How to block sites: blocking dangerous sites
How to block sites, ones that are dangerous or damaging in many ways. In the office or at home, dropping into a dangerous site brings about various consequences. From the psychological damage that can be caused to a young person or even damage to a company network, there are many ways in which these sites can adversely affect you.
Today it is possible to block dangerous sites, at the office or at home, with the use of instruments and services that have been thought up without causing you large costs, let’s have a look.
1. What are the dangerous sites that we have to protect ourselves from?
Let’s start this contribution on how to block sites by classifying the dangerous sites that we need to protect ourselves from at home or in the company. We will start with a fact: malware and phishing, the two attack techniques that are used the most worldwide, reach their goal following a click on a link. In the case of malware, a user clicks on a link that appears to be safe and from that moment onwards an attack is launched on the company network. A devastating attack, that, in the case of ransomware, could block the entire system and take the data as a hostage. The company can free themselves but only after they have paid a hefty ransom.
In the case of phishing, instead, after the click the user then inserts their private details – such as username and password of their home banking or even their credit card details – inside a site that on appearance doesn’t look dangerous. In this case also the damage is notable, seeing as the intention is that of gaining access to an online account from which to make payments. Even in the technique of Social Engineering, in which there is collected details and information that are sensitive, the attack can come about through a link. Just like the propagation of a virus. Therefore, there are various attack techniques that request some kind of link that we will classify as very dangerous indeed.
There are also sites that some people should never visit. Like pornographic ones or those that instigate violence, others that contain content of dubious morality, ones that sell weapons etc. It is evident that minors or people who are easily influenced should stay well away from such sites.
Finally, a company could decide to block their workers access to determined sites and services. For example, gaming and betting sites or even social media networks. This would be to protect their workers as well as keeping up their productivity.
2. How to avoid accessing dangerous sites
The ways in which to block the access to dangerous sites are many. They are however not all efficient. In the meantime let us specify that every navigational program, such as Google Chrome, has a free automatic block system against sites that are potentially dangerous. The protection by Google Chrome can be found inside the preference menu, under the voice Privacy and Security. It is possible to set up an Advanced Protection, a Standard one or even No Protection at all.
Let us point out also that Google protect the navigation on its search engine and even its Gmail sees a minimum protection also. But all circumscribes the Google environment. This is the other limit. The protection is guaranteed only if you are using Google tools. For example, it is not guaranteed that Google will block the access to a dangerous site that has been received by a Facebook chat on your smartphone.
There are also many web services that integrate completely free access blocking to content that is considered dangerous. Just like YouTube that proposes the Restriction Mode, clicking on the icon that can be found top right of your profile. It is also possible to block the choice of navigational programs used so that they are not then modified by others. You should also remember that YouTube Kids, a mobile app that proposes only secure videos for up to 12 year olds has some parental functions also.
In this case also, just as in all the other case of content filtering on a specific service, the block is only valid when using that particular service itself. Therefore, it is a very superficial protection, rarely customizable of which we know relatively little about. A company, for example, could not feel secure by using these kind of instruments. This is because, as stated before, access to dangerous sites can come about through a message on email or even chat for example.
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3. Why is it better to use a DNS Filter?
The limits that we have highlighted in the precedent paragraph demonstrates that the free solutions that are available are not the most trustworthy ones. Above all if we are trying to have a blocking service of sites for our office, PMI or large company.
For protecting the navigation and blocking dangerous sites it is necessary to invest in secure solutions that are more complex and costly. Seeing as the major part of attacks on company networks and domestic computers come about just from one click, a good solution could be that of investing in just one solid specific solution.
This type of solution is called DNS Filtering. We are talking about services that look after the control of site access and block navigation when they discover that they are reaching an address that is dangerous. The DNS Filter is definitely the best choice for securing your surfing activities as it concentrates directly on the DNS itself, the physical address from the machine on which a site is memorized. We are talking about a control that is more precise, avoiding that which the bad intentional sites hide behind, domain names or content that is apparently ‘clean’.
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4. The characteristics of a DNS Filter
Not all DNS Filters are the same. Some present distinctive characteristics that should make them favourite, let’s see which:
» Frequent updating of blacklists, the lists that contain the sites that should be avoided at all costs
» Low latency guarantee (the time that passes between request and visualisation of a site)
» Customizable possibility of the filter to follow your own needs of site blocking
» Ample categorization of dangerous sites and Geoblocking, a block that is based around the geographical location of where a site is situated and excludes from the blacklist Countries that are considered dangerous
» Use of Artificial Intelligence for major quality within blacklists, thus avoiding blocking ‘clean’ sites.
» Easy configuration and customizable (possibly delegating a certified partner of the DNS Filter producers)
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The DNS Filter from FlashStart has everything needed from a high quality service. It supports a whopping 85 different content categories and declares a minimum latency that is very low indeed. It also uses Artificial Intelligence algorithms to help it speed up its DNS, Domain and Content Data collection, ‘learning’ from the site analysis and foreseeing what others are potentially at risk of being blocked.
World partners that propose the DNS Filter from FlashStart are all agreed that being easily set up and customizable are amongst its principal characteristics. The DNS Filter from FlashStart, also, natively integrates with Active Directory from Microsoft for an immediate installation on company networks. Also, it guarantees a worldwide LAN protection and end point roaming through the Anycast network.
Finally, the FlashStart filter guarantees the protection from attacks to your company network with a highly competitive price that is also inferior of that charged for other security solutions for Small and Medium Companies that, truthfully speaking, don’t even need them. This is because, if you protect the workers surfing activities you are already at a very good point.
You can activate the FlashStart® Cloud protection on any sort of Router and Firewall to secure desktop and mobile devices and IoT devices on local networks.