Computer Firewall – Why You Need This?

Computer firewall is a piece of software or hardware that helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet. If you are a home user or small-business user, using a firewall is the most effective and important first step you can take to help protect your computer. Firewall will not make your computer completely safe. However, a firewall provides the most effective first line of defense. Windows computers can be attacked in many ways – and not just with viruses, worms, or Trojan horses. Another popular way to attack a Windows computer is to attempt to communicate to it over any of the network “ports” found on Windows computers. These ports are kind of like TV channels or radio frequencies: Computers are set up to listen for messages that may arrive from other computers – this is how they communicate with one another.

How computer firewall works

Firewalls monitor all the communication between your computer and the Internet. computer firewall knows what kind of communication are allowed to flow in and out. They know this because they have something called an “access control list” – a list of rules that specify precisely what kinds of communications are allowed and what kinds are blocked. The computer firewalls made for the consumer market are usually preconfigured to offer maximum protection right out of the box. The configuration required to facilitate communication between two computers in a home network makes them highly vulnerable to attack from any computer on the Internet. Whether the firewall is a hardware device connected to your network, or a software program in your computer, a computer firewall will automatically block all unwanted network communication from the Internet, while at the same time permitting any legitimate communication that you need to use your computer.

Type of computer firewall

There are two principal types of computer firewall: hardware and software. A hardware computer firewall is a device connected to the network in such a way that all communications between any computer and the Internet must pass through the firewall and be examined to see whether they should be discarded or allowed to pass through. A software computer firewall is a program that runs on a computer and performs the same type of examination of network communications that a hardware firewall does. But where a hardware firewall can protect all of the computers on a network, a software firewall only protects the computer it is running on.

Things you need to know

Running multiple software firewalls is unnecessary for typical home computers, home networking, and small-business networking scenarios. Using two firewalls on the same connection could cause issues with connectivity to the Internet or other unexpected behavior. One firewall, whether it is the Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall or a different software firewall, can provide substantial protection for your computer. If your computer is not protected when you connect to the Internet, hackers can gain access to personal information on your computer. They can install code on your computer that destroys files or causes malfunctions. They can also use your computer to cause problems on other home and business computers connected to the Internet. A Firewall helps to screen out many kinds of malicious Internet traffic before it reaches your computer. Some firewalls can also help to prevent other people from using your computer to attack other computers without your knowledge. Using a firewall is important no matter how you connect to the Internet – with a dial-up modem, cable modem, or digital subscriber line (DSL or ADSL). So it is wise to turn on the Windows Internet Connection Firewall for all computers in your home network. This helps prevent the spread of viruses or worms across your network if a computer is infected. A computer on the network could become infected through a separate Internet connection, such as one on a laptop that is used on your home network and on public networks. Or a virus could be introduced to a computer on your network by way of e-mail or software installed from a CD or floppy disk. If you have more than one computer in a home or small-office network, you should protect every computer in the network. Turning on Windows Firewall or another firewall on every connection will help prevent the spread of a virus from one computer to another in your network if one of your computers becomes infected. However, if you open an infected e-mail attachment, the firewall won’t block it and it can infect your computer. You should install an antivirus program as well.

Negotiating Technology Contracts in Health Care

Technology spending for hardware, software and consulting services accounts for a significant portion of most health care providers budgets today, especially since the Obama Stimulus Plan and HITECH Act are incentivizing providers to implement electronic health records. In a perfect world, technology works perfectly, improves efficiency and the quality of care and makes life easier for the provider. However, the real world is not perfect and things can, and do, go wrong with technology products and services after you purchase and/or license them from third party vendors. Technology contracts generally are written by the vendors and consultants. Unfortunately, many technology contracts fall short of giving providers adequate protection and often contain hidden pitfalls and costs. Despite this fact, many providers never give these contracts to experienced health lawyers to help them negotiate better terms and protections for their high-tech investments BEFORE signing. This is a potentially costly practice. Every health care provider should be concerned with at least the following FOUR KEY ISSUES, which should be addressed in any technology contract:

Warranties and Limitations of Liability: Despite elaborate sales presentations, technology contracts typically disclaim most, if not all, warranties and limit the liability of vendors to only refunding all or part of the purchase or license price paid for the technology. Such refunds are inadequate to protect the average provider when problems arise. A technology vendor should be required to give a written warranty in the contract that its product will perform in accordance with documented standards and for a reasonable period of time. At a minimum, this time period should be long enough for the provider to evaluate the technology in its operations. A better solution is to require a warranty for the useful life of the technology, or as long as there is a support and maintenance service agreement in place. A vendor also should not be allowed contractually to limit its liability on default only to return of the purchase price. If a provider suffers actual damages caused by the technology, the vendor should be required, in writing, to stand behind its product and services and reimburse such damages. A reasonable compromise is to require the vendor at least to tender the limits of its insurance coverage, which creates minimal additional risk to the vendor while better protecting the provider.

Payments & Performance: A provider should not agree to pay the full purchase price up front, as is often a contract requirement, leaving the vendor with little incentive to complete its responsibilities. The parties should mutually agree in advance upon a project timetable with milestone targets for delivery and implementation of the technology. Payments should be made in installments conditioned upon reaching the targets. In addition, providers should build in testing rights, in order to evaluate whether the technology is performing as promised. The provider always should have the final say in whether a test provides a successful outcome and whether the final payment should be made to the vendor.

Support and Maintenance: A technology hardware purchase or software license is only as good as the support and maintenance that goes along with it. The vendor should be willing to provide support for at least a defined useful life of the technology. Several questions should be answered in a written support agreement. Are updates or upgrades provided without additional charge? Will the vendor perform on-site or off-site support and maintenance? Will the provider pay a monthly fee plus an hourly charge or is there only an hourly charge? Does the hourly charge differ depending on when or what level of support is needed? Do the charges increase over the term of the support agreement? What is the vendor agreeing to support? Will changes made to the technology by the provider automatically terminate the warranty or support obligations? Unless the contract is specific regarding essential issues, a provider may find itself paying for less or different support and/or maintenance services than needed or expected.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality of patient health information is a critical issue. Federal HIPAA law has a variety of privacy and security rules providers and their business associates must follow. In addition, some states, including Florida, have enacted legislation that requires entities that conduct business in the state and which maintain computerized data that contains personal information to provide notice to any resident if there is a breach of security. A technology contract should specify if the vendor will have access to any of the confidential patient information. A health care provider must require the vendor and its employees to maintain the confidentiality of such information under federal and many state laws. The technology contract also should expressly protect the confidentiality of provider trade secrets and other proprietary information to which a vendor or consultant may have access.

Although technology contracts may appear intimidating, as they frequently are presented by vendors in small print and columned format, leading providers to believe they are non-negotiable forms, this is not the case in most instances. Investing the time and resources to have a health law attorney experienced in technology contracting review and help to negotiate contracts for hardware purchases, software licenses, maintenance and support, as well as technology consulting services, can save providers significant expense, disappointment and damages should the technology products or services not perform as promised.

Sandra P. Greenblatt, Esq. is a Florida Bar Board Certified Health Lawyer with more than 20 years experience representing health care providers, payors and businesses in their regulatory, transactional and technology matters. She is President of the health law firm of Sandra Greenblatt, P.A., located in Miami, Florida.

Mobile Phone Deals – Driving Force of UK Mobile Phone Market

Innovations have given mobile phones recognition as the one of the most admired technology globally. Though mobile phone is not too old innovation yet it has maintained its standard of high efficiency. The situation is those mobile phones are becoming one-stop need for all digital requirements. You can think of any PDA requirement and you found it to be encumbered with mobile phones. There is an array of handsets catering the need of business and professionals. The latest one is PDA handset that keeps the users connected while on the move. PDA mobile phones are example of the accomplishment carved by the brands in business segment.

Realizing today’s consumer’s need for resonating to products and brands that reflect the values for their hold. High-spirited users form the significant segment of mobile phone consumer, adore great designs and features. The most appealing features are imaging abilities, music-enabled options, games and video recording capabilities. The style quotient is equally important on the side of features. Fold open and slide away mobile phones are wooing elegance lovers. In addition, slimness adds a new turn to mobile phones. A kind of cold-war, to invent slimmest phone, has been broken out among the top brass of handset manufacturers.

With each passing day, you come to know about a new mobile phone. Not a wonder, as number of mobile phone users is increasing in the same proportion. Wonderful thing is that, several handsets are there certainly meet unique requirement of various handsets. For the UK customers, things are little advantageous. Why so? Answer is mobile phone deals. Numerous types of mobile phone deals are available in UK. The most prominent deals are Pay As You Go or most popularly PAGY and contract mobile phone deals. But before buying any mobile phone deal, you need to know few specifications of these deals.

First of all do understand your requirement. Requirement may be different for different user. Business executives do need a PDA functionality enabled mobile phone whereas the large section of mobile user i.e. youths have different necessity which may be handy mobile phone having multimedia functions. Similarly a businessman may need to stay connected to their E-mails therefore they must sort out a web browsing enabled handset.

Secondly check your pocket that how much finances allow you to invest. Watch out for options available so that you can choose what you need. Thumbs up only to that mobile phone deal which fits to your budget requirement. Never go beyond your price limitation. If you are buying contract phone deal, then be sure that the charged line rental must be within your access.

Thirdly, where to buy? Two options are there. First visit mobile phone shops to catch your desired phone. Secondly, stay online to visit online mobile phone retailers. Later option will work well.

Now after finalizing the prima facie specification of your mobile need, you should know details of mobile phone deals available in UK.

Now certainly your curiosity to know more about mobile phone deals increase as what thing is this? In UK, there are four type of deals exists. These are Pay As You Go, SIM free, contract and pay monthly. In SIM free and Pay As You Go, you have to pay the money in advance. Therefore, with such deals, you will talk only to that much amount which has been paid prior. In the contract mobile phone deals as the name suggest, you have to sign contract. The best money saver deals are provided by the network providers to the mobile phone. These are Pay As You Go as well as contract phone deals. The deals can be found on any handset. Whether it is most common Nokia or other mobile phone, deals are available. But there are few issues to meet out to configure a suitable deal. Before buying any deal, some homework is necessary. The contract phone deals are preferred over Pay As You Go phone deal. Quite obvious, the reason is that it is simply profitable. Large sections of mobile phone user opt for contract deals. In contract deals, there is a fixed plan to pay monthly bills.

UK Mobiles Contract Deals are available on latest handset from Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, HTC, MDA and others mobile phones. The top notch mobile network providers offer quite attractive deals. Vodafone, O2, Orange, Virgin, T Mobile and 3 Mobile are the number one mobile phone deal providers. The pay monthly phone deals offered are contracts either of 12 months or 18 months. There are numerous tariff plans afforded. In most of tariffs, there are price plans which inform about handset cost, network connection, tariff plan and other incentives.

In these contract deals, few profitable incentives are usually offered which makes it easier for those users who want to talk more with their mobile phone. Incentives can be any of free monthly line rental, free talktime, half monthly line rental, free text messages and others or all of them. Again there are 12 months free line rental mobile phone deals in which you won’t pay any rental means talk unlimited. There are cashback offers, clearance offers, upfront cashback offers and many more.

With the increasing popularity of internet marketing, shopping becomes so easier for all users. You don’t have to waste your time and energy as just sitting in front of your PC let you explore the entire marketing dimensions. Since payment is protected and within few days you get the shopped items is at your doorstep, online shops are promising. An additional advantage of internet shopping is that extensive research can be done about the market to compare various options with just a click a suitably chosen product is all yours.

There are several online mobile phone retailers which provide detail description of various mobile phone deals along with providing purchasing option. Apart from it, online mobile phone shops offer attractive gifts, best of its kind, which may be any of Sat-Nav, iPod, video iPod, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Lite DS, accessory pack, DVD, Bluetooth headset, Microsoft X-box, LCD TV and many more. In selected cases, few additional offers are provided. Free mobile phone insurance, free home delivery, free network connection and many more are presented. Comparing several mobile phone deals is also uncomplicated. Look for discounts and incentives plans and find a best mobile phone deal for you.