You may not want to believe it, especially if you are a school computer administrator, but most kids know how to bypass a school internet filter. (Hey parents, if they can do it at school, they can probably do it at home too!) There are varieties of methods they use, ranging from simplistic bypasses to highly intensive scripting work-arounds, including:
• Using a proxy server or proxy website. The proxy acts as a portal for blocked content, and will often mask the blocked website’s IP so the internet filter program does not know it is supposed to be blocked.
• Searching for keywords in foreign languages. Many internet filters do not recognize multiple languages, and thus, cannot block these keywords.
• Typing https:// before the website address, instead of just http://, which is very simple, but something that will baffle internet filters that do not block certain types of internet protocol.
• Using a remote desktop. If the home computer is usually on and connected to the internet, and does not have a filter, kids will use a remote desktop program to access the internet through that computer, similar to a proxy.
• Running command prompt to PING certain websites, a method that will usually circumvent internet filters.
• Downloading programs from the internet that will automatically bypass internet filters.
• Hacking the internet filter program itself, to change settings or set up bypass shortcut keys.
Of course, most administrators of school computer systems have caught on to these tricks, and set up blocks against them. However, installing an internet filter that cannot be bypassed in the first place will save your organization a lot of time and money, not to mention headaches.
Unfortunately, many of the internet filters available to schools do not have features like that, but there is one, called Clean Internet, that offers service to businesses, schools, and churches, and that cannot be uninstalled or bypassed by the end user – something that most networking internet filters are not designed to do.
In addition, Clean Internet offers complete protection, by using a combination of filtering techniques, including keyword filtering, URL filtering, foreign language filtering, and dynamic filtering. Their program also filters all kinds of internet protocol, like instant messengers, chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing networks, and email. Moreover, because the Clean Internet system works as a proxy server itself, it blocks access to proxy servers and proxy websites.
If you are a parent, teacher, or school administrator, of course, you are concerned about student safety, and one of the easiest ways to ensure that your students are safe on the internet, is to install and utilize a good internet filter. Stay informed about the way students use the internet – or try to use the internet – and set up a system that will offer the best protection.