From our partners at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.
It seems like there are all sorts of new ways for us to share special moments with our families online. With all the different options for video calls, chats and file sharing, it can be hard to know which websites are safe to visit and which are malicious.
CIRA Canadian Shield is an easy-to-use tool that can protect you against online cyber criminals. Here’s how this free cyber security service can help you and your loved ones stay safe while you’re sharing special moments online.
CIRA supports Canadian cyber security needs
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has provided back-end infrastructure that runs the .CA domain name for over 25 years. CIRA is a not-for-profit organization that improves local internet infrastructure and delivers Canadian-made cyber security services.
CIRA Canadian Shield is a free service that helps protect Canadian individuals and families across Canada. CIRA Canadian Shield is available for all Canadians and all of its data is located in Canada.
CIRA does this by using information from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) to identify malicious websites and block them from being accessed. The Cyber Centre identifies around 400 new malicious websites every day, ensuring that CIRA has the most up-to-date information.
But how does CIRA Canadian Shield protect me?
Every search on the internet starts with what is called a Domain Name System (DNS) Lookup. The DNS is like the internet’s phone book and it has existed since the internet was created. It associates the domain name that humans can read with the IP address that computers and servers can understand. This is called DNS resolution. For example, while you would read “www.GetCyberSafe.gc.ca”, your computer would read 22.214.171.124.
Cyber criminals can exploit the DNS to distribute malware and other cyber threats. CIRA Canadian Shield is a DNS firewall service that stops you from visiting a malicious website before anything can compromise your device or network.
There are three options for CIRA Canadian Shield:
- a “private” version that provides DNS resolution only (no cybersecurity or filtering)
- a “protected” version that blocks malware and phishing sites
- a “family” version provides phishing protection, blocks malware, as well as pornographic content
By using CIRA Canadian Shield, you can better identify which links might be dangerous to click on. This can help prevent you from becoming the victim of a threat like malware.
How do I install CIRA Canadian Shield?
It only takes a few minutes to set up CIRA Canadian Shield.
The recommended way to install CIRA Canadian Shield is to change the DNS settings in your home router. By choosing a router-based set-up, you will automatically protect all your devices at home.
It is also very easy to set-up in a browser. All major browsers have made it easy to use the service through their DNS settings. While this only protects browsing, it is still an excellent start to getting cyber safe. For both browser and router-based set-up, step-by-step instructions can be found on CIRA’s website.
While sharing special moments with our loved ones online, it is still important to stay cyber safe. Though you still need to watch out for phishing scams and avoid downloading malware, CIRA Canadian Shield can also help you protect yourself and your devices.
To learn more about CIRA Canadian Shield, please visit CIRA’s website.