Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Block Party


If you've heard me speak, odds are good that you've heard me harp on the importance of using a content filter at home. If not, then you should know that a content filter is simply a way to filter out certain types of content from your home internet (hence the name). Sometimes this happens via software installed on the computer, sometimes it’s simply a setting on the router, but in all cases the process happens in a way similar to the diagram below. 



Your content is simply filtered through a database managed by a third party, then provided to you. This all happens in a flash, so speed is rarely an issue.


The two barriers that seems to keep parents from installing a content filter are wondering which filter to use and complexity.

First, I will tell you that I have personally had success with OpenDNS – www.opendns.org. You may find that you like it, you may not, but because it is a tool that covers every device on my network, I have always liked it.

In regards to the complexity… Well, often these seem intimidating and the filtering rules can feel overly complex. Sometimes they are. Many people start off with the best of intentions, get about halfway in and then give up.

Here’s the thing to remember, you don’t have to be the expert. All of these services have support numbers – make use of them. Don’t knock yourself out trying to sort out issues, if you’re stuck. Grab the phone and make the customer support folks sort it out for you. Honestly, a 10 minute phone call usually will sort out the problem and provide training that you’d otherwise miss trying to go it alone.
Listen, you can do it and filtering is important. Think of content filtering as a sort of seat belt. You insist on your children wearing seat belts in case of an accident, not because you plan on driving headlong into a tree. We filter, not because we don’t trust our kids, but rather to keep them safe in the case of an accident.

Ain't no party like an internet content filtering party!

If you haven’t already, why not start filtering tonight and have a little block party at your house?