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Note: This section is out of date and no longer maintained.
It is retained for the value of any residual information contained in it.

security

Would you leave your car unattended 7 days a week 24 hours a day with only one simple lock? probably not, especially if you live where I do... On the net, there are no neighborhoods, nor, yet, many cops. If you attract attention, for example, run the Whitehouse website, then you are going to find the electronic equivalent of a queue of people standing outside with lock picks trying to get in. Am I making you paranoid yet?
If you run a modern operating system, like linux, and keep it patched for security loopholes, then it is possible to run exposed on the net and not got broken into. If however, you don't care so much for watching for security bulletins, or constantly downloading upgrades to microsoft outlook and internet explorer, then you probably want to have a firewall. A firewall is not going to protect you against silly administration though, like installing a web server without reading about security first, or choosing easily guessed passwords, or accepting email with executable attachments and running it, or if you are on windows, not keeping an up-to-date virus scanner.


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