Internet Security Barrier full review

For those of you concerned about any of the security issues thrown up by the Internet, Intego’s Internet Security Barrier (ISB) package could ease your paranoia.

Snooping by hackers, or denial-of-service attacks are much less likely to affect Macintosh users than our Windows counterparts. However, the gradual increase of home and office users browsing via an always-on connection makes the importance of personal-data security a high priority.

Viral intrusion

ISB includes an intrusion detector, personal firewall, a Web-site content filter and an anti-virus checker. The NetUpdate feature automatically scans Intego’s site for new virus definitions and software updates.

For parents worried about their offspring ending up in dodgy corners of the Internet, Content Barrier provides control over what kids can log-on to. You can create different log-ins and passwords for users of a computer, and access privileges can be set for each user. For example, for a seven year-old, checking the prevent access to newsgroups, cults/adult or content containing references to violence settings will throw up a message saying access has been denied to this site by Content Barrier – so you won’t have to constantly look over his or her shoulder.

However, as with any such system, it isn’t infallible – especially if your password is easy to guess. Another danger is that you will inadvertently block a kid’s access from a Web site that can help them. To avoid this, it’s worth taking time to test your preferences within Content Barrier’s settings. The default settings that come with ISB can be over-protective.

Most large companies will have a firewall installed at the network gateway to a local network. A firewall serves to protect the resources of a private network from unauthorized users. It can log and report activity about packet information being sent out, or to, the local network.

A personal firewall protects a single computer from network activity. This will become standard in the near future, as it is especially useful for users with always-on Web connections, such as those with ADSL or cable access. Something, or someone, scanning your network – or even trying to break into your Mac – can be quickly detected and warning alerts emailed to you.

Recent spates of worms and viruses designed to attack Web servers have made national headlines. Many of these viruses cause disruption and can be stopped. ISB’s Net Update feature automatically checks for new virus definitions – provided by Intego – downloads them, and installs the update.

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