Protecting Yourself from the Dangers of the Web

It goes without saying that most of us already appreciate the wealth of information available from the World Wide Web. From homes to small businesses to schools to large corporations, the Internet enables commerce and communication, but the Internet also opens a host of security threats and harmful contents—such as pornography, gambling, and violence—contents that parents may find unsuitable for viewing by minors.

One solution to address the dangers of the Web is to implement content filtering to prevent computer users from viewing inappropriate web sites or content. Content filtering can be achieved in various different ways. It may be implemented via software on individual computers or at a central point on the network such as the proxy server or internet router.

Many security and content filtering solutions require you to install software which may cost around $100 for a home installation, to several thousand dollars for a corporate environment. Yet such software usually has an overhead and may slow down your network and your machine. You also need to make sure that they get frequently updated with information about the latest security threats. Moreover, such software is not always installable on smart phones, gaming consoles, or on machines and operating systems which the software does not run on.

For the average family, because of the above mentioned reasons, putting in place content filtering system at home may be costly and time consuming. But the solution need not be overcomplicated. The alternative is to use DNS based filtering system which does not require any software at all, and for this I strongly recommend OpenDNS.

OpenDNS provides robust DNS and security services that make the Web safer through integrated Web content filtering, anti-phishing, and anti-malware. The DNS (Domain Name System) is like a phonebook of the Internet. Whenever you enter an URL address into a browser, it looks up the DNS to find the machine to serve that website to you. It would be impossible to browse the Web without it. And yes, best of all, OpenDNS is free. To use it, all you need to do is point your router or computer at these family-safe DNS servers:


After you have set up your router to point to the above DNS servers, whenever someone in your house tries to visit a site that is considered pornographic or dangerous, OpenDNS will return a block page. OpenDNS does all the work on their global network of servers which are updated continuously. Since the servers are distributed across the world, you may find that DNS lookups is probably faster and more reliable than through your ISP, thus you may notice websites load a litter faster too.

Having OpenDNS on your router protects all devices and computers in your house, including gaming consoles, Wi-Fi devices, and also computers brought into your house by your kids’ friends. You can also set up OpenDNS on individual computers.

OpenDNS also protects you from phishing attacks. “Phishing” describes fraudulent emails and websites that aim to trick you into handing over personal or financial information. They often appear to come from a bank or online service that requires an account to access. When one of your family members is being lured to open one of these phishing sites, OpenDNS prevents the website from loading.

In summary, OpenDNS provides the following features:

  • Every Internet-connected device in your home gets protected when DNS is configured on the router.
  • Up-to-date web filter that blocks pornography, phishing sites, and virus-spreading malware sites.
  • Faster and more reliable DNS service that improves performance of your Internet access.
  • The service is free. Additional paid services are also on offer at the OpenDNS website.
  1. No comments yet.

  1. No trackbacks yet.