I had exited the firewall by right clicking the status icon shield. I reconnected to the internet and had forgotten about it…for maybe about 10-15 seconds. Anyway, is the firewall really off when I right click “exit?” I am pretty sure if there was a breach in that small amount of time (in what ways, I dunno) I would be picking up port blocks on my firewall now…or my anti-malware would pick up something if there was a dormant trojan etc (in some worst case “lightning strike” scenario).
No. The firewall’s driver is loaded even before Windows, so it’s the same as asking whether your PC is protected from network attacks during boot-time. Even when cfp.exe (the GUI) is terminated in anyway (by user or malware, for example), all incoming connections are blocked :-TU.