The Reason for Website Blocking
Why do people need to block certain websites? For parents, blocking websites is done in order to keep their children away from adult sites and pornography. For employers, it is done to ensure that his/her employers are concentrated doing their work without any distractions. In school, to prevent students from accessing academically unrelated websites and searches.
The Basic Way
There are many ways to block a website but let us start first on the basic way:
You need to navigate to this address:
Open hosts using notepad, or you could open notepad first and go to the said address any method would do. Just remember that if you have an option to run “notepad” as administrator, run it as administrator. Look for the line 127.0.0.1 localhost, go to the next line. Add 127.0.0.2 then type the name of the website you want to block, for example: 127.0.0.2 www.wizbitz.com. You can add more websites as long as you put a different number before them. For example, you could add another one: 127.0.0.3 www.bitzwiz.com, so on and so forth. When someone tries to access a restricted site, he or she would only see a page error that says “page cannot be displayed”, if you use this method. This is good if you want to be sort of sneaky, they would not know that you are intentionally blocking the site. You can look at the image below, wherein www.facebook.com was blocked.
Another way is to block a website using your Internet browser, in Internet Explorer you need to find the "tools menu" then go to “Internet options”, click the “security tab”. You would find an image that says “restricted sites” click it. Under the image, you would see a tab that says “sites”, again click it. There you could either add or remove a certain website. Once you add a site on the list it means you are adding a website to be block.
Google Chrome has the same ability and method in blocking websites. Click the wrench tool beside the URL input box, just find the wrench. Go to Options, and then click under the hood. Click, “Change Proxy Setting”. Now you would find yourself on the windows similar to that of the Internet Explorer, the same procedure goes: click the “security tab”. You would find an image that says “restricted sites” click it. Under the image, you would see a tab that says “sites”, again click it. There you could either add or remove a certain website. Once you add a site on the list it means you are adding a website to be block.
Firefox has a variety of Add-ons that offers the website blocking services, though some of them are not free. You could just search on their main page for the list of those Add-ons. I am assuming you know how to integrate Add-ons to Firefox.
The Parental Control is a feature offered free for Microsoft Windows 7 and Vista users. To enable this feature you must create separate accounts, one must be an administrator's account. Now, you must decide the freedom or the type of control you want on the created account. After, successfully creating a new account navigate your way to Control Panel. Under User Accounts and Family Safety, choose Parental Control. There you would find four options, namely:
Windows Vista Web Filter – This blocks bad websites, sites with matured contents, and harmful materials in the Internet using “custom restriction”. You could add more power to this option by adding more sites you feel the need to be blocked. You can also block contents by category, but you can also lower or raise the restriction settings depending upon your choice.
Time Limits – This set Internet time limit, it would limit the Internet usage in the computer. So you do not need to check your kids if they are over the time limit. Once, they reach the time limit of the day, the Internet would be blocked. The option would show you a grid table, by clicking on the white grids it would turn into blue. The blue grids are the time limits you have set. The time where the grid is blue means the time when the Internet is deactivated.
Games – This would allow game rating restrictions or specifically block a game. You can block a game by name.
Allow and Block Specific Programs - As the name implies, allows or blocks specific program inside your system or computer.
One of the good features of Parental Control is the activity reporting feature. You do not need to set it since it is automatically generated. This would allow you to monitor more your children, to see what they are doing, to know if they are trying to bypass your web restrictions. The limit of this system is the absence of keystroke logger or key logger and video playback options. Both are pretty important in monitoring your children’s activity to the fullest. A key logger would generate keystrokes that have been done on the system on a given time. Just like now if I have a key logger installed, every letter that I have typed in here would be captured by a key logger. A video playback option, on the other hand, would play back any videos that have been played in the computer. It is more like a spy camera.
Third Party Software
The problem with basic method is that you need to be knowledgeable on the sites you want to block. If you do not know the name of a certain website it is still accessible. That is the weakness of such method of website blocking. If that is the case, you would need the help of a third party software, or plainly website blocker software. In the Internet, there are numerous softwares that offer website blocking, but of course it would cost you. However, lately I found a good software that blocks websites for free. The software is Blue Coat K9 Web Protection. The software automatically blocks adult sites, so you do not need to know what those nasty sites are. In addition, it allows you to add new websites to block. It also has an option of keyword block, which means any URL or link (or image) relating to a certain word you have inputted to be block would be blocked. The disadvantage of the K9 web filter software is that it lacks a key logger and the video playback options, the same things lacking on Parental Control. Furthermore, the Activity window is kind a mess. The website accessed on a given day are full of URLs, it is much better if they just list the domain name or the name of the websites. There are other web filters out there, but you need to buy them of course. The top web filter software are NetNanny Parental Control, PureSight PC, CYBERsitter,Safe Eyes and CyberPatrol.