Blocking websites like Facebook and Myspace

By Darien42
Nov 30, 2006
  1. Hi everybody,
    Recently at work, I have been assigned the task to make sure that certain websites cannot be accessed from work computers as it decreases the amount of productivity. Such sites include facebook and myspace. Too many people at my job are surfing these sites when they should be doing work. I have been looking all over the web for ways to block these sites but nothing seems to be working. Although I know my way around computers fairly well, I'm very new to this form of security measure.
    If anybody could help me out with this, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for your time,
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Using the Hosts file to block websites is one way of doing it.

    You may find this Hosts file manager useful.

    Regards Howard :)
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Well, you have been given a very difficult task. Unless you go totally draconian on your users or the users are not very clever with computers, this is virtually impossible. Tell your superiors that.

    Also, you should try to make clear that blocking certain websites will not make the people more productive - they will just find other sites or activities. You would have to go all the way and ban most of the web and prohibit idling in the hallways. 180-second toilet breaks max :D
    This will give you a "told you so" fallback in case someone thinks you failed somehow.

    Hosts files will work only until someone figures out that they can modify the hosts file or use an alternate address like or even the IP addresses.. A good first thing to try though.

    Many firewall/antivirus programs come with web filtering. You would have to make sure users can't modify the settings.

    Some routers have URL filtering too.

    If you want to go all the way, then you have to set up a proxy server and allow web access only through that. You get virtually unlimited policy settings with that.

    Even proxy-imposed restrictions can be defeated with web-based proxies. Only way around that would be a web content filter.. I smell lots of $$$ burning and/or setup headaches :p

    Oh, and you can beat a web content filter with a SSL web-based proxy :)
  4. Darien42

    Darien42 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow... thats a lot of options to go about it. Seeing as my co-workers are pretty much computer illiterate, I'm sure the host manager program will be more then enough to keep them away from those sites... otherwise I may have to move to more extensive methods.

    Thanks for all your help though. Hopefully this will get SOME of those lazy workers back to work.

    - Darien42
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