Concerned about what your child might see while surfing the net? How about online fraud? Here is an easy way to block out inappropriate material without having to pay a cent and without having to install any software!
When you signed up for home internet access, your internet provider (Comcast, Frontier, Charter, etc) gave you a router/modem that allows you to surf the net. Every website has an address associated with it, just like a business or home has a physical address; however, a website’s address is a lot shorter! For example, the AuditMyPc.com’s website address is 126.96.36.199.
When I type AuditMyPc.com into my browser at home, the router/modem Comcast gave me looks up the corresponding IP address by referring to their Name Server (like a big fat Phone Book of addresses).
What they don’t tell you, is that you can use any Name Server (Phone Book) you want to, such as OpenDNS (I explain why they don’t publicize this at the bottom of this tip).
OpenDNS is a free service for home users that screens those addresses BEFORE they are handed out. When your child fires up their Playstation, Wii, Xbox, iPad, Computer or Phone, and tries to visit a site, that site is first checked against a list of inappropriate sites. If the site is safe to visit, they won’t notice an interruption, but if it’s unsafe (contains sexually explicit content, inappropriate language, violence, etc) the site is blocked from showing.
It gets even better, not only can you enable parental controls, there is anti-phishing and identity theft protection! Here is the link:
Getting this free service up and running is simply a matter of entering two computer ip addresses into your router/modem – that link I provided will walk you through the short setup process. For those of you who already know how to do this, the addresses are 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206.
Note: they also offer a “paid” service which runs $20 per year but is unnecessary (the free version is just as good).
Entering those two simple IP addresses can save your children from accidentally viewing material they shouldn’t see. I only wish they had something for TV; you can watch a “family friendly” movie, but the commercials can ruin the entire experience!
I hinted to why internet providers don’t want you to know about such services as these, well, it’s all about money! When you’re at home, type in a website addresses that doesn’t exist in your browser and you’ll see they provide a page of their own along with ads. Try:
The money they receive from those ads are not the only reason behind keeping this a secret. They also track site visits and demographics then resell that data. Your name isn’t attached to the data, but your trends are and they’re worth big money!
BTW – Google has its own DNS servers which are more oriented toward adults looking to prevent infection by “computer viruses” or “identity thief”. Ever go to a website and click on something only to end up with an infected PC? Well, when you use Google’s name servers, that worry is almost entirely eliminated! Another benefit when using Google DNS is that your internet surfing experience will be much faster and it’s completely free. Their name servers are 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 and here are their instructions:
That’s it for this Safety Tip – enjoy!