Page 21 - NC Triangle Vol 7 No 6
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CRAIG PETRONELLA | Cybersecurity
One Simple Trick to Boost Your Security that
CNobody Does ybercrime is projected to cost
the global economy more
than $2 trillion a year by 2019 according to market analysts Juniper Research, yet a simple overlooked so- lution exists—changing your domain name system (DNS). Changing your DNS server is quick, easy and an ef- fective trick to not just save you mon- ey, but also boost your security, pri- vacy, and speed. With just a few clicks, you could better arm yourself against hackers and malware, not to mention preventing parties from tracking you online.
Which DNS server do you current- ly use? If you haven’t already switched, or don’t know the answer, you’re likely using your Internet Service Provid- ers (ISPs) servers. While ISP servers function, they’re not always have reli- able and up-to-date, which can result in site lag time.  ey also don’t usually o er phishing protection or use DNS- SEC or DNSCrypt.  is allows your ISP to see the websites you visit.
It’s not di cult to connect those sites with your name and address.  ough using a di erent DNS doesn’t guarantee your site usage won’t be tracked, it does make it harder to put a name to the user. For true anony- mous browsing, you need a VPN or an encrypted DNS system. With the overturned Obama privacy laws, ISPs can now sell your browser his- tory to advertisers without your con- sent. DNS providers CloudFlare and Quad9 both guarantee they’re not col- lecting data from you or keeping logs for longer than 24 hours.
Choosing an alternative DNS server really depends on who you are, where you are, and what your needs are. If it’s a matter of price, Google, Quad9 and CloudFlare are all free. In terms
of speed, tests reveal that the three fastest servers are Cloud are, Google and Quad9, in that order. But security and privacy are the biggest reasons for making the switch.
When it comes to security, Quad9 is your best bet. Unlike other DNS servers, Quad9 also prevents compa- nies from mining data. Quad9 checks URLs against a databank of compro- mised sites. Over 19 di erent secu- rity intelligence  rms contribute to the data bank. If the URL has been  agged in the databank, Quad9 will block the site. John Todd, executive director at Quad9, is quick to state that while Quad9 o ers privacy, it is not a replacement for in-depth  re- walls. “We are an additional layer of security. For users, we are the  rst line of defense.”
Security is even more compromised when connecting to public Wi-Fi net- works, so a switch to a DNS server you trust makes even more sense. Browser customization is also a perk. Switching your DNS server allows you to unblock sites blocked by your ISP, block sites yourself at the domain name level, blacklist and whitelist sites for your whole Wi-Fi network, and even restrict online ads. OpenDNS even has a free Family Shield which focuses on  ltering and kid safety
Here are the steps to making this simple switch. Note: Before you start making changes, jot down the old DNS server addresses in case you want them back or have trouble switching. Keep in mind a system reboot may be required for changes to take e ect. DNS is just ONE of the many security layers a  rm should implement. PTG has developed a patented 22-layer cy- bersafety stack to keep your  rm safe.
• Hit Start and type Network Status (or right-click on your Wi-Fi icon
and pick Open Network and Inter-
net settings).
• Click on Change Adapter Settings. • Right-click on your active network
connection, then hit Properties.
• Le -click on Internet Protocol Ver- sion 4 (TCP/IPv4) and hit Proper- ties. (If you use IPv6, change that
one also/instead.)
• Click on “Use the following DNS
server addresses:” and type in one of the public DNS server addresses below
• System Preferences
• Network
• Click Advanced.
• Click the DNS tab
• Click the little + sign at the lower
le  to add a new DNS server
• Type in the numbers of a public
DNS server • Click OK
• Click Apply
Public DNS Server addresses: CloudFlare DNS: OpenDNS: or
VeriSign Public DNS: or
Google DNS: or DNS.Watch: or
Changing DNS settings over cel-
lular networks is a bit more compli- cated and requires a third-party app, unless you are using Android 9 Pie which has a Private DNS feature. DNS Override for iOS or DNS Changer for Android create a VPN layer so you’re going through a separate server be- fore connecting to
the DNS provider of your choice. Al- though these apps work, you’re put- ting security in the hands of the third- party developer.
Craig A. Petronella is the CEO of Petronella Technology Group, Inc. (PTG), a well-known and trusted cybersecurity group that specializes in helping law  rms with security and compliance. If you like these tips, sign up for our free Cybersafety newsletter at Craig has 30 years’ experience, authored multiple books, including “How Hackers Can Crush Your Law Firm”, and “Peace of Mind Computer Support”. For more infor- mation about a cybercrime risk assessment call 1-877-468-2721 Petronella Technology Group, Inc.

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