How do I Block MySpace?

Introduction

There’s no question that the Internethas evolved into an incredibly important tool for everyone. But forteenagers and young users, it’s not a tool for ease and convenience; itis a necessary part of life. In many ways, it is life. From instantmessaging to social networking on sites such as MySpace and Facebook,kids are constantly in touch with one another. But participating in asocial network also opens the door to a lot more than just staying in touchwith friends. It becomes a portal for online predators to attempt tolure and groom your kids. It also becomes a cyberbully’s best weapon.

Asa parent, it’s important to make an educated decision and establishfirm rules on social network participation. If you allow your child toparticipate, make sure you monitor their profile page, passwords,activity, friends and messages. Monitoring software like PC Pandora canhelp you do that with minimal effort and maximum accuracy. Otherparents may want to block access to MySpace or Facebook indefinitely.This is something that can be done on many levels, and it’s anotherparental control feature that PC Pandora monitoring software can helpyou with.

There exists a variety of ways to block MySpace.com orany other website. Carefully consider which method you choose to ensureit meets all of your current and future needs.

When selecting a method to provide website blocking consider the following key points:
  1. Howeasy is it to implement and manage the blocking? Many methods describedbelow require a lot of manual effort and are likely too difficult for acomputer novice. Make sure you choose a method that is easy to implement and maintain.
  2. Howeasy is it for the blocking to be circumvented? In this day and age,children are often more computer savvy than the parents. You shouldselect a blocking method that children will not easily overcome or get around.
  3. Howfeature rich is the chosen method? Many methods simply block websitesand that's all. Choose a method that provides blocking, as wellas other features that provide value and are necessary for today'sparents.

Here is a list of typical website blocking methods:


METHOD

DIFFICULTY
LEVEL TO IMPLEMENT

DIFFICULTY
TO CIRCUMVENT

OVERALL RATING

Internet Explorer Content AdvisorEasyEasy
Windows HOSTS fileMediumMedium
Router Content BlockingHardMedium to Difficult
Blocking SoftwareEasyMedium to Difficult
Blocking AND Monitoring Software
like PC Pandora
EasyMedium to Difficult


Internet Explorer Content Advisor

Contentblocking using Internet Explorer's Content Advisor feature. This is theeasiest and simplest method to quickly implement simple websiteblocking.However, it only controls Internet Explorer so it is easily defeated byusing an alternative web browser such as FireFox, Opera, or any numberof easily obtained web browsers. Also, it provides clearly visibleacknowledgement that Content Advisor blocking has been implemented asvisible password challenges being displayed whenever a restrictedwebsite is visited.

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click the Tools menu.
  3. Choose Internet Options.
  4. Click the Content tab.
IE Options

  1. Click the Enable button.
  2. Click the Approved Sites tab.
  3. In the "Allow this Web site" field enter MYSPACE.COM
  4. Click the Never button to block this website.
IE Approved Sites
  1. Click OK to save your changes.
  2. Youwill be prompted to setup a password to protect the Content Advisorsettings. Without this password no one will be able to view or alterthe Content Advisor settings.
  3. Enter your password.
  4. Confirm your password.
  5. Enter a password hint if you wish.
  6. Click OK to save your password.
  7. A confirmation confirming Content Advisor has been enabled will be displayed.
  8. Click OK to close this confirmation.
  9. InternetExplorer will now block access to MYSPACE.COM by requiring a passwordto be entered before access is granted, effectively blocking thoseusers without the password.


Windows HOSTS file

Editingyour Windows HOSTS file.HOSTS is a simple text file residing in a system directory on yourcomputer. Windows uses this file to process website access. You canedit the HOSTS file toeffectively deny access to particular websites. The benefit of usingthe HOSTS file is that it affects the entire computer globally, itisnot specific to any one web browser. However, there are several significant disadvantages to this method which include:
  1. Since it is a textfile you must successfully locate it, and then manually edit it.
  2. Since it is a simple text file located in a common directory it is fullyvisible to all users, including non-admin users. However, itwill only be modifiable by users with admin rights.
We do notrecommend this method because of these serious disadvantages. Due to the factthis method requires manual editing of files in system directories, and taking into accountthe significant risks involved, no instructions will beprovided here.


Router Content Blocking

Contentblockingusing your internet router. This applies only to users who own andutilize a router for their internet access,  and only if therouter includes content blocking controls. Not all routerscontain these features.This issimilar to the HOSTS file method but is applied to the router insteadof editing a system text file. Disadvantages of this method include:

  1. Often,routers are only able to block by IP address. This can be extremely crypticfor the average user. 
  2. IPbased blocking requires that all known IPaddresses be entered for each website that is to be blocked. Manywebsites, including MySpace.com,  utilize more than one IP address.
  3. Lists of IPaddresses change often. 

Thesingle biggest benefit with this method is that content blocking applied to the router can be applied to everycomputer that connects to the internet via the router.

Dueto the enormous amount of router products available in the market placethere is no way for us to provide directions on how to implementblocking using your router. Please consult the product documentationincluded with your specific router. Or contact the technical supportavailable with your router for assistance.


Blocking Software

Utilizeathird party application to blockwebsites. This type of program functions similarly to Internet ExplorerContent Advisor in that it typically provides a simple software-basedcontrol panel to manage the websites you wish to block. These programs usually provide asecured login to protect the blocking software from being tamperedwith. In some cases there are categorized groups of websites suppliedby the manufacturer to help simplify the blocking selection. Thus, thistype of software provides advantages over all of the previousitems by improving ease of use for the person administeringthe blocking.


Blocking AND Monitoring Software

Utilize an application such as PC Pandora to both block ANDmonitorwebsites. This provides all of the functionality a stand-alone blockingapplication provided plus a wealth of additional, advantageous features.

By choosingPC Pandora you the following features and advantages over other methods:
      1. Easeof use thanks to the intuitive user interface. There are no hiddensystem files to edit and no confusing list of IP addresses to manage.
      2. Securedconfiguration and control of websites blocked. By default, PC Pandora is installed in Stealth Mode and is completelyinvisible. Additionally, it can be password protected to ensure nochance another user will be able to see the list of sites being blocked,nor will they be able to modify them. 
      3. Wide variety of blocking methods available. 
        • Anonymous blocking - users visiting blocked websites will seea generic 'website not available' error message.
        • Custom error text - users see text of your choice whenever a blocked website is visited. 
        • Password protected - a password of your choice must beentered to gain access to the restricted websites, similar to Internet Explorer's Content Advisor.
PC Pandora User Management
      1. Multi-browsersupport. PC Pandora will block websites visited with Internet Explorer,FireFox, and all other popular web browsers.
      2. Categorized groups of websites to help simplify your blocking selection.
PC Pandora Content Management
      1. Fullmonitoring andreview of websites visited. PC Pandora provides a full list of everywebsite visited. 
      2. Additionally, statistics are provided that indicatethe number of times attempts have been made to visit blocked websites.
      3. Fullmonitoring of all computer activity.This is where PC Pandora excels above all other methods. Notonly will you know which websites are being visited and blockedbut PC Pandora will record all other activity such as:emails,instant message and chats, keyboard keystrokes (including logins andpasswords), program activity, P2P activity, websearch engine keywords, and more! It even takes sequential snapshots ofeverything that happens on screen, to make reviewing activity easy andfoolproof. You gain the benefit of the many,many otherfeatures PC Pandora offers beyond website blocking.
PC Pandora
      1. Remoteviewing of all activity. By using the included IRIS email reportfeature you can see all of the computer activity while you are awarefrom the home. Reports are delivered to you via email in an easy toread HTML format. No longer do you have to wonder what your childrenare doing while you're at work.

Conclusion

Takingmeasures to filter and block web content is good, but knowing what yourchildren are doing is far better. Software that both blocks andmonitors content, like PC Pandora, is the key to being a powerful andeffective 21st century parent. Visit http://www.PCPandora.com for more information on how PC Pandora can help protect your children online and give you peace of mind.

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