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Restricting Safari to a list of web sites

Posted on 2005-03-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I want to limit the websites my kids can access from their iMac.

It uses a wireless lan to an ADSL connection, so I am looking for a local restriction, rather than mess around with the wireless router firewall.

Quite happy to use another browser if that helps.

Any ideas?
G.
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Question by:countytechnologies
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Expert Comment

by:mwelborn
ID: 13540590
This isn't the easiest solution i'm sure, if somebody knows something better please post it. This has worked for me in the past.

Use the /etc/hosts file...

gather a list of the sites your kids want to visit
open terminal and type

host somesite.com
where somesite is the name of the website
it will return an entry like

'google.com has address 216.239.37.99'

do this for each site on your list.

open the hosts file from the terminal (don't type the quotes)

'sudo pico /etc/hosts'

enter your password at the prompt

you'll then see

##
# Host Database
#
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting.  Do not change this entry.
##
127.0.0.1       localhost
255.255.255.255 broadcasthost
::1             localhost

and add the lines to the bottom of the file typing the address a space and the name of the site as below. hit return and repeat for all the sites you want to allow.


like so

##
# Host Database
#
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting.  Do not change this entry.
##
127.0.0.1       localhost
255.255.255.255 broadcasthost
::1             localhost
216.239.37.99 google.com
216.109.112.135 yahoo.com


when you're done typing hold control and type 'x' to close then hit 'y' to save changes and then 'return' to accept the name

Next step... log into your kids account on your computer and open the system preferences from the apple menu and click on network.

double click on Airport or wireless connection from the list of network connections (it should have a green dot to the right of it)...

make sure the tcp/ip tab is selected. go down to where the dns servers are listed and delete them.

close system preferences applying changes.

What this does is shut off the servers that translates the names of servers (ie google.com) to their ip address (ie 216.239.37.99). Your kids account will only be able to access the servers that are listed in the hosts file. unless they know how to manually look up an address.

Keep in mind that these instructions are for Panther 10.3, but for Jaguar they shouldn't be too much different.

Hope this helps.




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Expert Comment

by:clausbroch
ID: 13541215
Take a look at these "kid filter" packages:

http://www.gestweb.com/en/childkey.html
http://www.kiosksw.com/kioskbrowser.html

You could also enable the firewall on the machine and configure it to only allow connection to certain IP addresses.
0
 

Author Comment

by:countytechnologies
ID: 13543579
Thanks for both of your suggestions.  

The hosts management is a little too basic for what I want.
I have checked out ChildKey but franky, I am not impressed with that companies web site (variousl errors, which did not fill me with confidence).  In any case, I did installed the software but could not get it to work.
Their support form does not work either.  shame.

I like the Kiosk Browser, but this doesn't really integrate with the desktop too well.

Any other product suggestions welcome.  I'm happy to install a proxy on one of my Windows boxes if that would help.

G.
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The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

 
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Expert Comment

by:clausbroch
ID: 13543747
Most likely the product options are vaster on Windows, so you could likely find a proxy server where you could set up these parameters. All you need to do is find a adult site that takes the protection of minors seriously. These sites often list a number of supported filter packages - at least that's what I've been told ;-)
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Author Comment

by:countytechnologies
ID: 13543835
> All you need to do is find a adult site

Do you have a list ;)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:clausbroch
ID: 13543860
Nope, I have never seen any of these sites myself ;-)
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Expert Comment

by:paranoidcookie
ID: 13544646
You could try installing Squid / Squid Gaurd or Squid + Dansguardian on either your kids pc or build a filtering proxy inbetween their pc and the internet.

http://www.squid-cache.org
http://dansguardian.org/

These are both open source free for home non commercial use programs
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Accepted Solution

by:
mwelborn earned 2000 total points
ID: 13547607
try this one for blocking offensive sites

http://www.makienterprise.com/kggg/kidsgogogo.html

or here is a browser from freeverse

http://www.freeverse.com/bumpercar/

haven't tried either but it looks like it might fit your needs
0
 

Author Comment

by:countytechnologies
ID: 13553922
Bumper Car was perfect - thanks a mill.

G.
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