Internet Filtering – Content and Security
So, you have internet. Cool! Sort of anyway.
Internet filtering is NOT included!
Guess what, you now ALSO have access to every porn site known to man. So do your kids. So does your spouse. Along with those sites, are the millions of other sites that range from horribly inappropriate content, to simply dangerous content. Your banking details all the way to your library login now have the potential to be exposed. You NEED internet filtering!
Add to that, the threats such as CryptoLocker (Seriously, you need to read up on this one), and various mal-ware threats that can do anything from offer you popup advertising, to recording every key you hit, and site you visit. You NEED internet filtering!
Think about all the devices you have in your house. Laptops, desktops, iPads, Android Tablets, mobile phones, XBox, Playstations, and the list could go on. Each of these devices is an entry point to your kids lives, as well as your private data. You NEED internet filtering!
You NEED protection! Now!
This should take you 15-20 minutes to complete. Level of difficulty is considered low. AND, this works anywhere in the world!
OpenDNS is one of the best solutions I’ve come across that covers ALL of these devices when attached to your home network. A fairly simple process of adding a few numbers to your internet router enables basic malware and threat protection. Creating a FREE account and adding some details about your internet connection allows you to add filters for categories, as well as add specific websites you wish to block.
Let’s get started.
Click this link (it should open in a new tab) www.OpenDNS.com and click the Orange “Sign Up Now” button under the OPENDNS HOME tab. For full home protection, select the button that says Router.
You will now be presented with a list of common home use routers. They do a great job of presenting individual routers with full instructions, so no point in my repeating that here. Select your brand, and then your specific model (Usually found on a sticker on the bottom side of the router)
Use the instructions provided on the OpenDNS site to add the correct DNS server numbers.
Should you need to locate your router’s IP address (set of numbers that look like 192.168.1.1), do the following. Push and hold your “Windows Key and the R key, then let them go. In the small run window that appears, type CMD and hit OK. Then type IPCONFIG, and hit enter. Look for the entry that says “Default Gateway”. Use this as the address used to connect to your router in the OpenDNS instructions.
Once you’ve completed the steps outlined on the OpenDNS website for your router (note that you may need to power cycle your router), select the “NEXT: Test your new settings” link at the bottom of the page. You should be presented with a page that states “Success, you are now using OpenDNS”.
You can also at any time, visit http://welcome.opendns.com to verify that you are indeed protected.
Select the link at the bottom that says “Sign up for a free account to get the full benefits of OpenDNS”
Complete the details requested, and activate your account via the confirmation email sent to you.
Once verified, and logged into your new free account, select the tab on top that says Settings
Your public IP address provided by your internet provider should already be populated in the window.
Select Add Network, and provide a name as prompted.
99% of home networks will use what is known as a dynamic IP address. This is an address that changes from time to time. Leave the check-box selected for Yes, it is dynamic, and download the small OpenDNS agent from the link provided. Follow the simple install instructions for the install.Now, when your provider gives you a new address (happens anywhere from every 2-3 days to 1-2 months depending on your provider), this small agent will automatically update your account with OpenDNS. This is important as it will provide stats on threats and content blocked as you use the service.
Now select the “Stats” button from the top of the page. It should have a message that none of your stats are enabled. It should also provide a link that says “Go Enable Stats”. Click this.
Now click on your “IP Address” and on the left side, click “Stats and Logs”. Check the box that says enable stats, and hit Apply.
Now click Web Content Filtering from the left side.
This is where you (and maybe your spouse) need to decide how to handle blocking of content. The OpenDNS site does a great job of explaining what each of the categories block. Choose your level of filtering based on your preferences. By default, security filtering is enabled. Add and remove as you see fit.
Under Advanced Settings, also on the left, my recommendation is to set as shown in this screen capture. Be sure to hit the Apply button after you make any changes.
After a day or so of using your newly protected internet service, return to the OpenDNS page and login. Select the Stats tab from the top, and review. It would be a good idea to return here on a at least a weekly basis to get an idea of the type of web traffic being run through your network.
As an option, you can share your login details with someone to provide a level of accountability for your household.
This should be considered a ‘living document’. As issues and changes occur, they will be updated on this page.
Feel free to share the link with anyone you feel may benefit from this process!