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Magazine Web Edition > April/May/June 2014 > Digital Dharma: Internet Security

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INTERNET SECURITY

Free Content Filtering with OpenDNS

PROTECTING DHARMA IN AN INTERNET AGE, keeping a pure mind, faces serious challenges from unfiltered content and vulnerabilities in personal information and security. There is much that can be found on the Web today that is cruel, erotic, dangerous and morally wrong. The bottom line is that, as long as you are connected to the Internet, there is no way to be fully protected. That poses serious concerns for dharmic-minded parents who wish to limit their families’ exposure, or for the company CEO who hopes to protect his network’s security—or simply filter his employees’ potential distractions.

According to the symantec.com 2012 Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 17, global Internet hacks breached more than 232.4 million identities throughout 2011 (the 2013 hack on the Target Corporation alone was over 110 million). The report also showed that about 69% of all emails are spam and that the number of phishing sites—posing as social networking sites to steal your login information—had increased by 125%. According to a BBC report in June, 2013, an estimated four percent of all Internet sites are related to pornography—no where near the 37% estimate often seen, but four percent of the estimated billion-plus sites is still a lot.

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OPENDNS.COM

Simple and secure: The OpenDNS website.
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Thankfully there are some free and easy solutions, one of which is OpenDNS—a global system that is constantly updating and evolving itself to ensure that you and your family, company or organization can have as much protection as possible.

For those unaware, DNS stands for “Domain Name System,” and your Internet connection is already using the DNS service offered by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). In actuality, all websites are identified as numbers, and the DNS is responsible for replacing a domain’s name—www.hinduismtoday.com, for example—with its number. This ensures that you don’t have to remember eleven digits each time you want to visit a web page. These vast lists of website names are stored by individual companies, such as Network Solutions, LLC, who maintains the list of all “.com” domains. When you type in a web address, your request goes through your ISP-provided DNS server, which gets the corresponding number from the DNS master list and sends you to the correct website.

What your default DNS service does not do is distinguish which websites are potentially harmful and which are not—leave aside offering customized protection. That’s were OpenDNS steps in. Having taken Internet security to the root level, it allows you customized options for your desired level of security. The service is easy to use. Go here: bit.ly/opendnshome, sign up for a free OpenDNS account and follow instructions.

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SHUTTERSTOCK

The service helps to protect your family from inappropriate websites and scams.
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According to your customized settings, the service will restrict pornographic and dangerous content, protecting your home or company’s network from inappropriate sites, malware, phishing scams and data theft. As a side benefit, it may increase your browser’s speed by processing page requests faster than your ISP’s DNS service.

OpenDNS offers a remarkable paid service called Umbrella which extends security wherever you connect your laptop and adds mobile Internet devices such as iPhones and iPads—with highly granular configurability via a central web dashboard. OpenDNS’s suite of services is a boon for parents wanting to keep unsavory influences out of the home as well as helpful for organizations wanting to shield company-issued devices from network security breaches and other unauthorized use.

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OPENDNS.COM

It has customized options for whatever level of security you’d like.
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