10,000 Schools Adopt Free Web Security Tool

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With mandates to provide controlled online experiences for students, districts around the United States have begun in earnest to adopt Web filtering, content blocking, and proxy blocking solutions for their schools. And with many lacking the budgets for dedicated appliances, huge numbers of these have turned to free online security solutions. The largest of these, OpenDNS, reported to THE Journal this week that more than 10,000 schools have adopted its free Web filtering and proxy blocking solution over the last year.

OpenDNS is a free DNS provider that is not exclusive to education but that has been widely adopted since its relatively recent launch in 2006. The company told us it's signing up "hundreds" of schools per day at this point and handling between 2.9 billion and 3.6 billion DNS requests daily. It's been adopted by schools largely for its various Web security features, which include:

  • Protection from phishing sites using PhishTank.com;
  • Adult site blocking;
  • Domain blocking;
  • Web proxy blocking to prevent students from bypassing site filters; and
  • Domain whitelisting for preventing specific sites from being blocked.

Said David Ulevitch, CEO of OpenDNS, "OpenDNS saw unprecedented growth in the education space in 2007, and for good reason. A safe Internet shouldn't be something that's unavailable to kids, but dealing with a restrictive budget makes running a network for a learning institution and keeping kids safe online challenging. By using OpenDNS, network administrators at schools can easily manage network DNS and at the same time, make the Internet experience safer for the kids on their network. We're thrilled to be providing such an excellent and valuable service to network administrators at schools."

OpenDNS also told us that it expects to continue expanding its security services over the coming year, particularly in the Web filtering category. We'll bring you updates on any new developments.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Proposals for articles and tips for news stories, as well as questions and comments about this publication, should be submitted to David Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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