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Windows Thread, Whitelist Filtering in Technical; Well - I'm so glad to say that our school is finally looking at whitelist filtering! I've set up a ...
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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Whitelist Filtering

    Well - I'm so glad to say that our school is finally looking at whitelist filtering!

    I've set up a new proxy (using Jana Server within Windows) that points to a txt file full of allowed sites. I have also designed a web app that uses ldap to allow staff only to add websites to the txt file to allow sites. It also adds an entry to a mySQL db that populates a student home page of sites they are allowed so they know what they can access.

    We're gonna start implementing it with certain students - rather than banning the naughty ones we're gonna put them onto the whitelist filtering instead meaning they can access certain sites but can't muck about.

    How do others manage their whitelist filtering? How do staff open up sites? Do they have to ask you or can they do it themselves?

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    Thats a good idea. Like the way teachers can add their own sites. We have something similar but doesnt allow staff to add sites so has remained unused due to the obvious implications of a "whit list only" filter.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Wouldn't you want to make the txt file SQL.

    Look at urlblacklist.com, I believe they have a list of whitelists... unless you want to limit it.

    Good idea tho!

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    I've never really been a fan of a walled guardian / whitelist due to the administration needed to update the lists. But if you can get staff to add their own websites, then it sounds like a good tool to use.

    The only question I ask is, what happens if one member of staff adds a website whereas another member of staff doesn't want the website to be available - can staff remove sites? How IT literate are your staff - adding a site may sound easy enough in theory, but will they grasp how easy it is and do it themselves?

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    I blocked websites with our PAC file, redirecting them to our webserver. Basic for BADSITE.COM users were told to use webserver.local as a proxy. Work pretty well. The PAC file was a .php file, I redirected proxy.pac to proxy.php, which pull them from a MySQL database.

    It's pretty much a web page with Add or Remove, remove as a long list which when the use clicks remove it removes it from an active block, add will just allow the user to enter the url. I state that it needs to be: XXXGIRLS.co.uk for example. Then it "blocks" it as *xxxgirls.co.uk*

    Ofcourse this requests a little more though. For example you want dates and usernames who does it and you want an active so they are never actually removed. Just incase little Timmy uses Miss laptop to remove them all.

    PS: Don't for get to setup security on the page

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Wouldn't you want to make the txt file SQL.
    Proxy can only handle text files - But kids have no access to it so as far as I'm concerned it works well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r
    what happens if one member of staff adds a website whereas another member of staff doesn't want the website to be available - can staff remove sites?
    They can't remove sites - but I can't see why they would want to. We're implementing this method to restrict the use of games (or cut it out all together) - staff will only add sites that they want to use as part of their lessons and they will remain unblocked from then on. If the staff have unblocked the site then it will be because it's educational.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r
    How IT literate are your staff - adding a site may sound easy enough in theory, but will they grasp how easy it is and do it themselves?
    We have our fair share of staff who are both good with computers and bad with computers. But it really is easy and self explanatory. Login, add site, restart proxy - with full instructions given as they move along the steps.

    Needless to say though, we will be training on it and won't be rolling it out fully until March (when our smartcache license expires) so it should be ample time to get used to the new system.

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