Odds & Ends

Safer, faster browsing for free! – Jan 2018

Life online is complicated with viruses, phishing scams ransomware and hoaxes galore.
If you run a business from home having your computer compromised could wreak disaster.
Action Fraud are recommending people, especially businesses, try using quad9  provided for free by IBM, Packet Clearing House  and the Global Cyber Alliance with the endorsement of the City of London Police.
Here is the message from Action Fraud


Better internet security in two minutes
Domain Name Systems (DNS) are like public phone books for the web. They’re the reason you only need to remember a website’s name and not its IP address (think of these as phone numbers for computers). When you type “www.youtube.com” into a browser, a DNS service translates that into the associated IP address (199.223.232.0) for you.
Imagine a phone book that automatically filters and removes phone numbers known to be used for fraud. That’s what Quad9 does for websites. Quad9 provides an automated way to protect yourself and your business by blocking access to known malicious websites, like phishing sites designed to steal personal or banking details.
Quad9 checks the website to determine if it’s malicious.
Visit Quad9.net for a step-by-step guide on how to improve your online security in two minutes.
Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

 

The basics are – when you give the address of a website it goes via  servers that recognise scam sites.
The good thing is:

  1. the service is free
  2. the connection is faster – not slower than before!
  3. No data about you is collected.

It took me 2 minutes to set up and involves no additional software. You can also ‘undo’ the procedure as quickly as you did it – if you carefully note the procedure as you go along.
In 4 simple steps you simply tell your computer to access the internet via one of the quad9 servers. There’s a video here.  (In a larger organisation it would probably make sense to set up Quad 9 via the router rather than individual machines.)
The one thing the video doesn’t tell you is how to tell whether your changes have worked to access the quad9 servers.
You can do this by scrolling down to windows powershell from the windows button at the bottom left of the windows10 screen. Launching this produces a command window into which you type nslookup
If it’s all working you get the message below.

If you go to a malicous website the attempt should be terminated with a message saying it’s timed out or not found. (We don’t recommend actively trying this!)

Please note – although we have tried this and found it works fine for us on Windows 10 – and does indeed seem to speed up web-access – we are not IT experts so accept no responsibility for any problems that might arise from its use.
Also – note this system wont protect against email scams that have viruses within attachments.

To go to the Quad9 website see https://www.quad9.net/

For a review about the product see: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450430188/Free-Quad9-internet-threat-protection-launched

 

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