Internet filtering at home Part 1

This is the first post in a multi-part series on how we have decided to lock down and filter access to the internet in our home. This is, by no means, the only way to do things and it probably isn't even the best way, but I hope that this information is useful to someone who is trying to do the same thing.

With the invitation of high(er) speed internet into our home, and because I have two sons, we have decided on a multi-layer approach to internet filtering that seems to be doing its job. My family is doing more and more online these days and we have numerous devices (computer, Kindle Fire, Wii, phone) that can connect to the internet via the wifi signal we have broadcast through our router. We needed some way to lock those devices down from accessing the internet and, when they do, to make sure that the internet was being used for the purposes we have determined that it be used for.

Of course our wireless signal is encrypted and secured with a lengthy password that must be entered (random characters) in order for someone to use it. We also only permit someone to connect to the internet if they are in a common area (kitchen and family room mostly) in our house.

At a device level the first thing we did was make sure that any access to the wireless signal from any of the devices in use in our home was protected by a password. That means that if any member of our family wants to use the wireless capabilities of the Wii, Kindle, or any other device they must come to my wife or me for the password to enable the wireless settings on their device. We then can monitor how long they have been on the internet and can readily intervene if a situation arises. We do not have phones that have a data plan so this makes it easier for us to control who gets access to the internet and when. I don't know when we will take the step to smart phones, but when we do we will absolutely have the same rules for connection to the internet.

The next post will talk about the security and filtering we have placed on our router and briefly discuss a couple of ways that enhanced security and filtering can be applied.

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