Use a Firewall, either hardware or software
A firewall can either be software based or hardware based.
A software based firewall is a complex but inexpensive program that filters information going both into and out of the computer. It will protect only the host on which the application is installed on and you can create inbound and outbound rules based on UDP and TCP ports. You can also create rules for a specific executable network access, regardless of the port number used.
A hardware firewall is a physical device that sits between your computer(s) and your network. It also filters the information going in and out of your computer. These are useful if there is more than one computer on your home network.
Use of a firewall is strongly recommended. It will effectively defend a computer from many of the most pervasive and dangerous network attacks. Used properly, it will keep out miscreants. However if the security measures are too restrictive, they deny access to legitimate users/ applications.
Currently there are numerous software and hardware firewall products on the market. Both are usually easy to deploy. You will need to follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe and secure configurations.
Know what and to who your home system is talking to and why. Be prudent in your choices, and know how to fix/ use your firewall so that you can correct any errors if you made the rules too tight or too loose.
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