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What is Cougar Protect?


Cougar Protect involves instituting a managed DNS service into the Cougar Wireless radio equipment that is installed at a customers' location.  Cougar Protect isn't a software, but rather a setting that is programmed and maintained at the customers request in our radio equipment.


What does Cougar Protect do?


Cougar Protect utilizes a third-party managed DNS service  to direct website requests.  With normal settings in the customers service, the internet for all intents and purposes is "Wide-Open".  Customers are 100% free to access both the good and the bad that the internet has to offer.  Individual customers have the free will to access legal and illegal websites.  We at Cougar Wireless do not endorse unlawful internet behavior, but we do support the free will of our end users to make their own decisions.  Obviously we have an Acceptable Use Policy that every customer agrees to when they sign up for service.  When we say "illegal" we are not necessarily addressing obviously illegal activity like Child Pornography, but rather we are talking about areas that, for some people, fall into what they consider "grey" areas.  Downloading free music, movies, software, etc...  Many people fail to fully realize that much of this type of internet behavior involves illegal reproductions of copyrighted material.  What's the big deal and why should you care?  Much of this type of internet content is literally infected with viruses and malicious software and can wreak havoc on your computer systems and cause many problems that can lead to identity theft or worse.


Normal DNS servers connect you to any site on the Internet, including the bad ones that contain viruses, spyware and other unwanted content.  Cougar Protect acts as a first layer of protection. It prevents computers, game consoles and other Web-enabled devices on your network from connecting to known unsafe or undesirable Web sites that are likely to infect your computer.


Real-Time Protection


Cougar Protect leverages the power of Norton Safe Web, which contains information on millions of Web sites accessed billions of times each day.  Cougar Protect also uses data from industrial-grade Symantec content filtering. Symantec's content categorization data includes Web sites in 23 different languages on more than 50 million Web sites.


No Software Installation Required


The good news is the Cougar Protect service requires no software or hardware be installed to protect your network and devices.  Simply click the button titled, "Start My Protection" at the top or bottom of this page and submit the online order form.  Within 24-hours a Cougar Wireless technician will program your service and send you a follow-up email confirmation and that's it.


Improving the safety of family internet access?


Regardless of where a person stands on the subject of pornography, most people would agree that such material should not be easily accessible by children.  Unfortunately pornography across the internet is quite prolific and it is much easier than it should be for a child to become exposed to it, in many cases, inadvertently.  Some experts have speculated that between 30%-40% of the internet is devoted to some form of pornographic content.


With that level of accessibility parents can feel powerless to control their children's exposure to such material.  Sure you can install software that can block your computers ability to access pornographic websites, but did you know that a SmartPhone, iPod, PSP, Playstation, IPad and many other devices can access the same content and that software you have installed on your PC does you absolutely no good to prevent those other devices from connecting to those same websites?


This is where the Cougar Protect services really shines.  Because our Cougar Wireless radio equipment is programmed with the Cougar Protect service everything "behind" the radio is protected with the service, regardless of the device type.  If it connects to the internet inside your home network, it is covered by the Cougar Protect service.  Below is a good example of the differences between the Cougar Protect service and a Normal Internet Security Software: (Click An Image To Enlarge)



Do I still need anti-virus if I have Cougar Protect?


Having a good anti-virus that is regularly updated is always a good idea.  Cougar Protect, Anti-virus, Malware Protection, and Firewalls are all "tools" to help with the safety and security of your internet experience.  There are a variety of reasons why anti-virus is still a good idea.  A few of them are:


1.)  Cougar Protect works for everything within your home network.  If you have a laptop and visit a public hotspot your Cougar Protect service is guarding your "Home Network", not your wireless connection at the library.


2.)  Cougar Protect is designed to block access to network related content which is likely to be harmful, but if you or a visitor plugged in a USB thumb drive to transfer files, there is a possibility that your system could be inadvertently infected by a virus that didn't come in through your network.


3.)  Cougar Protect is intended to protect you, your family and your devices from known harmful websites and content, but it is still possible for your system to come in contact with a virus through an email which Cougar Protect has no ability to scan.


How is Cougar Protect different from anti-virus and is it better?


Anti-virus is designed to "wage battle" with a virus AFTER the virus has made contact with your computer.  Hopefully your anti-virus wins the fight and your computer lives to fight another day.  Cougar Protect is designed to block viruses that originate from harmful websites BEFORE they come in contact with your home network at all, let alone your computer. 


Is it better?  That depends on the context and scenario, but that would be a lively debate.  Think of it this way....Your anti-virus has a much better chance of winning if it never had to fight with a virus to begin with.


Can I customize my own content filtering policy?


You can choose from three pre-defined content filtering policies that have been designed to meet common personal and family needs:


Level 1: Security This policy blocks sites known to be hosting malware, phishing sites, and scam sites.

Level 2: Security + Pornography In addition to blocking unsafe sites, this policy also blocks access to sites that contain sexually explicit material.

Level 3: Security + Pornography + Non-Family Friendly This policy is ideal for families with young children. In addition to blocking unsafe sites and pornography sites, this policy also blocks access to sites that feature mature content, abortion, alcohol, crime, cults, drugs, gambling, hate, sexual orientation, suicide, tobacco or violence.   Additionally, Level 3 blocks access to known harmful file sharing sites that promote P2P applications and content and Time Wasters, including Peer-to-Peer music sharing sites that are responsible for high volumes of virus infected content.


What if I choose a Level of Security that is too restrictive or not restrictive enough?


Simple.  Just contact us and request a change to a different level.  There is no long term commitment for the Cougar Protect service, so it can be turned on or off at will by contacting us.  As an example:  We perceive that some users with grandkids, may wish to activate the service for the holidays and then turn it off after the little ones return home.  Or perhaps Mom and Dad are set to take a much needed vacation for a few days and plan on leaving the teenagers behind.  This too would be a good use of Cougar Protect while direct parental supervision of the internet will be minimized during their absence.



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