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 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 or, 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.

Take down by the FDIC

TDECU‘s Safe & Sound page has been killed by the FDIC.  Here is a link to the cached page and the site now redirects to their normal site.  I can see how this may be a sensitive topic to some, but regardless, it is good to discuss it and any implications it may bring for future CU’s.  No where does TDECU talk about a specific bank, just the industry in general.  I don’t see how this is any different than any of the talking heads on CNBC blabbering on about the market and if your money is safe.  CU Times caught wind of it as well although their article doesn’t seem to back up TDECU as much as I thought it should.  Is this just bankers pushing credit unions around or is the safe and sound site a little too “alarmist”?