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Block Socail Networking on one laptop

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a user in the field that has a laptop running XP and IE8. She needs to have administrative access to the laptop but her boss would like for me to block all social networking sites. i.e. Facebook, My Space, Twitter. Does anyone know a way to do this so she would need a password, or knowledge of the registry, to defeat the block?
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Question by:KPAYNE123
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Expert Comment

by:arrkerr1024
ID: 35216301
I'm assuming that she is using a completely uncontrolled internet access (her home, starbucks, whatever), so you don't have any control over it.

There are some commercial products that act not just as inbound firewalls but also outbound firewalls that can be installed and restricted and require a password just as you want.  If she has full admin access she'd be able to remove the software or perhaps delete its configuration files.  She may not be that smart, and you could audit it automatically every day/week to see if she messed with it.

Your best bet is to take away admin access and give her "power user" access and tweak her permissions so that she can still install device drivers, install software, etc... but still can't do certain things like remove the firewall.

Unfortunately most of the really powerful auditing and control software suites are very expensive, geared at organizations with thousands of users in the field.  They fit your solution well, but aren't practical for a single user.   You'd be better off just firing the offending user and hiring someone you can trust.
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antony_kibble<!-8D58D5C365651885FB5A77A120C8C8C6--> earned 2000 total points
ID: 35216329
You could edit the HOSTS file by adding in all variants of the social networking sites you want to block and add their ip address as 127.0.0.1

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Author Comment

by:KPAYNE123
ID: 35216457
arrkerr1024: I agree - why do they put us IT people through this kind of frustration when they should just delete the problem - THE USER!!!!! I do not want or have the time to monitor her and that is why I want to leave the admin so I don't have to see her when she needs to change settings or add a printer. Plus, her home office is 1 1/2 hours away. She does come on campus at least 2 to 3 times a month, so I could request to see the laptop that often.

antony_kibble<!-8D58D5C3656518... : That sounds like it might be an option and she is not smart enough to find that file. I will take a look at that and post back later.
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by:KPAYNE123
ID: 35216780
antony_kibble<!-8D58D5C3656518... : After reading a bit about blocking this way, I see that you would have to type in all possible combinations of sub-domains. That is not really feasable wihtout a wildcard option such as *.myspace.com is it? in other words, if someone was to send a link to myspace.com/mypage the site would come up unless the host file redirected. Is that not correct?
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Author Closing Comment

by:KPAYNE123
ID: 35216962
After trying the suggestion, it seems to work great. Thanks for the advice!
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