The New web filter is a major improvement over Border Manager. However it functions very differently. These differences will change the way we work with users on the internet.
At the moment all student and teacher are filtered at the same level. Sites Categorized as Adult in nature are blocked. Proxy sites are blockedas well. The Number one complaint about
Border Manager was that students could easily by pass network security to get to facebook. This considerably harder to do under M86. In this document I will try to explain in simple terms how the M86 works. And what we can and can not do with it.
How it works
M86 Cancels web requests that are to be blocked. I attempt to go to playboy.com and M86 follows my request with a cancel request and sends to me the warning page.
Pages are blocked, allowed, or warned by category. Plaboy is categorized as Adult Content, which is blocked for users.
If I go to Disney.com I get a warning because Disney.com is classified as streming media site. I can click OK and it will log my access and let me through.
If I go to Google.com it let me though no problem.
You tube is a blocked Rated R content site. To get to You tube you must have an override account. The override account will still not let me go to Playboy.com.
At the moment we do not have individual access turned on. All users are filtered in the same way. We are setting up override accounts for teachers to gain access to sites like youtube. No students will have override accounts. Nor should any teacher provide a student with their override account and password, ever !!!
White List and Black List
We have the ability to move sites from their current category to a white list category, or to a black list category. White list will be allowed for all users, Blacklist will be denied for all users, with out an override account.
What WE CAN NOT DO
In the past I could lookup where a student has been. In most cases the student in question was on a site via a proxy. I could not tell what site once they got to the proxy. In some cases they had gotten to bad sites that had not yet been added to the black list. The latter were only discovered after extensive searches for bad words in the titles of web pages. This was tedius but required work. The M86 filter adds bad sites to the list nightly and is quite good at filtering adukt content.
I am however not able to search back days or weeks. The filter keeps only a minimal log of what sites were accessed, and only for a very brief period of time, a few hours. It does its Job very well, as a result I am not concerned about where students will be able to get. They will not be on Facebook here. The real issue will be monitoring students time on the internet. This will go back to the teacher. If the teacher sees students on a site that is innapropriate they can contact the help desk and that site can be added to the black list.
Changing the filter
Because the process is new, it will take tech support some time to get the filter customized. We ask that teachers test web site several days in advanced. If you have to override a site to get to it we will need to white list the site before students will be able to get to it. Let us know as soon as possible if you need a site white listed. Please do this by email to the help desk, please include the following information with your request: