Evolving Internet Safety is aimed at all Internet users. It explains why Internet safety is important. And, how KeČaTa improves Internet safety for you.
I usually say that Internet users fall into 2 types: Surfers, and Content Publishers. And, of course, publishers will also be surfers. But, there is a third type: Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
Introducing ISP Safety
ISPs are responsible for Internet Safety. But, they often try to push that responsibility back to Surfers and Publishers. So, we have a responsibility debate that will run forever. Now, I want to leave that debate for another time. In this article, I describe KeČaTa procedures for monitoring Internet Safety.
We can all do our bit to improve Internet Safety. For example, secure passwords, logging off after use, and latest software versions are vital security issues. And, they are essential to Personal Internet Safety. But, for day-to-day Internet access, we are in the hands of ISPs. Therefore, I monitor how ISPs access my network. Then, I use IP address access records to identify and restrict unsafe ISPs. And, I publish my results. So, Surfers can identify better providers of Internet access. And Publishers can find better hosting services. I will address each type of user in separate articles. But for now, I explain more general Internet Safety issues.
I realize that good or bad activity is ultimately down to Internet Users. But, ISPs have a pivotal role. And, they are in the best position to promote Internet Safety. Because they can encourage safe Internet use. And, discourage unsafe Internet activities.
Internet Safety Monitoring
Long term, I believe the best way to improve Internet Safety is to focus the minds of ISPs. That needs fundamental changes in attitudes. I do not believe content scrapers have the right to crawl the Internet for commercial gain. Especially, when they put the onus on smaller Publishers to protect their resources. I do not believe ISPs have the right to sell resources to hackers. Especially when they put the onus on Publishers to report abuse, instead of monitoring abusive activities themselves.
Those changes in attitudes raise questions. How easy is it for ISPs to monitor outgoing traffic? How practical is it for legitimate website crawlers to seek permission proactively? These questions are beyond the scope of today’s article. But, I hope you will debate them with me, in my Internet forum. For now, I want to explain how I’m putting the focus back on ISPs for improving Internet Safety.
Eagle-eyed visitors will have spotted the recent addition of ISP-ASN Safety Reviews in this website’s menu. In recent years, I’ve experimented with various options for tracking security breaches. I maintain a two-level defence combining Wordfence and CloudFlare. And, that defence procedure lets me identify unsafe IP addresses. Then, I can restrict them, or block them, in CloudFlare. Again, my configuration details are beyond the scope of this article. And, again, I hope you’ll discuss that in my forum.
I struggled to cope with large attacks from hundreds of IP addresses. Until, I realized the key is to identify unsafe ISPs, rather than manage individual IP addresses. Now, I can use CloudFlare’s ASN (Autonomous System Number) to manage access restrictions. The ASN identifies individual ISPs. So, I can manage unsafe ISPs easily by restricting all their IP addresses, in an instant. And, I apply different rules for different markets. So, I can quickly restrict bad ISPs, without impacting good customer access.
Evolving Internet Safety
It has always concerned me that focusing on attempted security breaches gives too much publicity to the bad guys. I promote good ISPs through tracking authorized user log ins. But, the volume is always a tiny fraction of the anonymous visitors I help each day.
Quite rightly, it’s bad to maintain records of personally identifiable information. So, Google disallows tracking IP addresses. But, it does report Network Domain, and Network Location. And, even though ASN is not explicit, that gives enough information to identify which ISPs are bringing good traffic to my websites. So, I now report good access from selected Google Analytics reporting.
I will continue to evolve Internet Safety Reviews. But, even in it’s basic form, you can see which ISPs to avoid. And, if you are choosing a new ISP, you can now include Internet Safety as one of the criteria for your shortlist.
Please share your questions, experiences, and opinions about Internet Safety. You can add general comments below. But, for personal help, please ask in my Internet Safety Forum.