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DNS flushing

DNS flushing

DNS flushing definition

DNS flushing is the process of clearing the Domain Name System (DNS) cache on your device. Most devices store records retrieved from DNS servers in their cache to avoid repeat queries in the future. However, because anyone with access to this cache can see your past online activity or redirect you to dangerous websites (DNS spoofing), it is important that you flush the DNS cache periodically.

Real uses for DNS flushing

  • Preventing DNS spoofing: If criminals gain access to your DNS cache, they can secretly redirect innocent URLs to fake websites. This technique is commonly used to obtain account credentials or penetrate secure corporate networks. Flushing the DNS cache clears out entries that may have been tampered with.
  • Resolving web access problems: Clearing cookies and flushing bad DNS entries effectively resets your internet connection, letting you try to access websites with a clean configuration.
  • Connecting to relocated websites: Outdated DNS entries can stop you from connecting to a website’s new domain. Flushing your DNS cache solves this problem.
  • Protecting your privacy: Your DNS cache contains a record of all your DNS queries — where you went and what you were interested in online. Flushing your DNS records prevents anyone from getting their hands on this information.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security