Online Family Safety: Child Protection Tools (Open DNS)

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Part 8 of a series (Click to Read Part 7.)

In the last two discussions, we shared with you how you can take advantage of the built-in "parental control" feature of Windows (Vista and up) and Mac to regulate the time being spent by  kids on the computer, and restrict access to specific websites. Please note also, that this feature is also available in the premium versions of different anti-virus brands.

If you are using an older OS or your OS do not have this feature, there is a 3rd party online tool, that you can use for free.  I am talking about Open DNS (www.opendns.com). Though regulating time of kids is not covered here, this is a good alternative as a stand alone protection, and a potent protection if used in conjunction with the built-in "parental control".

Open DNS can help parents enforce the house rules relative to Internet and social web use, and provide another layer of protection. What's good about this tool is you can edit  your "network" settings remotely.

Protecting your network
If your house is Wi-Fi enabled and multiple devices can access the Internet all at once, this tool is for you. Parents can register at open dns and and avail of the family shield or free basic account.  Follow these steps:

1. Register a free account, then log in.

2. Choose your router's brand here:  https://store.opendns.com/setup/router/                     (If your router's brand is not listed, follow the general router settings)

3. Click your router's brand and follow the steps provided.

4. Activate.

5. Set up your web filtering tools here: https://www.opendns.com/dashboard/settings/1217617/content_filtering

6. Activate anti botnet and phishing protection here: https://www.opendns.com/dashboard/settings/1217617/security

7. At this point, your network is now protected at this point, you may opt to customize other settings which can be found in your dashboard.

Open DNS can restrict access to harmful websites network wide, regardless of the device family members or visitors are using.  It also provide protection from  botnets, malware, and  phishing sites.

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