Take the 2-minute tour ×
Information Security Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Information security professionals. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have one WiFi connection in my house which I use for my iPad, phone and computers.

I want to block adult sites, time consuming sites for every device that use the WiFi connection.

So I came across OpenDNS. BUT I'm worried because I use the connection for my banking actions, SSH, Adsense account etc.

Losing any of those accounts is equals to losing my house.

So is it secure to use OpenDNS in my situation? Or do you have any advice?

share|improve this question
    
A secured https connection is a secure https connection. Unless OpenDNS has gone and issue SSL certifications and appear to have been issued to other companies, and you have accepted these certifications, stop watching CSI the computer world does not work like it does on TV. Unless a forged certification is installed on your computer, you will be notified of any errors in the certification, even if there is a forged certification you should verify the certifiate was issued to the correct company and website. Without a forged certification your connection is 100% secured. –  Ramhound Mar 8 '12 at 13:25
    
@Ramhound, Many people don't understand the capability of a certificate, and how it can protect you from talking to the wrong server. This question is perfectly reasonable. –  George Bailey Mar 9 '12 at 16:46

2 Answers 2

Both should be just as secure as it was previously. DNS just resolves domain names to ip addresses. This is completely separate from any security model, and OpenDNS is probably as trustworthy as the DNS you were getting from your local ISP.

When you go to a website, you type in a domain name (security.stackexchange.com.) which your browser than queries a DNS server to get an IP address (64.34.119.12). This tells your computer which address your request packets should be directed to over the open internet. Then your packets are routed over the open internet, so they should go to the computer that was assigned that IP address. By choosing to use OpenDNS you just are asking different computers what is the IP address of security.stackexchange.com, whether you'll trust your ISP's DNS servers or OpenDNS's for these types of inquiries.

However, both of these systems could be subverted. The DNS record/response could be tampered with to direct you to the wrong IP address, or the routing that should go to 64.34.119.12 could be redirected by a malicious router to the wrong server. So in general you shouldn't trust regular old http connections.

But if you connect to your bank, you typically go to an HTTPS site (https://www.yourbank.com). Most modern web browsers will display a Lock in the URL and have https in green, if your browser has a properly signed certificate issued from a trusted certificate authority (CA). Your web browser comes with a list of trusted CAs, and automatically checks that the certificate is valid, is trusted, and was issued to the domain name you wanted to go to. You will also be warned if the page doesn't have a properly signed certificate, or a certificate for the wrong site, or one that expired, etc. You should not do any sort of banking/credit card transactions over non-https connections. Furthermore, your https traffic will be encrypted, so eavesdroppers cannot listen in. You should be careful to make sure that the domain name of the https is correct, e.g., its https://www.yourbank.com as opposed to https://yourbank.notyourbank.com.

When you ssh to a server that you have connected to in the past, you have the public key of the remote server stored on your computer in the ~/.ssh/known_hosts file. You will be warned if the remote server cannot answer a challenge for the public key (that the server could only answer if it has the corresponding private key) or if the public key changes. Thus after connecting to a ssh server once from a trusted computer, you can be assured that subsequent connections are to the same computer. ssh also encrypts all traffic.

share|improve this answer

Blocking arbitrary with a provider like OpenDNS doesn't adequately censor the information available with your connection. Retarded children can bypass this by simply providing a new DNS server like Google's famous ip address 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4.

In terms of content filtering you should you should look to countries like China, Saudi Arabia and Syria. These countries use expensive content filters that perform packet inspection. There are products on the market, and you can also pretty much the same thing for free using a squid proxy. But keep in mind squid doesn't stop The Onion Router, and nether does Syria.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.