I’ve always considered myself to be a bit of a “geek” when it comes to anything computer-related. I’ve designed websites for the past 8 years and I currently manage the Simply Family Online website. That being said, I was a bit disconcerted when I realized that my eight year old daughter has developed some pretty impressive “searching” skills on her own. Mind you, she wasn’t looking for anything inappropriate, but she did type in “girl games” into the browser and I’ll spare you the details of some of the content that popped up. Thankfully, I was sitting right next to her and was able to quickly curtail the bunny trail of inappropriate content she would have easily had access to.
I quickly set up a safe search filter (via Google) that blocked any “adult” related sites.
But that was not enough. I quickly started looking for a solution that would not only block inappropriate searches but websites, ads, and other online content I did not want my children to have access to.
That’s when I found OpenDNS Family Shield. A quick, easy and free parental control tool that allows users to pick and choose the content they want (or don’t want) their children to have access to.
OpenDNS is unique in that you have the option to protect a single computer or your entire home network. The network option is fantastic for those of you who have more than one home computer, Ipads, Iphones, etc.. because the security settings you choose will be the same for anything connected to your network.
Setting up OpenDNS is fairly easy. You don’t need to download and install any software. You simply follow the steps provided and change a few settings on your home modem or computer.
Once you complete the settings, you’ll login to your dashboard where you can quickly choose “low, moderate or high” preconfigured settings depending upon your family’s needs. You can also choose a “custom” setting where you can choose to block sites like Facebook, YouTube, or other specific domains that you don’t want your children to have access to.
You can even include your own custom image that will show up when someone accesses a “blocked” website. Mine is Robert DeNiro “I have my eyes on you” which my kids don’t really understand, but I think it’s funny.
Do you currently use an internet filtering service or software? Please tell us more about it in the comments section. In the meantime, if you’d like to try OpenDNS for free click here to get started.