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How to block students accessing certain websites but allow staff?

Posted on 2007-11-19
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Last Modified: 2008-03-01
Hi
We are trying to stop students from abusing lessons by using hotmail. We have blocked the site using our cache server but this stops all staff from accessing it.

Ideally we would like to block the site for students only and allow staff, but if this isnt simple then just blocking access for all between 9am and 3.20 pm would help.

We have Server 2003 and use Active Directory for staff and students. Is there something we could configure in Group Policy? We also use Ranger but this only blocks programs as far as I can see.

Kind regards
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Question by:alumwell
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Expert Comment

by:Haze0830
ID: 20312856
Do your students need access to Internet Explorer for any reason?

If not, you can prevent access to the browser through GPO.

Check out this solution as well for using GPO to configure the Content Advisor to block specific sites.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Security/Misc/Q_21226658.html
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Expert Comment

by:Haze0830
ID: 20312922
Really, the most surefire way would either be to remove access to IE altogether or to stop traffic at the firewall. I'm not sure what type of firewall you have in place though....

Watchguard firewalls for instance provide an addon to their OS that will do exactly what you're looking for.

Here are some new GPO's available in SP2 for Windows Server 2003 - which would involve installing SP2 first obviously if you already haven't...


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Expert Comment

by:Haze0830
ID: 20312927
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Author Comment

by:alumwell
ID: 20313021
Hi Thanks for replies so far, but students would obviously require Internet Explorer to access education related material, just specific websites would be nice to be blocked for them.

Not really clued up on our ISA server so a simpler option would be nice but willing to get hands dirty if needs be.
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Expert Comment

by:Haze0830
ID: 20313145
ISA Server will do that for you. I'm not very savvy with it but check out this document.

download.microsoft.com/download/e/7/6/e76fdda3-5c2c-4fbb-9c6f-3bcd0ed4b8ef/web_proxyWP.doc
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Author Comment

by:alumwell
ID: 20333350
Anyone have a how to guide?
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Expert Comment

by:Haze0830
ID: 20337814
that link I provided should help you. What version of ISA server are you using?
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Author Comment

by:alumwell
ID: 20338076
Hi Haze0830,

The link was useful but really just let us know ISA's capabilities not specifically how to block sites for specific users.

We have ISA 2004

Kind regards,
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Expert Comment

by:leontas
ID: 20349685
If your staff use different pcs (i.e. not the machines that the students use) you can easily do it through www.opendns.com.

You make an account there (one will suffice for all pcs) and you will use the DNS IP of OpenDNS.
Once logged in, you will go to Domain Blocking option and enter any domains that you want to block.
Apart from hotmail consider also blocking access to facebook, hi5, myspace etc. You have no restriction on the amount of domains you can block.

Whats more, they also offer statistics so after a few days you can check and see what websites are generating more traffic and block them as well if they are irrelevant to your lessons.

The service is completely free!
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Author Comment

by:alumwell
ID: 20448478
Hi Leontas,
Thanks for the link but as its a college we would like something in-house that we can setup ourselves.

There are some staff only PC's but most are shared between staff and students so ideally would prefer to distinguish them by their group name if possible.
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Expert Comment

by:BadgerCS
ID: 20711033
If you have Ranger, then a quick and dirty method could be to use the "Title check" facility, where Ranger monitors the title of any open window for a list of text strings and if matched can forcibly shut it. As long as you're students aren't going to have legit docs which include e.g. "hotmail.com" in their name, then this should do the job. You only need to apply it to students, not the staff.
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Accepted Solution

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alumwell earned 0 total points
ID: 20956517
My manager sorted the problem by creating groups on the proxy and stopping access that way, thanks for your help.
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