I have been  reminded  over the past few days of a post that I wrote almost 5 years ago now on Internet safety for kids (http://david.baldaro.me.uk/2008/12/parental-control-across-a-home-network-made-easy/) and how I was using a company called OpenDNS – but I thought that I needed to revamp and re-educate. So many kids are now receiving tablets, iPads, iPhone and other Internet connected devices, and so very few have any level of protection for the kids in regards to online pornography and other dubious content. Do you know what you child is looking at, or even possibly exposed to?

Yes you can install software locally, but as one parent recalled to me the other day, that wasn’t fool-proof! My recommendation still stands after 5 years, and I have been using it since I first blogged about it. For the safety of your kids, if you have done nothing then start now, if you are using something then consider this as well.

Why do I recommend OpenDNS? Because it simple and without any bells-and-whistle blocks access before it even enters your house via your Internet router. Therefore it cannot be side stepped or gotten around. ANYONE or ANYTHING connected to your home broadband is then also protected, WITHOUT you having to do anything. Even if your child’s friend comes over, asks to connect to your WIFI, they are protected – regardless of what they are using. For me, it doesn’t get any better. Of course there is no 100% guaranteed way that you can protect them from it all of the time, but this goes A LONG way.

Screen Shot 2013-12-25 at 21.21.03OpenDNS is free and they offer a service called FamilyShield which is straight-forward and simple to set up. The hardest thing is that you will need to do is reconfigure your broadband router, but OpenDNS have walk-throughs for the majority of vendors, so there should be no excuse.

Any questions, or you want some help, then ask and I will do my best to assist, but please ensure that you are protected in some way, and if you haven’t looked at OpenDNS then do so. There’s nothing in this for me, other than helping others and I have been using it for years.

It’s also worth pointing out that even though access to the sites may now be blocked using OpenDNS, anyone searching in Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. may well see sexually explicit images, because the search providers will cache the thumbnails. However each search provider has their own way of protecting. For example Google has something called SafeSearch which you can turn on and enable, blocking out anything deemed inappropriate – but you have to ensure it’s switched on! Bing’s default is to remove sexually explicit material from search results.