Almost a year ago, I wrote about a then-new free web service called ScrubIT, which functions as an alternate DNS server to block pornographic web sites, phishing scams and more. (See original article here: miserere.org/m/archivedposts/193 .) Well, I’m happy to report that the service is still working well (even better – more ‘intelligently’ than before). So I thought I’d remind everyone that this (free) service exists as an alternative – or adjunct – to parental blocking software.
According to the ScrubIT web site,
ScrubIT was developed on the premise that everyone should have access to all the good the web has to offer without having to worry about stumbling across those things that many people find objectionable. While the web has been become the number one outside resource for almost everyone in the world, it has also become the marketing method of choice for pornographers and pedophiles. …] Children as young as 10 years old who use the internet are regularly assaulted with graphic images, giving them a distorted view of human sexuality. Other studies show that surfing pornographic sites at work is one of the biggest time-wasters in business today. What’s the solution? Scrub the internet squeaky clean by using ScrubIT as your DNS server. ScrubIT is perfect for any home or business that is tired of the plague of pornographic and malicious websites. …] You’ll never again have to worry about your family and/or employees ever being confronted with this type of material.
Every computer connected to the Internet already uses a DNS server — usually provided by your internet service provider (ISP) — to resolve the addresses you type into a browser window (e.g., www.ewtn.org) and get its IP number (18.104.22.168). That’s how your computer knows how to reach the web site you’re looking for. It’s analogous to an old-fashioned Rolodex — You look up a contact by name, and the Rolodex gives you his phone number so you can call him.
ScrubIT is a FREE recursive DNS server that regulates what comes into your home or business. Enabling it is easy, and requires no special software: In Windows (2000/XP/Vista), go to the Control Panel and open Network Connections (Network and Sharing, in Vista). Select your network (typically Local Area Network) and click on ‘Properties’. Select TCP or TCP/IPv4, whichever is listed, and click on ‘Properties’. Under the section that says ‘Use the Following DNS Server Addresses’, specify the ScrubIT DNS servers: 22.214.171.124 as preferred; 126.96.36.199 as alternate. (To DISABLE the service, reset things back to ‘Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically’.)
That’s it! Your computer is now safe from pornography. Test it out: Just type the name of some pornographic web site in the address bar of your computer (e.g., www.playboy.com) and you’ll get a message that it has been blocked:
This could be the ideal solution for parents concerned about children’s online activities. It’s not perfect (e.g., it doesn’t block image searching through Google), but it seems to filter the majority of sites.
New this year is the ability to create a user account and designate what types of sites to block:
ScrubIT allows users with accounts to customize their DNS to specifically allow or block the websites that THEY choose. Want to block gambling, dating, or shopping sites? We’ve got blocklists for them all (and many more), accessible with the click of your mouse. You may also create your own blocklists.