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Block Internet Browsing but allow email

Posted on 2011-09-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi. I need to block web browsing for some users, but allow Outlook to work. It is a small business environment in a Windows Server 2003 based Domain. I am also using a Netgear FVL328 firewall. If I put in an Internet Explorer bogus Proxy setting, images do not display properly in Outlook messages but Send/Receive is ok.

If this is something we have to live with, that may be ok but I wanted to see if anyone has a solution for this. Thanks
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Question by:cs2computers
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uescomp earned 125 total points
ID: 36576051
You could just remove all the links to internet explorer and hide the folder containing the iexplore.exe file.  You could try just locking out IE through group policy.
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Assisted Solution

by:zen31
zen31 earned 125 total points
ID: 36576304
Blocking user profile for permitting IE is the best way to prevent web browsing. Secondly block user rights to install any thing on desktop terminals via GP, so that Firefox or any 3rd party browsers cannot be installed. in his manner you are restricting user to use his permitted apps and outlook

Hp it clarifies...
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by:cs2computers
ID: 36576354
Thanks. If I go that route, I'd need to make sure the users can't launch IE via a link or image within an email. I wasn't even thinking in terms of disabling the entire browser. Seems like it could work.
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Expert Comment

by:zen31
ID: 36576391
You can block IEXPLORE.exe inn that case. so even if a link is clicked the app will be blocked for user profile...
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Assisted Solution

by:lancecurwensville
lancecurwensville earned 125 total points
ID: 36576619
Depending upon how your network is setup (policy wise at the local level) and the tech abilities of your users, if they have an inkling and are local admins, they can install chrome, firefox, opera, etc. to bypass this method.  You may be just as well off to use OpenDns for your DNS (sign up for free account) and pretty much block all categories listed.  They may have Internet access at that point, but are unable to actually browse anywhere due to the restrictions, however, images contained within the email would still flow (providing they are coming from a legitimate source).
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Assisted Solution

by:trueluck3
trueluck3 earned 125 total points
ID: 36579741
I agree with the others, in that Group Policy blocking of iexplore.exe is the best way to go.  Your users should never be configured as local admins to their station, and therefore should not be able to install anything to circumvent the policy.
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by:cs2computers
ID: 36580346
Thanks for all the comments. To start, I will setup a Local Policy to disable iexplore.exe and (possibly) the right to install applications. This seems like the best way to disable web browsing but allow email content to display properly.

It's only a 10 person shop so if someone wants to go above and beyond to install another browser via a flash drive, they can do so at their own risk.
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