Keeping Our Children Safe
How do I Block MySpace?
There’s no question that the Internet has evolved into an incredibly important tool for everyone. But for teenagers and young users, it’s not a tool for ease and convenience; it is a necessary part of life. In many ways, it is life. From instant messaging to social networking on sites such as MySpace and Facebook, kids are constantly in touch with one another. But participating in a social network also opens the door to a lot more than just staying in touch with friends. It becomes a portal for online predators to attempt to lure and groom your kids. It also becomes a cyberbully’s best weapon.
A sa parent, it’s important to make an educated decision and establish firm rules on social network participation. If you allow your child to participate, make sure you monitor their profile page, passwords,activity, friends and messages. Monitoring software like PC Pandora can help you do that with minimal effort and maximum accuracy. Other parents may want to block access to MySpace or Facebook indefinitely.This is something that can be done on many levels, and it’s another parental control feature that PC Pandora monitoring software can help you with.
There exists a variety of ways to block MySpace.com or any other website. Carefully consider which method you choose to ensure it meets all of your current and future needs.
When selecting a method to provide website blocking consider the following key points:
- How easy is it to implement and manage the blocking? Many methods described below require a lot of manual effort and are likely too difficult for a computer novice. Make sure you choose a method that is easy to implement and maintain.
- How easy is it for the blocking to be circumvented? In this day and age,children are often more computer savvy than the parents. You should select a blocking method that children will not easily overcome or get around.
- How feature rich is the chosen method? Many methods simply block websites and that’s all. Choose a method that provides blocking, as well as other features that provide value and are necessary for today’s parents.
Here is a list of typical website blocking methods:
|Internet Explorer Content Advisor||Easy||Easy|
|Windows HOSTS file||Medium||Medium|
|Router Content Blocking||Hard||Medium to Difficult|
|Blocking Software||Easy||Medium to Difficult|
|Blocking AND Monitoring Software
like PC Pandora
|Easy||Medium to Difficult|
Content blocking using Internet Explorer’s Content Advisor feature. This is the easiest and simplest method to quickly implement simple website blocking.However, it only controls Internet Explorer so it is easily defeated by using an alternative web browser such as FireFox, Opera, or any number of easily obtained web browsers. Also, it provides clearly visible acknowledgment that Content Advisor blocking has been implemented as visible password challenges being displayed whenever a restricted website is visited.
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Click the Tools menu.
- Choose Internet Options.
- Click the Content tab.
- Click the Enable button.
- Click the Approved Sites tab.
- In the “Allow this Web site” field enter MYSPACE.COM
- Click the Never button to block this website.
- Click OK to save your changes.
- You will be prompted to setup a password to protect the Content Advisor settings. Without this password no one will be able to view or alter the Content Advisor settings.
- Enter your password.
- Confirm your password.
- Enter a password hint if you wish.
- Click OK to save your password.
- A confirmation confirming Content Advisor has been enabled will be displayed.
- Click OK to close this confirmation.
- Internet Explorer will now block access to MYSPACE.COM by requiring a password to be entered before access is granted, effectively blocking those users without the password.
Editing your Windows HOSTS file.HOSTS is a simple text file residing in a system directory on your computer. Windows uses this file to process website access. You can edit the HOSTS file to effectively deny access to particular websites. The benefit of using the HOSTS file is that it affects the entire computer globally, it is not specific to any one web browser. However, there are several significant disadvantages to this method which include:
- Since it is a text file you must successfully locate it, and then manually edit it.
- Since it is a simple text file located in a common directory it is fully visible to all users, including non-admin users. However, it will only be modifiable by users with admin rights.
We do not recommend this method because of these serious disadvantages. Due to the fact this method requires manual editing of files in system directories, and taking into account the significant risks involved, no instructions will be provided here.
Content blocking using your internet router. This applies only to users who own and utilize a router for their internet access, and only if the router includes content blocking controls. Not all routers contain these features.This is similar to the HOSTS file method but is applied to the router instead of editing a system text file. Disadvantages of this method include:
- Often,routers are only able to block by IP address. This can be extremely cryptic for the average user.
- IP based blocking requires that all known IP addresses be entered for each website that is to be blocked. Many websites, including MySpace.com, utilize more than one IP address.
- Lists of IP addresses change often.
The single biggest benefit with this method is that content blocking applied to the router can be applied to every computer that connects to the internet via the router.
Due to the enormous amount of router products available in the market place there is no way for us to provide directions on how to implement blocking using your router. Please consult the product documentation included with your specific router. Or contact the technical support available with your router for assistance.
Utilize a third party application to block websites. This type of program functions similarly to Internet Explorer Content Advisor in that it typically provides a simple software-based control panel to manage the websites you wish to block. These programs usually provide a secured login to protect the blocking software from being tampered with. In some cases there are categorized groups of websites supplied by the manufacturer to help simplify the blocking selection. Thus, this type of software provides advantages over all of the previous items by improving ease of use for the person administering the blocking.
Blocking AND Monitoring Software
Utilize an application such as PC Pandora to both block ANDmonitor websites. This provides all of the functionality a stand-alone blocking application provided plus a wealth of additional, advantageous features.
By choosingPC Pandora you the following features and advantages over other methods:
- Ease of use thanks to the intuitive user interface. There are no hidden system files to edit and no confusing list of IP addresses to manage.
- Secured configuration and control of websites blocked. By default, PC Pandora is installed in Stealth Mode and is completely invisible. Additionally, it can be password protected to ensure no chance another user will be able to see the list of sites being blocked,nor will they be able to modify them.
- Wide variety of blocking methods available.
- Anonymous blocking - users visiting blocked websites will see a generic ‘website not available’ error message.
- Custom error text – users see text of your choice whenever a blocked website is visited.
- Password protected – a password of your choice must be entered to gain access to the restricted websites, similar to Internet Explorer’s Content Advisor.
- Multi-browser support. PC Pandora will block websites visited with Internet Explorer,FireFox, and all other popular web browsers.
- Categorized groups of websites to help simplify your blocking selection.
- Full monitoring and review of websites visited. PC Pandora provides a full list of every website visited.
- Additionally, statistics are provided that indicate the number of times attempts have been made to visit blocked websites.
- Full monitoring of all computer activity.This is where PC Pandora excels above all other methods. Not only will you know which websites are being visited and blocked but PC Pandora will record all other activity such as:emails,instant message and chats, keyboard keystrokes (including logins and passwords), program activity, P2P activity, web search engine keywords, and more! It even takes sequential snapshots of everything that happens on screen, to make reviewing activity easy and fool proof. You gain the benefit of the many,many other features PC Pandora offers beyond website blocking.
- Remote viewing of all activity. By using the included IRIS email report feature you can see all of the computer activity while you are awarefrom the home. Reports are delivered to you via email in an easy toread HTML format. No longer do you have to wonder what your childrenare doing while you’re at work.
Taking measures to filter and block web content is good, but knowing what your children are doing is far better. Software that both blocks and monitors content, like PC Pandora, is the key to being a powerful andeffective 21st century parent. Visit http://www.PCPandora.com for more information on how PC Pandora can help protect your children online and give you peace of mind.
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