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Thread: Disable Web Browsing??

  1. #1
    Member usabilityfreak's Avatar
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    Disable Web Browsing??

    This is a bit odd to ask in a web development forum, but I have a client who wants to disable browsing in their offices, and I suspect newgroups, too. They want to allows employees to get email from their website, and have no access to browse.

    The first option I came up with was to uninstall all browsers from their machines - but its to easy to install a new one.

    My next thought would be to use a router with a built-in firewall to close all non-email ports (like those used for browsers & newsgroups). Can this be done?

    Or, is there a simpler way to disable browsing & newsgroup ports without a firewall/router?

    Last item is to assume a Windows PC, 98 thorugh XP Home, no XP Pro, No NT machines (which I can't work with well anyway).

  2. #2
    Junior Member ojo4max's Avatar
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    We are using our firewall options to block certain websites but you can easyly set it up to block all websites. Removing all browsers should work too as they would need a browser to download other browsers. They are ways to download browsers directly but it is beyond most people's knowledge. Of course, we are using Windows 2000 which gives you a bunch of permission options that you won't have with 98. HTH.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Disable Web Browsing

    Although I am not sure of the method, I know there is a way to turn off all external access to websites, and then have a table of sites that ARE allowed. I tried to get them to do that at my company, but they said it would be too much overhead and easier to give everyone full access to everything. Then they complain when folks are surfing!!
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  4. #4
    Bigger question: Why would anyone want to be employed by this company? It smacks of "lack of trust in the discretion of the employee" -- an oppressive atmosphere, to be sure. And if the employees ARE surfing unreasonably, it must be because they haven't anything better to do, which is a sure sign that the company is a loser. Also, it appears that management can't find anything better to do than to waste time and money limiting people's access to vital information.

    Why doesn't the company work on policies/programs that develop an environment of trust between employees and owner/managers?

    Might be a better use of everyone's time, and just might turn the company around.

  5. #5

    Wow!

    Very assumptive arent we?
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  6. #6
    Brian Bennett
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    Re: Disable Web Browsing...

    I went thru this at a previous company and definitely found it to be a pain. It's not a matter of whether to work there or not, it's that the 'client' wants it and employees invariably spend too much time on the internet. Some abuse it because it is a faster connection than home. Anyway, in software firewalls, such as WinProxy by Ositis, you can choose to allow or disallow sites, and use blacklists & whitelists for a more comprehensive selection process. Also, remember you can 'surf' from anywhere in Windows that has an address bar, including desktop folders, Explorer, and Outlook. Since it also records all interaction thru the firewall, you can create a policy for the client warning the users that their actions are being watched. Sometimes users are just like children and have to be sent to timeout!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Markll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniactive
    Bigger question: Why would anyone want to be employed by this company? It smacks of "lack of trust in the discretion of the employee" -- an oppressive atmosphere, to be sure. And if the employees ARE surfing unreasonably, it must be because they haven't anything better to do, which is a sure sign that the company is a loser. Also, it appears that management can't find anything better to do than to waste time and money limiting people's access to vital information.
    I don't think it is a matter of trust.

    Put a television in the office. Will it be a distraction and hinder productivity. Very Likely.

    If web surfing is not part of the job then the employee has no right to expect a browser be installed on their work station.

  8. #8
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    Get a firewall

    a hardware firewall or a linux box with 2 network cards . Then disable outbound connections on port 80 for browsers. But there are free proxy's out there so that's a pain. Perhaps disable all connectivity except connections to e-mail and other services. Then you have your locked down network :) It'll be more secure to.
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  9. #9
    Junior Member Rhys's Avatar
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    stopping surfing

    Although I realize there are people who abuse company time by surfing, there are also people who abuse company time in many other ways. Is the problem really web access or the company's culture? Is the boss taking a three hour lunch on the golf course any less a waste of company time than an employee surfing the net?

    Personally I would have to agree with maniactive - I graduated from high school a LONG time ago and expect to be treated as an adult. I simply couldn't stand to work for that kind of a company - if they don't trust me they shouldn't hire me, or should fire me. The few times I've been forced to work under "Mickey Mouse" conditions, I've found myself spending quite a lot of company time figuring out ways to defeat their restrictions, just to get even.

  10. #10
    Member usabilityfreak's Avatar
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    While I respect opinions, I seek facts here. Out of respect for those who may have useful information and strong opinoins on this issue:

    1) I'm sure the employees and potential employees realize that if they want to surf the net at work, they should work elsewhere. I'm equally as sure that if they do not intend to surf, they will not mind having the functionality on **their employer's computer** blocked that allows only surfing.

    2) While email is required to fulfill these folks job, surfing websites is not required and is not allowed. I see no reason anyone should have to pay to manage an activity that is prohibited should there be a simple remedy that disables it.


    =====================================
    Rhys and maniactive just because I'm in an odd mood tonight I've addressed your comments at http://www.webproworld.com/viewtopic.php?p=34066#34066 and look forward to reading any responses.

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