Securing the Internet

While many (but not all) users are familiar with the concept of security software, there are more basic ways to protect unwary surfers from phishing sites, botnets, intrusive advertising and other unwanted visitors: DNS services.

First, a quick primer for those who are unfamiliar with DNS: You utilize the Domain Name System (DNS) every time you surf the Web. Each time you type a site name into the browser, DNS is queried for the IP address corresponding to that particular domain, so the browser can contact the Web server to get the content. (The process of converting the domain name to its IP address is called domain-name resolution.)

Since DNS servers are the middlemen between your browser and website content, there are many third-party DNS services that offer additional functionality for both users and network administrators. I recommend OpenDNS. These tools can include:

  • Content filtering. This can be conveniently implemented to block adult sites and other unwanted content, while requiring no software on the computers and devices.
  • Malware and phishing blocking. This can be performed by the content filtering tool also, to block sites containing viruses, scams and other dangerous content.
  • Protection against botnets. This blocks communication with known botnet servers so your computer isn’t taken over.
  • Advertisement blocking. This is another type of content filtering, which some DNS services specifically concentrate on.
  • URL typo correction. For instance, if you typed gogle.com it would correct to google.com .