There are 6 computers in a room set aside for residents in an apartment complex. Some take advantage and open sites that are not acceptable and can bring in virus etc. What is the best way to control this situation?

 

Comments

  • Set up a firewall to block them like schools do to block kids from going to unwanted sites.

  • I am guessing you have a router based on the fact that you have 6 computers on the net…

    You should be able to block domains and such in the router options.

  • i just used google to search for something. http://www.softforyou.com/
    Use the 14 day trial and see if it works for you.

  • Keeping up with what domains you want to block, and doing it manually at the router, is completely impossible. Thousands pop up each day and a staff of 20 couldn’t keep up. You need to outsource it. Also, standard users on a PC can see just as much porn as admins, they’re just a little less likely to infect the computer in the process.

    2 approaches, and the classic debate begins:

    OPTION 1 — AT THE PERIMETER — Many business-class routers have ‘content filtering’ which is pretty much “Net Nanny” but built in to the router rather than the computers, making it much easier to manage. I have personal experience with SonicWALL but they’re not cheap…although a TZ170 good for 25 nodes (computers, printers, etc) with just the content filtering may be $500 or so. Maintenance per year is about 20%. This is A LOT easier than trying to mess with it on multiple PC’s and is effective even if someone were to pull the network plug and put it in their laptop or whatnot.

    OPTION 2 — AT THE PC — We’ve been using CyberPatrol at home and it works very, very well and is transparent to the user…except when it is doing its job 🙂 There are lots of others out there. The downside is you have to install and manage the software on each PC, so it can be a little more work. Cost is usually $40/yr per PC.

  • Use anit-virus software and a firewall. That should be standard for any computer no matter the purpose.

    There is another option. I’m assuming you are using a Windows PC. Computer accounts are set to administrator level by default in Windows. This is a bad idea in general, but it is worse when you don’t actually want the user to have control over the system.

    So you can set up an account with Limited access. It will not be able to change the computer settings or install software:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/winxp/accounts.mspx

    Here is a better explanation of why this is useful:
    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2006/05/the_importance_of_the_limited.html

    If you have another version of Windows or another operating system, just say so and I’ll see if I can find another tutorial for you.

  • Setup a proxy server and filter the prohibited sites from it. That is how schools and corporate users do it. Not only will you want to filter pron and lotto but proxy sites that allow bypassing the filters.
    The server can be as simple as an old desktop running XP pro with the filter softwarre installed. then you just set the other computer to access the internet through gateway computer.

  • Actually, school systems don’t use firewalls to block the students. It is possible howerver to use devices such as a NetGear router, not a hub as it has little to no intelligence, and create a small home network. It may be necessary to but a Netgear wireless router, disable the wireless and secure the system against any tampering, connect a 7port hub to the router and then connect your six computers to the hub. Enable DHCP on the router, set the computers to obtain their IP addresses automatically.

    Within the Netgear router go under Content Filtering and Block Sites. This will allow you to disallow access to sites based off of keywords, site URLs, and a few other settings.

    The router should be placed in a secure area to prevent it from being reset and since one wouldn’t be using the wireless side, signal strength or a rogue AP would be of little concern. I also recommend changing any default LAN side IP address range, default is commonly 192.168.1.1. Changing the password and login credentials allow you a stricter form of security for the network.

  • you can tried parental filters (net nanny and such) and a anti virus program. go to control panel and set security to high and enable content adviser(theses are in Internet options)
    then on all 6 machines password protect the administrator account.I would also get some anti spy ware software such as spy-bot search and destroy and ad-aware(the one that you pay for)

    after you do all that you will still get some porno and lotto on the machines just check them often and clear all cookies and historys and the temp files very often

  • I don’t know how they are networked or anything. If they are individual computers, you could set them up as guest accounts with a password protected administrator setup. Check each history of browsed sites and block those if they are unacceptable, etc.
    Even large scale networks in corporate settings can’t block everything. They use filters and known sites to block what they can, but the gamers and porn people always invent ways around that. I know the big companies have monitoring programs which they can check at any time and violators are fired.
    You could use something like that to add to your blocked sites list. Any computer can send a virus to another. Not just because you downloaded a nude shot of someone, or gambled.
    Whoever heard of an apartment dweller getting a computer in the deal anyway ?
    Anyway, if you do not have the time for monitoring all those computers, or securing them, try limiting the number of them to something more manageable.

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