Surf the Web Securely with OPEN DNS

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June 5, 2021

The Internet is a wealth of facts, fictions, opinions, lies, and halftruths!

This thing called the internet has lots of information, lots of misinformation, lots of good guys, and lots of bad guys in it. Just like the human society we live in.

In real life, we read signals of danger from how people look, sound or act. We are aware of people around us and our bodies react with fight or flight to most dangerous situations. We are naturally cautious if its night time and we have to walk down a dark alley. If we hear someone recounting a story, most often we will consider the finer details before deciding if that person’s opinion is true or not (or somewhere in between).

Do you believe everything anyone tells you?

If you are gullible in real life – why do some people believe everything they read online?

Is Internet Censorship the Answer?

No. Of course not.

Surf the Web Securely with OPEN DNS 1

I’m strongly against censorship in any form.

You have every right to say things that offend me, I have every right to be offended.

Everybody should access to compare the information they read with more information. Good, bad and indifferent. We want to make our own minds up, and not have them made for us by big corporations.

In the real world – we use common sense, our intuition, and our experience to decide the legitimacy of anything we are told or we learn. We separate the wheat from the chaff. We use basic rules to determine if something is true or false. We have the freedom to speak the truth, or our opinion of the facts (what some self pompous numpties call “my truth”)

Freedom of Speech — The principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction”

Unfortunately, some Big Tech companies are actively restricting access to content and even blocking people from posting their point of view. Digital suppression and censorship go against the heart of the principle of free speech.

Over the last year we’ve seen Google banning people for recording YouTube video of their opinions which go against the Google company politics. Facebook banning everyone from Presidents to Pop-Stars because they have a different opinion on various topics. Twitter suppressing all kinds of people from tweeting their thoughts because their opinions differ from the companies politics. Strange time we live in.

This morning, brushing my teeth, listening to the radio news – I heard that Microsoft had just apologized for one of the members of its Bing Search team suppressing search teams for “tiananmen square tank man”. This human error very effectively erased a horrible story of Chinese violence from the late 1990s.

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What can we do to secure ourselves from this internet censorship?

Just like interacting with actual humans, there are virtual things we can do to be safe, ensure what we are seeing is safe. There are also things we can do to ernsuire that we read is not blatent misinformation.

Obvious rules would include:

  • Use a VPN
  • Never use PUBLIC WiFi
  • Never look at insecure websites (always use website with encryption certificates ie: https something.com)
  • Clear your Cookies after browsing
  • Use a safe TOR Browser
  • The list goes on…

but the easiest and simplest steps you can take right now might include:

Use an Open Search Engine like DDG

Don’t rely on one search engine – Google and Bing are the front ends of huge corporations – consider switching to Duck Duck Go.

DuckDuckGo (also abbreviated as DDG) is an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. DuckDuckGo distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users and by showing all users the same search results for a given search term.

Surf the Web Securely with OPEN DNS

Whenever you type search into your browser search bar, or goto ANY website name. This name, will be looked up to find the IP address of the server it lives on. This lookup is done using it’s DNS — or Domain Name System — converting web addresses into computer-readable IP addresses. Most likely your PC is using the DNS set by the network (or ISP) you’re connected with.

Consider this – your internet provider knows every website you’ve visited. Your internet provider is legally allowed to sell your browsing history to anyone it likes. This is why you see INLINE ADS based on what you have been looking at recently.

You need a secure and private DNS provider.

OpenDNS is a free online service that offers an extra layer of safety on the Internet. It’s fast, free and gives you great features like content filtration, phishing protection, unwanted content blocking, etc. Most important for – OpenDNS promises not to share your search history with anyone. Ever.

Switching to OpenDNS is easy

There are so many changes you can make to surf the Web Securely, but changing your DNS is something that it easy and quickly makes a huge difference.

Open your PC internet connection settings and configure the DNS settings to use the IP ADDRESS of OpenDNS rather than those automatically configured by your ISP.

You can do this on our PC or on your Router

Configure PC to use OpenDNS:

WINDOWS SETTINGS | NETWORK & INTERNET

Surf the Web Securely with OPEN DNS 3

Click Network and Internet and you will see the connection status – your’s will look differnet of course but you will still see something like this:

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Click PROPERTIES to see your connection properties.

Here you can change your DNS from AUTOMATIC to the OpenDNS IP Address:

Surf the Web Securely with OPEN DNS 5

Change from AUTOMATIC to MANUAL and enter these values into the IPv4 and IPv6 Settings:

Enter 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220 in the DNS server fields

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Dont take my word for it – check the offical OpenDNS instructions here Use OpenDNS

OpenDNS now supports IPv6 addresses — meaning that, by using the OpenDNS Sandbox, you’ll be able to resolve your DNS using IPv6 DNS servers. Why IPv6? IPv6 supports a far larger number of addresses than IPv4, which is why the change is taking place now — since IPv4 was implemented in 1981, the Internet has grown dramatically, and there are no more available IPv4 addresses.

So I plug in the IPv6 Addresses as well – just to be safe 🙂

  • 2620:119:35::35
  • 2620:119:53::53
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Configure ROUTER to use OpenDNS:

Of course, we could also set up our Wifi Router to use OpenDNS rather than the smelly old ISP defaults. So, since I’ve already spent far too long copy/pasting images into this blog let’s do this realtime:

Made your Changes?

*REBOOT* for those changes to be loaded!

Surf the Web Securely with OPEN DNS 8

NickLitten


IBM i Software Developer, Digital Dad, AS400 Anarchist, RPG Modernizer, Shameless Trekkie, Belligerent Nerd, Englishman Abroad and Passionate Eater of Cheese and Biscuits. Nick Litten Dot Com is a mixture of blog posts that can be sometimes serious, frequently playful and probably down-right pointless all in the space of a day. Enjoy your stay, feel free to comment and remember: If at first you don't succeed then skydiving probably isn't a hobby you should look into.

Nick Litten

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