You Should Never Use the DNS of Your Internet Service Provider. Here’s Why

DNS or Domain Name System is an
essential part of the web that makes internet communications possible. Most
internet users aren’t even aware of the existence of a so-called domain name system or DNS. But without
this system, they wouldn’t be able to access websites or do basic browsing
activities.

Besides enabling internet
communications, DNS is in charge of keeping the browsing experience fast and
enjoyable. By default,
everyone uses the default DNS service provided by their ISP. But sometimes that can be a problem. Read this article to understand why.

What is DNS?

Before getting into the
vulnerabilities often associated with domain name systems, let’s define the
term DNS.

A DNS serves to
translate user-friendly domain names into numeric IP addresses that a computer
can read and understand. For instance, once you search the web for Forbes.com,
the computer won’t understand the word “Forbes”. It can only recognize numeric sequences.

That’s when DNS jumps in to
translate Forbes.com into its numeric form for the browser to understand. Your
DNS will remember the pages you visit most often by placing them into a
“cache.” That way, the next time you search for the same page, the browser will
be quicker at pulling it up. 

DNS Security Vulnerabilities

The majority of home networks
use the DNS assigned by the internet service provider. It is convenient to settle
for the default option without having to invest time or money. But there is a reason why it
isn’t the best idea. For instance, default domain name systems are average at
best when it comes to security and speed.

A slow DNS server will affect your
online browsing experience and expose you to common cybersecurity threats. Some
of the risks associated with poor DNS security
include DDoS attacks and cache poisoning. Hackers use distributed denial
of service attacks to take servers down and breach their security walls. If DNS
infrastructure cannot handle a large number of incoming requests, your network can fall under
the pressure. A poor DNS infrastructure, thus, can make your network vulnerable
to DDoS attacks.

Another way hackers can
leverage a poorly structured DNS is through cache poisoning. As mentioned before, domain name systems save the IP addresses of websites you
visit most often into a “cache.” So, DNS
allows faster and easier access the next time you search the same domain. But if the system is not secure enough, hackers can intercept the cache and change the addressing
information.

During the so-called “cache
poisoning” attack, they redirect your browser to a different address. It showcases the replica of the original site. The goal
behind these advanced phishing methods is to get you to submit your data or credentials into a fake website. Then it forwards the information to the hacker. So a lousy secured DNS can put
financial and personal data at risk without the user ever noticing a threat.

Why You Should Change your DNS Provider

Upgrading to a better DNS server
will not only make web browsing faster, but it will also prevent any unwanted
security incidents. Many reliable
providers manage domain name systems. They
also optimize them
for speed and efficiency with optimum security in mind. Therefore, by switching
to a different DNS provider, you can bypass some threats and vulnerabilities.

There are both free and paid DNS servers
available. If you use a premium virtual private
network, such as NordVPN, it has its own DNS servers.
Once you connect to a VPN, all DNS requests will go to their servers. So
besides encrypting your traffic and hiding
your IP address, a VPN can eliminate the risk of DDoS attacks and cache
poisoning.

Most users
neglect the importance of DNS security and settle for services provided by
their ISP. That’s why hackers consider
DNS-oriented attacks profitable. That said,
the number of data breaches and cache poisoning attacks continues to grow as we
head further into 2020. Consider upgrading your DNS service or using a VPN to secure your data and browsing activities further.

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