I have protected my family from internet obscenity since they first started browsing. Firstly, I installed a website blocker program on the family PC, but this was expensive, and was not easily scalable as more computers and devices joined the family network.
This was when I discovered OpenDNS.com. This company provides for free a foolproof system for blocking all unsavoury websites, including phishing sites from being accessed by any or all of your connected devices.
How it works:
All web browsers translate human readable addresses into numerical IP addresses by querying a “DNS server” on the internet. The address of this server is provided by your router, or ISP when you first connect to the internet. OpenDNS provides these servers too, but all of its huge list of IP addresses is carefully and continuously vetted so that filthy sites will not be made available to your browser.
Once your network is set up, that’s it. No filth can get through, ever again. And it’s free. Once you have an OpenDNS account, you can adjust the filters to allow through certain websites that are blocked by default, eg web-based email. There is even an option to display a custom webpage to anyone who attempts to browse off-limits from your network.
I have mine setup to show an angry picture of me with a caption bubble saying NO!!! The look on my kid’s faces when they first saw it was priceless.
The safest and simplest setup is to adjust your internet router so that it looks for DNS addresses from OpenDNS. Set your router primary DNS address to 188.8.131.52 and your secondary DNS address to 184.108.40.206. As long as your router is password protected, then no little family genius can change it back.
Check out OpenDNS. Full instructions are provided there. I will be happy to try to answer any technical queries here that I can.
There is an alternative service called Scrubit.com which I have just discovered, and does the same job. It may even be easier to use.
Make sure to spread the word about these services to all the families you know. Internet obscenity damages the soul. As I told my kids, it is so very easy to put disturbing images into your head, but so very, very difficult to get them out again.