Keep kids safe online with OpenDNS FamilyShield

This set-it-and-forget-it Web filter can protect every Internet-connected device in your house. Best of all, it's free!
  • (PC World (US online))
  • 28 July, 2010 07:48

You wouldn't let your kids walk the streets of Amsterdam's Red Light District, but giving them unrestricted access to the Web is practically the same thing. The problem is, how do you block out all that inappropriate Web content?

The best solution I've found: OpenDNS FamilyShield. This impressive service protects your kids from not only online pornography, but also phishing, malware, and other threats.

What I like best about FamilyShield is that it's a server-side solution, meaning it requires no software at your end. Instead, it merely routes your Web traffic through OpenDNS's servers and blocks anything inappropriate or dangerous. Shades of Big Brother, maybe, but this company's been around for years, and I trust it.

You configure FamilyShield one of two ways: by tweaking a couple settings in your router (which effectively protects every PC, iPod, Xbox, Wii, and other Internet-connected device in your house) or by tweaking a couple settings on your PC, phone, game console, etc.

Either way, setup does require a bit of under-the-hood tinkering. Thankfully, OpenDNS provides thorough, illustrated guides for both methods.

You don't have to register to use FamilyShield, nor even provide so much as an e-mail address. Even more amazing, the service is free. I think any parents concerned about what their kids can and will encounter online should give it a look.

By the way, if you're a more tech-savvy user and you want some filtering-customization options, check out the "basic" version of OpenDNS, which I wrote about last year.

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Tags: online security, Web services development, application development, security, web services, software, internet, malware, kids and teens, OpenDNS
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