Simple Web Protection - ConnectSafe

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Norton Connect SafeI often get asked how families can keep their children (or their parents) safe on the internet.  You probably haven't heard a lot about Norton's ConnectSafe but they really nailed it with this product.  ConnectSafe, free for home and non-profit networks, protects all of your computers, tablets, and smart phones by keeping undesired content from getting onto your network in the first place.  Try to think of your wireless router as a traffic cop that monitors and directs traffic between your web-connected devices and the greater world wide web.  Whether you know it or not, you are using a technology called DNS (domain name servers) every time you connect to the web.  DNS servers automatically resolve web domains such as Google.com or MSN.com into IP addresses that look like 172.217.5.110 or 13.82.28.61 so you don't have to type those addresses into your browser manually each time you wanted to visit a web site.  This is where Norton steps in.

traffic cop

 

 

In most cases if you're here in Anchorage your DNS servers will be either the servers from GCI or ACS that your router selects by default.  ConnectSafe works by replacing your ISP's DNS servers with Norton's filtering servers.  When configuring this, you can choose from any of their three different sets of servers which will block sites which are known to harbor malware, phishing sites, and other scam sites, those that contain pornography, or some that block other undesirable content.  It is not a one-size-fits-all service, and allows you some degree of control over what gets blocked and what gets let through.  Since we don't live in a country like North Korea with heavily censored internet access, most of the time your access to the internet is completely unrestricted which is great for many of you, but for others such as families with young children or households with computer users with a bad habit of clicking on email scams or fake virus alerts, this free service is an easy way for you to block entire swaths of dangerous network traffic.  It should be noted that, just like with any solution, there are ways around these DNS filters if a user is persistent, but for most of you this is a very simple way that you can easily make your internet safer by blocking a large amount of unwanted content.  The instructions on how to do this are located on Norton's web site.  Stay safe out there, and give me a call if you need help getting this done or to help get your computer cleaned up if it is already infected and running poorly.

 

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