As many of you may have experienced the Internet is not just filled with wonderful “things” and cute kittens, its equally filled with malware as well. Just over the past 6 months, I in my professional capacity, have experienced Cryptolocker like malware more than 5 times, in the professional scene this was mainly a nuisance as we could “just” revert to backups – however in many private homes this could often mean “pay up” or loose your family photos etc. – seeing that many home users do not have a good backup strategy.
Sure antivirus may detect and protect against many of these things, however why rely solely on that – why not add an extra and free layer of protection to the internet of your friends/family and kids? A protection that is not only free but also auto-updating thus maintenance free.
It is actually REALLY simple, all you do is to configure your DNS to use the DNS servers of Norton (and yes, it is totally free for home use). Instructions for configuration is on their site https://connectsafe.norton.com/configurePC.html – on the top right you can even select the level of protection – three levels are available, may I suggest level 3 for Aunt Mathilda.
if you administer your own network and or router (or that of family and friends), then you can setup the DHCP to hand out these Norton DNS addresses and protect each and every device in the network (even that Internet of things ;-))..
Word of caution..
If you configure this setting manually (like shown below) and have a laptop you carry with you, then you MAY run into problems at schools/workplaces – in my company we ONLY allow our own DNS servers access to the internet and subsequently if you set your own DNS addresses these requests are blocked in the firewall. This is not a problem for Aunt Mathilda or the toddlers using the home desktop computer, but keep it in mind if using laptops – the VERY best solution is to setup your DHCP to hand out the Norton DNS addresses..
How good is it?
That is a difficult question to answer, as you get no statistics it would be pure guesswork – but seeing it is free and MIGHT protect you and your loved ones, why not just go with it.
This sounds really cool, but are there no alternatives?
Well sure there are alternatives, not sure if they are better but to mention a few;
https://www.comodo.com/secure-dns/ – Equally free, but give you adds for non-existing domains.
https://www.opendns.com/enterprise-security/threat-enforcement/packages/ – OpenDNS is a great and old player in this field, you can customize things and it even works in corporate environments – however it’s not free, you will need the “Umbrella Prosumer uses” license which is a bit hard to find on their site, however it will give you 3 devices for 20US$.
http://www.securly.com/parent-signup – This one I just read about, it sounds cool though even though the purpose seem more parental control than security – by using Google accounts you keep track of your loved ones internet use and you get to see cool graphs etc. But this one is equally not free.