Website Blocker

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Mighty Jalapeno
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Website Blocker

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:16 pm UTC

Allrighty, does anyone know of a REAL website blocker (Anyone who says SiteBlocker for Firefox is going to get smacked... a working site blocker does NOT have an "Off" button that you can't password protect!)

ubergeek42
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby ubergeek42 » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:49 pm UTC

You could edit the hosts file as administrator to block sites, and only allow the user to use a restricted account.(Thus unable to edit the hosts file). This stops them from using domain names to access the site, but if they know the ip, they can obviously get around it, as well as the numerous web proxies that exist.

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EdgarJPublius
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:27 am UTC

for your kids or for your employees? different solutions for different problems.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:06 am UTC

Let's go with "people who use my computer".

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hyperion
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby hyperion » Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:09 am UTC

If they're not computer literate then go with editing the hosts file. (Even some of the more literate people don't know this)
You can find it in C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc, use notepad to edit it.
Peshmerga wrote:A blow job would probably get you a LOT of cheeseburgers.
But I digress.


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Re: Website Blocker

Postby trickster721 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:01 am UTC

If you're using a router, there's probably a feature to block specific addresses. Anything you do is just going to fool people who know less about computers than you do, short of actually putting the equipment in a box and locking it.

If you're trying to keep teenagers from viewing pornography, you will need seperate boxes for them.

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:What is the hosts file?

It's just a list of domain name / IP address pairs that the computer checks before doing a real DNS lookup, to see if there's any special exceptions you want to make. For example, "localhost" doesn't mean anything in real DNS, but the default hosts file assigns it to 127.0.0.1, the loopback address.
Last edited by trickster721 on Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:10 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EvanED » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:05 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:What is the hosts file?

It's sort of a "pre-DNS." If you type in "cnn.com", usually your OS goes to your DNS server to find out what IP is associated with that name. But before it does that, it looks in hosts. For instance, you can put "127.0.0.1 cnn.com" into your hosts file and when you try to go to CNN, it won't work because it is trying to contact localhost. See Wikipedia's entry for more info.

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hyperion
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby hyperion » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:12 am UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:What is the hosts file?

Image
Image
Peshmerga wrote:A blow job would probably get you a LOT of cheeseburgers.
But I digress.

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:44 pm UTC

Ah! See, when he said system\drivers\etc, I thought etc meant "Yeah, and you know where to go from here..."

I can give it a shot, I guess. I can't believe with the state of computing, there's no simple little password-protected thingie that says "No, you can't go THERE."

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby LittleChrist » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:45 pm UTC

For our general family computer, which runs XP, I use the Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite features. It allows password protected blocking of a range of different Internet genres (ie. gambling, pornography, violence) and then allows for the further blocking of specific sites. You could always set up a second guest account on your PC. Then using your account as the administrator, use the regular IE7 setting to block the sites and disable menu access to those features on the guest account.
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EvanED » Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

LittleChrist wrote:For our general family computer, which runs XP, I use the Zone Alarm Internet Security Suite features. It allows password protected blocking of a range of different Internet genres (ie. gambling, pornography, violence) and then allows for the further blocking of specific sites. You could always set up a second guest account on your PC. Then using your account as the administrator, use the regular IE7 setting to block the sites and disable menu access to those features on the guest account.

Yeah, but what happens when you install Firefox? Maybe on a USB key so it's not present on the hard drive.

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EdgarJPublius » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:44 pm UTC

Firstly: There is no such thing as a comprehensive, relatively unbeatable website blocker, anybody with physical access to the computer can get around whatever block you create easily, you don't even have to really know what you're doing, a Live CD does basically all the work for you, you just have to know what files to delete (I.E. "websiteblocker.exe" usually works, or, now most livecds come with Firefox or Opera, so you can surf directly from there) teens are especially ingenious in this area. I learned how to use a hex editor to bypass a porn filter, and these days you can use a virtual optical drive to boot a livecd iso without needing to have access to a physical CD drive.


discounting people with a modicum of computer literacy, I've had good experience with cyberpatrol (it stood up to everything I could throw at it while booting from the hard-drive, though I didn't try a hex editor), and it allows you to block sites from a comprehensive set of categories, including adult content, gambling, and various humor/time wasters etc. and netnanny is supposed to be alright, though I have no personal experiences there.

editing your hosts file is only really a viable solution if you only want to block a small subset of web pages, the number of sites that the average person is going to want to block is staggeringly large, and companies like cyberpatrol have already done most of that work.

one thing that tends not to get blocked however are proxies and proxy lists, hostblocking these can be a good idea.

even using a top of the line website blocker, router blocking and host blocking, you still need to isolate the machine from the user (a locked, well ventilated cabinet is suggested), make sure the user can only use a restricted account (if they can download and run anything you might as well have not defended it at all) and even then a poweruser would only be inconvenienced, not blocked.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EvanED » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:48 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:you don't even have to really know what you're doing, a Live CD does basically all the work for you

If you leave the option open to boot from it. It's easy enough to make it so that (1) it boots an OS you control and (2) that OS prevents modification of any important files and (3) bypassing these restrictions means opening the computer and setting the clear CMOS jumper.

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:25 am UTC

and then you're just right back at physically securing the box.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EvanED » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:16 am UTC

True, but it ups the knowledge required to pull it off, and second, it is detectable. If you reboot my computer into a live cd, I'm not going to be able to distinguish that from you turning it off for a while. If you reset the CMOS password, you're not going to be able to set it back to what it was, which means that I can figure out that something is up and investigate further, maybe confronting you.

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:36 am UTC

you can get that effect with an innumerably large number of programs that exist solely to tell a computer's owner what people who were not the owner did while they were using the owners computer.

If you don't have a problem with confrontation, then just put a ten dollar hardware keylogger onto your computer and the logs/non-existence of same provide all the proof you need.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby AndyB » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:46 am UTC

Unfortunately, as most people have already pointed out, anything on the physical system will be able to be bypassed, so you have to go the next step up the ladder. Assuming you have a router/modem and your computer isn't physically connected to the phone socket, a number of modern routers come with a proxy/firewall inbuilt. The basic functionality would be generically referred to as an IP filter, where you could set the router to disallow access from your computers IP address during certain times of day, ie, when you're not home. This would be a blanket solution though, and they wouldn't be able to get to any site outside of your local network.

For the more specific requirements you are after, you would need something like the WRT54G from Linksys (hxxp://tinyurl.com/fgj39 can't post physical links as that would be against the rules seeing as this is only my 3rd or 4th post, so replace the "x"s with "t"s). To quote the manual:

The Access Restrictions > Internet Access screen allows you
to block or allow specific kinds of Internet usage and
traffic, such as Internet access, designated services, and
websites during specific days and times.


From what I can tell, it also allows you to set up "Blocking by keyword" which would allow you to put any words you like into a filter, and access to websites containing those words would be blocked. Hence, you could add "MySpace"(9 times out of 10, when I get requests like this from friends, it's to stop their kids getting on myspace/facebook) to the list, and that would be blocked. Since you are the only one with access to the router, or you could make yourself the only one with access by simply changing the access password, you could turn this on when you needed it, and off when you wanted access to the site yourself. Plus, if the kid resets the router to factory defaults, they won't be able to get on the net at all until you re-configure the router with the username/password supplied by your ISP.

Well, enough of trying to compete with War and Peace in a forum reply... good luck :) and feel free to ping me if you want some more help :)
Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit

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Mighty Jalapeno
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:50 pm UTC

I like how everyone took this problem WAYYYYYYYYYYY past where it needed to go.

I need a website blocker to prevent ME from going to certain sites. If it's a pain in the ass and I use a password I don't memorize (typing with eyes closed, control A, control C, control V), then I won't go through the trouble of going there. It's support for willpower, like Nicorette gum.

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby AndyB » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:18 pm UTC

Why didn't you just say? You should have a search for Willpower V1.3 ;)
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby trickster721 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:30 pm UTC

For the record, porn filter vendors lobby for censorship laws so that public libraries will be forced to purchase their software. That would be bad enough, even if the secret block lists didn't contain all kinds of politicized and unconscionable entries. It's a high price to pay just to try and make children ashamed of sex and in awe of pornography.

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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:55 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I like how everyone took this problem WAYYYYYYYYYYY past where it needed to go.

I need a website blocker to prevent ME from going to certain sites. If it's a pain in the ass and I use a password I don't memorize (typing with eyes closed, control A, control C, control V), then I won't go through the trouble of going there. It's support for willpower, like Nicorette gum.


Should have said so.

I've been there/done that, and trust me, unless it's having a substantially negative effect on your life, it's better to try and quit cold turkey, there are several websites available that can help, if you want, you can PM me and I can try and help find a better solution than a web-blocker.
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title

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Mighty Jalapeno
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:57 pm UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I've been there/done that, and trust me, unless it's having a substantially negative effect on your life, it's better to try and quit cold turkey, there are several websites available that can help, if you want, you can PM me and I can try and help find a better solution than a web-blocker.

It's been almost two years.

...

The turkey is not cold anymore.

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EdgarJPublius
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:05 pm UTC

have you tried some form of support group? quitting anything on your own is a bad idea, you should try a support group before you try an artificial solution
Roosevelt wrote:
I wrote:Does Space Teddy Roosevelt wrestle Space Bears and fight the Space Spanish-American War with his band of Space-volunteers the Space Rough Riders?

Yes.

-still unaware of the origin and meaning of his own user-title


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Re: Website Blocker

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:37 pm UTC

The company I work for uses Websense on the computers at the main office. The IT guys set up blocks and filters on sites based on content or website addresses alone. When they first installed it, we had to send them e-mails left and right to unblock this site or that site, since almost all sites except our own and the GDOT site had been blocked. Over time they unblocked more and more sites.

The program also allows you to set a quota time on certain sites, which limits how long a user can access certain sites per day. This quota time isn't set for each separate site. If certain filters are applied, the quota time is set for all sites under that filter. You can set the quota time to count down in sessions, or as one block. The problem with sessions is that even if you only access the site for less time than the session, and close out your browser, the session timer will still count down. When the session timer runs out, you lose that time. The default is 60 minutes for the day, which is counted down in 10-minute sessions.

How exactly does it work? Let's say you set the XKCD site to be accessible by limited quota. When you click on the link in your Favorites or Bookmarks, or if you type the link in, instead of the site appearing, a page will appear with the Websense logo, and a message indicating that the site is restricted, but can be viewed under quota time. It will tell you how much time is left, and provide a link to access the site under quota time. You have ten minutes (or however much you allot yourself per session) to read the comic, go to the forum, read messages, post, reply, and whatever else. When the session runs out, you will still see the site, but when you try to go back, or click on another link (to another message board or another page of a thread), the same block page will appear, this time telling you that you only have x-10 minutes left for the day to view the page, and the link to permit you to continue to the page, using another 10-minute session.

Of course, you can set filters on the program that will completely block access to the site based solely on the site's address (if you put it under Misc./Uncategorized), or if you assign it to certain categories.
PRG

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Memo
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Re: Website Blocker

Postby Memo » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:08 pm UTC

Register an account in OpenDNS, change your DNSs, and check the filtering section on the site. There's Adult Sites, phishing sites and specific domains blocking.


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