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  Net Worth

Posted 09/10/2004
By Colby Horton

Shop Site of the Month

Hutch's Paint & Body - Longview, Texas

shop site

This site was chosen for its unique graphics and overall content. The flashy home page and colorful graphics lures the visitor into the site. The use of text and photos throughout the site is done in appropriate proportion. Check out the "Take a Drive to Hutch's" feature on the bottom of the home page for a unique presentation of driving directions.

Web Wise

A Look at Personal Firewalls

Usually when you hear the word "firewall," you think of a large corporation protecting its computers from the threat of hackers. But the Internet creates a danger for even the smallest business. To protect your computers and customer information, you should consider installing a personal firewall on your shop's computers.

Although most Internet users have anti-virus software installed on their computers, a personal firewall is the most important first line of defense to prevent online intruders. Think of a personal firewall as a protective barrier around your computer. This barrier only lets approved online traffic come into your computer, thus preventing hackers, viruses and worms from entering your hard drive. The best personal firewalls even keep threats already on your computer from getting out to other computers.

Firewalls for personal computers really didn't come into play until the use of DSL and cable modem connections became widely used. Because these types of lines allow a constant Internet connection, the likelihood of an online intruder increases. When you're connected to the Internet, you are sending and receiving information in units called packets. These packets contain pieces of data, a specific request and a command. A firewall ultimately examines each data packet sent to or from your computer to see if it meets a certain set of criteria that you, or the firewall provider, have set. The firewall then determines whether the packet should leave, or enter, your computer.

By installing a personal firewall, your customers' personal information is protected from hackers. Never underestimate the reality that a hacker could access your shop's information. For all practical purposes, an average repair shop can install stand-alone firewalls, which are software-based and in many cases, can be downloaded from the Internet. Stand-alone firewalls work with most operating systems, including Windows XP.

Personal firewalls average in price from $40 to $60 and can be purchased from many of the leading software security companies.

Net Numbers

According to a recent published survey, responding corporations have lost a total of $141,496,560 within the past 12 months because of computer security breeches.

Source: Computer Security Institute

ASA Web Ways

ASA Changes Home Page, Member Login

ASA recently changed the overall look and feel of its home page at The new layout provides members, motorists and industry professionals with easy-to-find information regarding the association. In addition, ASA members can log in to the Members Only area directly from the home page. Type your six-digit member number into the provided field to gain access. Your ASA member number can be found in the upper-left corner of your AutoInc. mailing label.

Hot Sites

Firewall Sites
McAfee -
Norton -
Personal Firewall Day -
Symantec -
Tiny Software -
Zone Labs -

Colby Horton Net Worth is written by Colby Horton, ASA's electronic communications manager. He can be reached at (800) 272-7467, ext. 234, or by e-mail at

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