Centerburg Technology Center

Insight from our technicians.

Why did my Firewall Block my browser?

“Firefox stopped working so I went back to Internet Explorer – at least it has internet access.  Now it doesn’t work either :(

Think of your Firewall, Anti-virus, and Anti-Malware software as a hired bodyguard.  If you are going somewhere dangerous you may want to hire a bodyguard.  When you tell your guardian where you are going the first response is ‘Oh, you don’t want to go there.  It’s not safe there.’ At this point you are thinking ‘Of course it’s not safe! That’s why I hired you.’

In the real world this corresponds to you pointing your browser to a site that the Firewall or Anti-Malware software has identified as risky and  it pops up a dialog informing you of this.  Here in lies a pitfall.  Unfortunately the message will sound ominous and will state something like ‘If you continue to this site your computer may not live to regret it…’ and upon reading this many folks will choose to block this program from performing this dangerous activity.  The ‘dangerous activity’ is ‘accessing the net’ and  the Firewall creates a rule that blocks the browser from accessing the internet (at your request).  Sounds like an extreme fix to the problem but that is what happens. The other browser is a different program and it will be able to access the internet – until an rule is created to block it too.

The fix is to edit the rule to allow full or at least partial access to the internet.

The rule of thumb when dealing with your hired bodyguard is this:

If I go somewhere and I know there is a risk but I need to  go there then I anticipate the warning dialogs, read them carefully, and dismiss them (i.e. if I caused it – let me do it). However, if I go somewhere that I believe is safe or where I am not intending to download anything and a dialog pops up then I take it more seriously.  Either way your bodyguard goes with you and will ultimately do whatever you tell it to do.  This is where your vigilance in updating your Anti-virus software kicks in.  You’re someplace bad.  Evil code leaps at your browser – POW! Your bodyguard saves you.  The Anti-virus software detects a virus in memory, tells you which one it is and asks your permission to either delete it or to isolate it.  Just make your choice and go somewhere safer.

That’s why you bought it.  That’s why you endure the additional burden it places on your resources. Let it do it’s job and browsing will be more enjoyable.  This doesn’t mean you should be reckless… just more confident.

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