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Today is the first Personal Firewall Day, an event dedicated to educating consumers about protecting themselves from online threats.

Personalfirewallday.org features vendor-neutral advice on the benefits of personal firewalls to ward off hackers and virus writers. There are also discussions on the need to apply anti-virus updates and patches.

It's all fairly basic stuff but if the site encourages even a few consumers to protect themselves it will have served its purpose. Compromised consumer PCs are frequently used as a platform for DDoS and spam attacks. Outbound filtering through firewalls and AV software lessens this risk as well as protecting confidential files from ID thieves.

The site is careful to say that none of these measures provides absolute protection. But as take-up increases for broadband and its always-on connection, security precautions become ever more important.

Personal Firewall Day is the brainchild of security firm TruSecure and is sponsored by Microsoft alongside firewall vendors Zone Labs, Sygate and Network Associates.

Personal Firewall Day comes two years after Bill Gates's famous Trustworthy Computing memo, which spelled out the need for Microsoft to treat security as a higher priority in designing its products. ®

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