CIRA Canadian Shield: Donning your cyber security armour

Canadian households are under attack by cyber criminals, and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) wants to make sure that you and your family are well protected. To help you fight off malware and phishing scams, the organization has developed CIRA Canadian Shield to make sure you’ll never go into battle without a good defense. a desktop computer with the CIRA Canadian Shield logo on it, padlocks and a cursor

Here’s everything you need to know about the free enterprise-grade cybersecurity solution:

What is CIRA Canadian Shield?

CIRA Canadian Shield is a free DNS firewall service that provides online privacy and security to individuals and families across Canada. CIRA does this by using information from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) to identify malicious websites and then block them from being accessed. The Cyber Centre identifies around 400 new malicious websites every day, ensuring that CIRA is equipped with the most up-to-date information.

So how does it work?

CIRA Canadian Shield works by blocking malicious domains at the Domain Name System (more commonly called a DNS) level. A DNS acts like a translator for your devices between web addresses and their corresponding IP address. When you type a web address into your browser and hit enter, a DNS translates that text into a numerical IP address, which then connects you to the site.

For example, rather than having to remember, a DNS will translate that to This makes accessing sites much easier.

Some industry reports estimate that between 80% and 90%  of cyber attacks exploit DNS servers, but these attacks can be prevented by configuring DNS settings that filter your exposure to malicious websites.  

How does a DNS keep you cyber secure?

When DNS operators know about potentially malicious websites, they can prevent you from being directed to them. If you visit a malicious website, you could potentially download malware and other unwanted software on your devices. An example of another Canadian public DNS operator is easyDNS.

Additionally, CIRA Canadian Shield will not sell your online data to third parties as it operates entirely in Canada under national privacy laws.

Getting started:

To make sure you choose the right level of defense for your business or your household, CIRA offers three levels of DNS service: private, protected and family. Each level has a unique set of cyber accessories that include privacy against third-parties, malware barriers and restrictions on inappropriate content. These variations ensure that your home gets the protection it needs.

Once you decide which protection services are best for you, CIRA suggests viewing their configuration guide for more information on setting up your devices.

CIRA Canadian Shield is accessible on most operating systems, including iOS, Android devices and standard computer systems. Using CIRA Canadian Shield arms your devices, allowing you to protect them against malware from malicious websites.

Don’t leave your data defenseless – guard your devices with CIRA Canadian Shield so you can get cyber safe.

Additional resources:

CIRA home page

Cyber Centre Canadian Shield blog

Cyber Centre publications


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