Having a young child playing on the Internet can be a bit nerve-wracking. Not that a five-year-old is going to do anything wrong, per se, but you never know what chain of events could end up taking her somewhere completely inappropriate.
We’ve implemented the oldest technique in the book for keeping tabs on her when she’s on the computer—keeping the machine she uses in the living room where we can see what’s going on. But if she were to mistype a URL or inadvertently click on an inappropriate link, bad things would still show up before we could react and close the browser.
The solution has been simple: Switching the home network over to use OpenDNS. Their servers are fast and reliable, and they provide enough content filtering that we can feel fairly sure our little innocent won’t inadvertently end up at undesirable Web sites.
Blocking sites through DNS servers will of course not keep any determined hacker from bypassing the filters, and I’ll be very disappointed if by the time she’s a teenager she doesn’t run circles around me when it comes to technology†, but to keep accidents from happening, OpenDNS provides a good, free solution.
†Oh, what a sweet, sweet day it will be when I can have her set up the TV for me…
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