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How do I restrict Web access only to selected sites?

Posted on 2013-12-11
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Last Modified: 2014-01-03
We have a call centre in our office where the staff need access to our company's web site plus the following webs sites:
  http://www.aus-emaps.com/postcode_finder.php
  https://maps.google.com.au/
  http://www.whitepages.com.au/

We have installed parental controls on the Trend Titanium Micro Security package to prevent them from visiting inappropriate web sites but that still leaves them wasting company time on other web sites.

Is there any way that I can restrict users (using any web browser) from visiting any but the above web sites, bearing in mind that some of the above web sites (especially the postcode web site) have references to other web sites that contain relevant data.

Or is there a better way to prevent them from visiting any but approved web sites?
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Question by:Rob4077
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 39713263
Fortinet makes a number for products that would likely do what you want:

http://www.fortinet.com/products/fortigate/

Browse their website and see if anything meets your needs or give them a call or send them an e-mail.
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Assisted Solution

by:Emmanuel Adebayo
Emmanuel Adebayo earned 167 total points
ID: 39713705
How are your users access the internet? Is it through a proxy or just going directly to the internet?

The best way to address internet usage is through the use of a proxy system.  There are several on the market to choose from such as Squid which is free, Microsoft TMG, Winproxy etc.

Regards
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Assisted Solution

by:jcimarron
jcimarron earned 333 total points
ID: 39714708
Rob4077--
Using a proxy is one of the main ways to accomplish what you want.
Log into the user account and go to IETools|Internet Options|Connection tab. At the bottom click "LAN settings"|check "Use a proxy server for your LAN", enter 127.0.0.1 in the Address box.  Click the Advanced button, and the box at the bottom "Do not use the proxy server for addresses beginning with", enter the sites that the user needs to access. Press OK|OK |OK
Try to access the sites the user needs, make sure they works. All other pages should get the "Page can't be displayed" sign."
If need be, log in as admin and use gpedit to disable the Connection tab.
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Author Comment

by:Rob4077
ID: 39715530
Thanks for all your suggestions. I will try to explore them all today.

Unfortunately none of us at work are especially computer literate so I will have to find software that is easy to work with or instructions that are easy to follow.

I don't understand the implications of a proxy server but I will try that suggested solution too. However that seems to relate only to IE. The in-house web site works most reliably with Chrome. Is there an equivalent way with Chrome (and Firefox for that matter) to work through a Proxy server?
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Accepted Solution

by:
jcimarron earned 333 total points
ID: 39715575
Rob4077--
Chrome and Firefox  offer the ability to use proxy servers.
For Chrome see
http://customers.trustedproxies.com/knowledgebase.php?action=displayarticle&id=10

For Firefox see
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/advanced-settings-browsing-network-updates-encryption?redirectlocale=en-US&redirectslug=Options+window+-+Advanced+panel

Let us know if the proxy server setting works for you in IE.
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Author Comment

by:Rob4077
ID: 39728027
Sorry for the delay in responding. The business is closing for a couple of weeks over the Christmas break and I have not had a chance to try your suggestions as the focus is on getting everything possible done before we close.

If I don't get a chance to finish this by Friday I will close the question and raise a fresh one next year if I have any more questions or have trouble implementing your suggestions.
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Author Comment

by:Rob4077
ID: 39747390
Thanks for your comments. I never got a chance to complete this before the office closed for the holiday break but on looking at the answers, the suggestions on use of proxies seems the right one so I will close and award points. Thanks again
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39748581
Rob4077--
You are welcome.
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Author Comment

by:Rob4077
ID: 39753229
Just wanted to let you know. I tried this and it kinda works BUT some of the sites, like Google Maps, won't display properly. Reason appears to be because the web pages call on other web pages. Any ideas or is that a new question?
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39754256
Rob4077--I understand there are parts of the sites mentioned in your original post which rely on links to other sites.  Right click on a blank spot in the area which is being blocked and then Properties.  The Address line should give you the URL of the blocked site.  You can then put that URL into the "Do not use the proxy server for addresses beginning with" window, per the instructions in my earlier post.
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