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The Only Good Security Is Active Security

Your budget and the value of the information assets you're trying to secure behind a firewall will ultimately dictate which type of product, and exactly which product, you choose to install and use with your home machine or home network. Just remember that eternal vigilance is indeed the price for remaining secure. This means checking in for software updates, using automatic update facilities wherever possible, and keeping up with potential sources of network exposure.

In what I like to call the "Inverse Golden Rule," I recommend that when it comes to security matters, that you should "do unto yourself before others can do unto you." By using more sophisticated security scanners or regularly visiting network scanning or probing sites — such as Steve Gibson's ShieldsUp and Probe My Ports, running the free and for-a-fee probes at Security Space, or the Symantec Security check — you can keep up with current developments in security and make sure that your system or network remains safe.

As long as you realize that security is as much a matter of maintenance and routine as it is a state of mind, you'll be able to secure your perimeter and keep it secure.

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