Cloudflare launches DNS-based parental control service 1.1.1.1 for Families

Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 for Families

Cloudflare's 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver has been around for a couple of years now, helping to cater for those looking for a more private and secure internet connection. Now the company has announced a new version of the product, this time with extra protective layers.

1.1.1.1 for Families is essentially a parental control filter, automatically blocking access to "bad sites". This means not only sites that deliver malware, but also adult sites that might not be suitable for younger internet users. But while parents may welcome this automated filtering, 1.1.1.1 for Families has already come in for criticism for incorrectly blocking sites.

Announcing the new service, Cloudflare says: "Since launching 1.1.1.1, the number one request we have received is to provide a version of the product that automatically filters out bad sites. While 1.1.1.1 can safeguard user privacy and optimize efficiency, it is designed for direct, fast DNS resolution, not for blocking or filtering content. The requests we’ve received largely come from home users who want to ensure that they have a measure of protection from security threats and can keep adult content from being accessed by their kids. Today, we're happy to answer those requests".

The company adds:

Introducing 1.1.1.1 for Families -- the easiest way to add a layer of protection to your home network and protect it from malware and adult content. 1.1.1.1 for Families leverages Cloudflare's global network to ensure that it is fast and secure around the world. And it includes the same strong privacy guarantees that we committed to when we launched 1.1.1.1 two years ago. And, just like 1.1.1.1, we're providing it for free and it's for any home anywhere in the world.

On Twitter, Sarah Jamie Lewis from the Open Privacy Research Society, was unhappy to discover that 1.1.1.1 for Families was blocking access to sex education sites as well as those providing LGBTQ news:

Once alerted to the matter, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince got involved, apologizing for the oversight and starting the process of unblocking some sites:

To use 1.1.1.1 for Families, there's no need to install an app -- you just need to change the DNS settings on your router. For now, there are various configuration you can use depending on the level of protection you're looking for:

Malware Blocking Only
Primary DNS: 1.1.1.2
Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.2

Malware and Adult Content
Primary DNS: 1.1.1.3
Secondary DNS: 1.0.0.3

For IPv6 use:

Malware Blocking Only
Primary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1112
Secondary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1002

Malware and Adult Content
Primary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1113
Secondary DNS: 2606:4700:4700::1003

Cloudflare says that additional configuration options will be made available in the months ahead, including manual whitelisting and blacklisting, and setting limits based on the time of day.

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