safe computing

It is a wild and woolly world out there on the internet. For example I had purchased speakers made by Event. I went to www.event.com and was directed to a porn site, not a speaker manufacturer. Alice had a rice filled sock that you heat in the microwave that you can put around your neck for muscle ache. We wanted to get another one. It was called a “bed buddy.”  Big clue….don’t search for “bed buddy” on the internet.

While it can be annoying for adults, it is a real concern for young people using computers. It is not really feasible to try to protect them from everything, there are tools you can use that can provide good protection without frustrating operational impact.   I recommend using a service from OpenDNS called FamilyShield. This service is free and does not require you to configure anything on your computers. Your house router is configured to direct all domain name service inquiries to their servers.  These servers are set up to block access to adult, proxy, phishing,  and malware sites. This will provide protection for any computers that are using your internet connection at your house. It does not provide protection for a laptop computer that is used outside of your house.  It is, however a great, low effort first effort to practice safe computing. You can go to http://www.opendns.com/familyshield for more information.  If requested, this is the service I use to when I set up a home service offering.  I also make configuration changes to the router to prevent most workaround attempts.

I recommend you have different logins for your children and/or guests who might use your computer.  The administrator accounts should be password protected and controlled by the responsible adult. These accounts should be limited to running installed programs.  The standard user profile accomplishes that task.  Depending upon your level of concern and/or your child’s computing acumen, there are a variety of other controls  you can implement.  Remember though, that every control implemented will have an operational impact that will require at least your understanding of how the controls work and how to properly set them.  The OpenDNS solution is a good first step solution with minimal operational impact.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s