Thursday, February 5, 2009

Safe Studio - Safe Home

Regardless of one's personal beliefs and or convictions around questionable material on the internet - we should all be able to agree that questionable content in a business (AKA our Studios) is completely inappropriate. How embarrassing would it be to have a potential client walk by an employee's computer just in time to see a pornographic image? Even worse - what if an employee offends another employee with content viewed on the clock? These are all situations that we should all agree must be avoided at all costs. So how do you handle the situation? Filtering software installed on the computer? OS restrictions? What is the best way. This week I was introduced to OpenDNS. OpenDNS filters at the router level so any additional management can be facilitated through router and ALL computers on your network are secure.

Open DNS give you a great toolbar for setting up your account (you can have as many as you need for different locations and different filtering which is cool). Every location you set up has its own set of rules.

You can either choose from a pre-setup security & filtering settings or customize one of your own. All that is required to set things up is to create a free account online. The OpenDNS team has setup for every router on the planet. You simply click on the router and it will walk you though the simple setup. If you don't have a dedicated or a fixed IP address (you will know if you do because you usually have to pay for this service) then you will need to download an applicaiton supplied by OpenDNS on to one computer. All this application does is make sure OpenDNS always has your current IP address (Very important - because if they don't have this address the service will not work properly). A desktop or server in the office would be a great candidate for this. Once everything is set up clear the cache in all your browsers and wait about 5-10 minues and your service will be ready to go.

Bottom line: No matter why you are filtering your internet this makes sense. Managing individual software applications doesn't work and OS based protection is a pain to set up on every single machine. Our studio uses it and completly stands behind the service. You should check them out and give it a try - PLUS IT'S FREE! How can you beat that!?!

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