What is DNS Filtering and How to Use It for Safe Browsing

In the simplest terms, Domain Name System (DNS) filtering is a method by which users of home, school, and work computers and smart devices can be prevented from accessing specific websites in an effort to keep them safer online while also keeping the devices they use safer from being infected with malware, viruses, and other malicious downloads.

When you use a DNS filter, you can safely browse the World Wide Web knowing that the DNS filter will ensure that you do not mistakenly visit the types of websites that would intentionally do you harm or expose you or your children to the types of content that are unsafe or unsuitable for home, work, or school environments.

Other Benefits of DNS Filtering

You, your family, and your students can all benefit greatly through the use of DNS filtering, as it ensures the safest possible Internet experience for browsers of all ages in all types of atmospheres. That’s because DNS filters place a sort of roadblock, if you will, between your means of accessing the Internet (computer, tablet, smartphone, etc.) and the malicious websites that would otherwise have the ability to abscond with your personal and financial data.

Some of the most common forms of malicious downloads include, but are not limited to:

  • Malware
  • Viruses
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Phishing

Every single one of these can be avoided through the use of a DNS filter, which will not only stop malicious websites from loading but will also protect your sensitive information in the process.

There are a wide variety of DNS filtering tool options for you to choose from to keep your children or students entirely safe as they get online at home or school. While there are a few differences in these various tools, most offer both free and paid plans for DNS filtering. Most free plans will keep users safe from phishing attempts while also blocking malicious sources of ransomware and malware.

Most free plans will also block the types of adult content you would not want your children or students to be subjected to at home or during the school day. But for some of the more user-friendly additions to DNS filters, such as the ability to place different users into different groups that allow them to access different things based on age, you’ll most likely have to spring for a paid option.

Other advanced features offered by paid options in DNS filtering include total network protection through completely secured Internet access and the ability to route all traffic through a designated filter that works in unison with a policy you configure, making you the designer of your own Internet usage rules and regulations at your office, school, or home.

Blocking Websites Based on Mentions of Specific Content

Some DNS filters also have the ability to filter content based on the very specific mentions of certain topics or subject matters you wish to keep out of sight for your children, students, or employees as they browse the Internet at your home, school, or office space. You can set up these types of DNS filters to recognize the mentions of specific words, including categories like child abuse and neglect, drugs and drug abuse (or even specific drugs by name), pornography, and more. Likewise, you can set up these types of DNS filters to search out and help the user drive toward safer sites that mention that they are safe for children or appropriate for the workplace, and so on.

Ease of Use Through an Easy-to-Understand Dashboard

Most DNS filters are not just programs that run in the background without any easy access for the user. Most, in fact, offer very user-friendly dashboards or other types of user interfaces that make it easy for you to see what has been blocked and what your current DNS policies are. What’s more, these interfaces allow you to change or alter your existing policies with a simple click of the mouse, whether you’re trying to keep those in your care safer or if you are trying to loosen the reigns a little if you feel you may have set your boundaries a little too tightly.

Limiting Screen Time and Other Parental Controls

Some DNS filtering tools are made just with parents and teachers in mind, and as such, offer a host of other tools that make keeping kids both safe and on task much easier when computers and other technology are involved at home or in the classroom. With parent- and teacher-friendly tools for DNS filtering, you will be able to:

  • Block inappropriate content that’s meant for adult eyes only
  • Limit screen time based on what you think is appropriate or necessary for your home or classroom, or even for different child’s needs
  • Track the location of your child’s smartphone or other smart devices, such as tablets and watches
  • Track your child’s online behaviors and get insights into where they are going online

To learn more about the best DNS filtering options for classrooms today, check out DNS for filtering and guest networks to keep your users safe across all devices using a DNS filtering solution built specifically for education online, in the classroom, and at home.