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mattbcsFlag for United States of America

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Google Image Search - How to require safesearch is turned on (Keep user from changing settings)

I work for a school district, and we are having problems with users accessing innapropriate content via google image search.

- They are turning off the safe search feature, and type a few "porno words" and they get thumbnails of porn. Our web filter (Surfcontrol) doesn't catch these attempts.

I'm looking for a way to FORCE users to keep safe search on - or to phrase that differently, prevent users from being able to turn it off.

Anyone know of a way to do this? I can't simply block google images, as it is frequently used for clipart, etc for student projects.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Matt
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abuckheit

if you have a good proxy or web filter you can block it via the url

depending on how you can enter this as a restricted url, you would want to block:

*.google.com/*safe=off*

if you want to disable it in internet explorer goto tools-> internet options-> security tab -> restricted sites ->
and add what i typed above.
sorry, i gave internet explorer too much credit, that will not work in internet explorer, it will simplify that to *.google.com and block all of google.

you will need to use that string (*.google.com/*safe=off*) with a proxy or web filter.

does Surfcontrol allow for custom restrictions or does it operate off a global list that they compile and update?
you could also block them from : http://images.google.com/preferences* so they cannot change it to off
Be sure to block all anonymous websurfing sites also...such as

http://www.php15.com/
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Tanglin05

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ASKER

Thanks for the info, everyone. I have proxies blocked to the max. (surfcontrol includes them in the updates definitions, and I manually add a ton more to my server)

I HATE Surfcontrol, and am dying to go to the Barracuda networks web filter or the 8e6 system filter.

I'll try blocking the preferences on the google images site, and see if that works with surfcontrol, as I'm not sure if it works with wildcards such as *

Will keep you updated!
Thanks,
Matt
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I got into that and finally had to block Google and allow only educational search engines.  The proxy sites are neverending.  The smart kids can load a proxy server at home and surf through their broadband at home from school.  Some content filters like Lightspeed allow you to block setting Preferences.  You can also block the cookie.  Once you block the Preferences they will then dog the 'strict' search hunting for images and they will find them.   Oh yeah, there's also the cached links on Google that are stored on a Google server that do not get filtered at all.  Once that is blocked, the high school kids will even learn a foreign language to search the foreign Google sites.  порнография anyone?  I guess there's some education hiding in there somewhere?
Hancke is right. Speaking as a twenty-something, been there done/seen that, you are fighting a losing battle if you try to filter the "bad internet" out of schools. For a lot of kids, it's not so much what the bad content is so much as it is just proving that they can beat the school's filters. The only way you're going to contain easy abuses (such as proxies run from home, focused queries in Google/Yahoo that return porn even with Strict filtering, etc.) is to filter everything by default, and then only "white list" the educational sites that you want to allow. I know it may be a task to add all of the relevant "educational" domains, but it's either spend your hours adding good sites or blocking bad sites.

And just because it can't hurt in this case, good luck again!

Thanks~
Todd
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ASKER

I agree about the proxies.

Peacefire.org has a little app that anyone can install on a broadband pc that is a proxy...just about a 10 year old could do it! It's a never ending battle... Honestly, its hot a huge issue with me... It's mainly keeping kids off of MYSPACE dot com and other social networking crap. Other than that, they try to access game sites... that's about all we see proxy attempts used for here... I personally believe in free speech and access to all information... however in an educational setting different rules apply, and it is my job to merely enforce the rules, not MAKE them... lol

The google images issue was because kids were deliberately turning safe search off and typing "suggestive" keywords.... A librarian witnessed the images and immediately ran to my boss "The IT Director" and had a fit.

Tomorrow Morning I'll be testing the image blocking....
ALSO - I'll link to additional questions for you guys, because more than one deserves the 500 pts!

Thanks,
Matt
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ASKER

Another comment -
I noticed one vendor of web-filtering appliances filters requests using safe-search settings for all sites... thought that was a neat idea, but I'm still waiting for my barracuda web filter or the 8e6 filter.....

Only 523 days left on our surfcontrol license....arrrrrgh!

Does anyone know of an appliance vendor that offers a "competive buyout" (as in getting a big discount for switching before the existing license is up?)

Thanks everyone for your help!
- Matt
Matt-

My experience has always been that it doesn't hurt to ask. You'd be surprised how much a sales person is willing to work with you to adjust pricing on computer hardware/software contracts, especially when they know the customer will be around for a while (like a school). I'd definitely contact the sales teams at Barracuda or 8e6 and see what they can do for you.

Thanks~
Todd
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ASKER

I've contacted barracuda, and they don't do competive buyouts, due to the low pricing of the units already....
I can certainly understand that.

I'm going to check with 8e6 tomorrow about a competive buyout option.
The IT MGR Renewed for not a one year, or two year - but a THREE YEAR surfcontrol license!
We have 2 small boxes located at small campuses (max of 40 users at once on each)

Total spent for 3 years for all 3 boxes = 7K(!!!!!!!)

I'm sooooo sick of surfcontrol, but my boss doesn't want to feel like he dropped our budget $$$ down the drain, so I think I may be able to woo him with a competive buyout, although I'd really like to stick with Barracuda.

I'll implement the surfcontrol filter ideas tomorrow and see how they work.
I'll also open up additional questions, so you all get your fair slice of points since you have all been so helpful!

Thanks,
Matt
Lightspeed is pretty aggressive for K-12.  You might consider just getting the software instead of an appliance for now.  It's easier to cut bargains on software that hardware.  Soft costs vs hard costs.  You might also check with your cooperative buying groups like a regional or state educational service center.  Sometimes they cut a sweetheart deal.  You might plead the case that Myspace is full of drug dealers, perverts, prostitutes and child molesters and the costs are worth protecting the district and the children.  Also, if you use Novell Zen you can set IE preferences and force them to the desktop/user.   Just for fun, I redirected Myspace to Sesamestreet.com in my internal DNS!  That was fun for the high school kiddos.
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ASKER

BRAVO!!!! I am so going to have to do that with the myspace domain now!

I personally dont care if they access myspace or not - its all about the school administrators and these things called "rules"

I'm going to put some creative redirection for myspace.com (it's 2  /24 IP blocks are already blocked on the firewall level.... Awesome!

Still In The Testing Phase, will accept multiple solutions on this one, and each will get their own 500 question too.

Thanks!
- Matt
Unfortunately Matt, I don't think you can dish out multiple 500 point answers legally on EE. The EE rules expressly discourage "Point Passing", or the creation of questions just to award points to an user. Check out this reference in the EE quidelines:

https://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi103

While I'm sure we'd all love the points, I'd hate to see you get "in trouble" for violating the site's rules.

Thanks~
Todd
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ASKER

Todd -

THANK YOU so much for pointing that out to me!
I appreciate you posting to let me know, as I was not aware of it... It's going to be hard to split the points on this one... :)

Thanks,
Matt
We are not or should not be here just for points anyway.

Hope you come up with a viable option for you and your boss.

Good luck.