Internet and 99% of them work because the average user feels safe behind his firewall. No firewall will ever be able to save you from the hackers most powerful tool… you.

Daffy nailed it. There’s spyware, trojans, new stuff, all sorts.