Don't get filtered out

I mentioned a few posts back about a company called OpenDNS that provides a recursive DNS service. That’s a fancy way of saying that they are the phone book for the internet and translate IP addresses into people-friendly domains like cuna.org. Every computer that you get on points to a DNS server, whether is is provided by your ISP, your employer, OpenDNS, or now Google.

Similar to other freemium models, OpenDNS provides a free service but also a paid subscription model, both to individuals and businesses. In all levels of their account, OpenDNS has a very robust content filtering mechanism in place. Basically, a domain is tagged by the OpenDNS community and placed into a category. These categories can then be filtered out.  For instance, if your credit union or employer used the OpenDNS product, they could simply check a box in the configuration and not allow any traffic to any site that has been classified as chat, adult, adware, malware, nudity, etc. This would prevent a great number of visits to websites that could be harmful to the network of the credit union. Many credit unions already have a filtering system in place to prevent access to certain types of sites and OpenDNS is just another mechanism to accomplish that.

In my credit union community service act of the week, I took all of the website addresses for credit unions out of the call report data, uploaded them to OpenDNS, and tagged all of them as “Financial Institution”. Don’t worry, it wasn’t that hard. There were only about 7000. Only about 3% of credit union websites were listed, which could potentially lead to some of those websites being blocked for users of OpenDNS. With nearly 20 billion DNS requests handle per day, OpenDNS is becoming a large provider of these services and thus CU’s need to ensure that their members can reach their website.

I have uploaded and tagged all of the credit union url’s, but now they have to be voted on by the community to ensure the tags are accurate. To check your website and vote on the category it is placed in, go to the OpenDNS Domain Tagging page. In the upper, right-hand corner, enter in your website address and vote “Yes” to ensure it is placed in the Financial Institution category. If you run other public facing subdomains, such as blog.mycu.org or onlinebanking.mycu.org, you can add those domains as well.

Phish TankOpenDNS also runs another project called PhishTank, which is something that will most likely hit all of us by some point. PhishTank works exactly like OpenDNS, in that the community can submit phishing attempts to the website and it then gets voted on. This data can then be used by law enforcement or the company that is being phished to educate their members. OpenDNS also uses this data to possibly filter these phishing sites and prevent users from going to a confirmed site.

So if you’ve got 30 seconds, go to OpenDNS, look up your CU’s website, or your own, and vote to make sure that it is in the correct category. You wouldn’t want your site to be inaccessible to your members!

In the spirit of giving, should I do this using all of the FDIC for the banks, assuming that their website addresses are in the data?

UPDATE: I also uploaded all of the FDIC bank url data as well.  So if you are a banker out there, go vote for your website as well.

Simple and Clean

Imagine if you could make a credit union web site as simple (and gorgeous) as Snooth.  A real simple home banking login in the top right corner, and the massive search box in the middle.  Some CU’s are using virtual assistants (like Julie at Coast Capital) and some CU’s are using voice recognition for telephone banking.  Why not take that concept to your website with a search box?  Your members could search for locations or open new account or history or CEO and hopefully find what they are looking for.  Snooth even has, "Can I see some examples" to help those out who would have a hard time using a search box to find what they are looking for.  I’m by no means a web design pro, but this seems like it would make a killer CU site!