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Network and Classroom Management Thread, How to prevent inappropriate Internet searches in Technical; Hi there, I look after a small primary school network. We have no dedicated ICT suite - instead we have ...
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    How to prevent inappropriate Internet searches

    Hi there,

    I look after a small primary school network. We have no dedicated ICT suite - instead we have a number of computer bay areas around the school and some laptops in a mobile trolley unit.

    We are looking for a piece of software that would allow us to block inappropriate internet searches - before they are sent to the internet! We do have filtering in place through our broadband supplier, but this doesn't always help when one or two children decide to look for certain things in particular! Therefore we would like to have some kind of monitoring software that would intercept any inappropriate search strings before it gets sent to the search engine. Does such a thing exist? We would like to be able to monitor and log the "search" activity.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

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    box_l's Avatar
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    Not quite what you asked for, but this site DuckDuckGo will only return birds if you type in t*ts.

    lots of primarys seem to like it.

    BoX.

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    bladedanny's Avatar
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    Maybe Smoothwall or if funds are tight Smoothwall Express?

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    tom_newton (22nd March 2011)

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    witch's Avatar
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    Why not limit their searches to using something like 'Ask Jeeves' or similar rather than internet explorer - that way it will be a safe search and not allow anything unsuitable

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Why not limit their searches to using something like 'Ask Jeeves' or similar rather than internet explorer - that way it will be a safe search and not allow anything unsuitable
    Safesearch will still allow stuff through.

    I think the best way to do this would be to get some filtering software that has key word blocking. For example you could block someone seaching 'cars' if you wanted.
    The software isnt cheap though.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rednight View Post
    We are looking for a piece of software that would allow us to block inappropriate internet searches - before they are sent to the internet!
    Client-side software is probably the wrong place to be doing that, you're better off sticking with a gateway filtering solution. If your current filtering service doesn't offer keyword filtering then, as pointed out above, you can put your own extra filter in place, i.e. a server that sits between your network and your Internet connection and filters out inappropriate searches. You could set up your own (free) Squid filter, or as pointed out above, Smoothwall Express might fit your needs.

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    tom_newton (22nd March 2011)

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    You do need some content filtering - I'd never seen duckduckgo before so I tried it. "sex" gave no results but "making babies" gave some decidely dodgy results (and, yes, I was being "naughty" but that doesn't seem like an unreasonable phrase for young children to use)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Safesearch will still allow stuff through.

    I think the best way to do this would be to get some filtering software that has key word blocking. For example you could block someone seaching 'cars' if you wanted.
    The software isnt cheap though.
    Dansgardian and Squid can do keyword filtering

    for example if a website contains to many rude/unsuitable words it will block the site. Doesn't work 100% of the time but it works 9/10.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @rednight:
    I would point you in the direction of IPCop which is free software which will install on a modest computer with 2 network cards installed and fulfil all you requirements.

    We used it here for 8 years very good:IPCop - Home

    good luck

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    @rednight:
    I would point you in the direction of IPCop which is free software which will install on a modest computer with 2 network cards installed and fulfil all you requirements.

    We used it here for 8 years very good:IPCop - Home

    good luck

    Didnt think IPcop could do filtering. Thanks

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    Admiral208's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by box_l View Post
    Not quite what you asked for, but this site DuckDuckGo will only return birds if you type in t*ts.

    lots of primarys seem to like it.

    BoX.
    If i type t*ts into DuckDuckGo, its filtered by our LA!!!

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    Thanks for all your replies and suggestions.

    Just to clarify things a little ... (and probably should have mentioned in my original posting - sorry!!!)

    We are running ISA 2006 as a proxy/firewall - but afaik there is no way to filter search strings on their way out .... if anyone knows if this is possible, I would be really interested!

    We do have content filtering in place via the LA - but as always, it is never going to be 100% and there is always a chance of something slipping through ... that's really why I asked about a bit of software that can filter the search string itself before it gets to the internet rather than relying on the filtering of the results!!

    It is mainly images that need filtering - with everyone so reliant on Google these days, it is really difficult to find a suitable alternative (we did use askkids for a while, but something seems to have happened to their image search .. it has disappeared!!).

    I really appreciate all your replies - what a great forum - thank you!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rednight View Post
    It is mainly images that need filtering
    Does your LA-provided Internet connection force Google (and Bing, etc) SafeSearch for image searches, or are unwanted results still coming through on SafeSearch? You might want to ask your LA if they can simply turn on forced SafeSearch for your school - it should be a feature of any decent filtering solution. They probably leave it off by default as other schools will have their own filtering in place.

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    Smoothwall express does not have the search term filtering on it - or AFAIK in any of the add-ons? We certainly do it in the full version of our filter though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    Smoothwall express does not have the search term filtering on it - or AFAIK in any of the add-ons? We certainly do it in the full version of our filter though.
    Not in the true sense afaik no, but with the DG add-on if you type in something naughty the search results will trigger the weighted words filter and not allow you on the page.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 22nd March 2011 at 08:45 PM.

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