Settings for files can operate as a firewall


I recently upgraded to DSL for Internet service. I have Norton AntiVirus installed on my PC.

Is this sufficient to protect my PC? Should I get Norton Firewall for my PC? I'm not sure what I need to do.

I would appreciate any suggestions you could offer.

For my money, one can avoid any attacks that a firewall might fend off simply by switching the File Sharing feature off on his or her computers.

Various versions of Windows do this differently, so click on the Help icon in the Start menu and type in file sharing to see the drill for your machine.

That said, the 2003 security products from Norton and Mc- Afee do add a fine feature to the firewall, including a pop-up advertising stopper with real teeth in it.

However, I take the same view of everybody buying a firewall as I do of shelling out for ever more complex anti-virus software.

Do it if it makes you feel better, but if you don't want to and if you're really vigilant, take a pass.

I still insist that if one makes absolutely certain not to open any suspicious e-mail and to certainly reject any and all notes with executable attachments, an anti-virus program is not necessary.

Many people feel a sense of security when they get all tied up in Norton and other protection schemes like McAfee's substantial offerings, and for this large percentage of PC users, I concede that peace of mind is probably worth the tariff.

James Coates writes for The Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. He can be reached via e-mail at

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