How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

guard   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)Okay kids, you’ve been searching the web for how to get into blocked websites in school, with no luck.  Face it, you’re living in a world where your parents and your teachers want to protect you from the vile and nasty evils that lurk on the Internet. Why?  Are there really child predators hiding in every corner? Is it really critical that you are not allowed to check your Gmail account during your free period at school? The reality is that Internet security “experts” around the globe are taking their jobs just a “tad” too seriously.

A 10 Step Guide on How to Get Into Blocked Websites in School

It’s important every now and then to buck the system.  If you let these security admins have their way, you’ll be blocked from 50 percent of the most useful areas of the Internet. Social networks and email are now valuable and important communication tools. MakeUseOf has done an excellent job covering proxy servers, such as Mark’s article on some legitimate uses for proxies, Linda’s article on how to access blocked websites with proxies, or Ben’s article on 5 methods to bypass blocked sites.  However, in this simple guide, you’ll learn how to set up a simple proxy server on your own home PC that you can access from the school computer in order to use your home Internet access to browse the Internet from school.

Don’t worry, this isn’t some high-level installation guide. I am a Windows geek, but I’m writing this guide for those of you who are not computer scientists, but would still like to figure out the easiest way to get into blocked websites in school. So, let’s get started.

Step #1 – Determine Your IP Addresses

This guide assumes that you have a broadband Internet connection, and that you’re sitting behind a router. Your first order of business is to write down your computer’s local IP address within your home network, and then your router’s IP on the Internet (don’t worry, it’s ridiculously easy).

On the computer that you want to use as your home proxy server, open a command prompt (Start -> Run -> type cmd) and type in “ipconfig.”

ipaddress   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

In my case I have two Ethernet cards, but in your case you’ll likely just see one “IP Address.” Write it down. next, open up a web browser and connect to your router.

Step #2 – Configure Your Router For Port Forwarding

Go into your router admin panel (for Linksys you type the URL 192.168.1.1). You can check the IP address of your router by clicking on the “status” in the admin panel, or you can just visit a site like WhatIsMyIP.

Please note that to access your router you might need a username and password for it. If you don’t know user/pass details for your router chances are they are on default. You can lookup those on sites like CIRT or RouterPasswords.

portforward3   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

Next, you’re going to “poke a hole” in your firewall by enabling port forwarding. For Linksys, this is typically found in the Gaming section under “Port Range Forward.” Just find “port forwarding” for your router and type in any nonstandard port number. In my case I just opened up ports 1085 to 1090 and forwarded it to the IP address that I just looked up using the “ipconfig” command. Save your changes and you’re halfway there!

Step #3: Turn Your Home PC Into a Proxy Server

Now that you’ve just told your router to tell all Internet requests on a specific port to go to your home PC, you’re going to configure your home PC to relay those HTTP requests out through your Internet account. You do this by installing a free proxy server. For your purposes here, FreeProxy by HandCraftedSoftware.org does the trick.  Download FreeProxy and install it to your home PC.

freeproxy4   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

Open up the FreeProxy software and click on the “port.” Set the Protocol to HTTP Proxy, and make the port one that you specified in the router. When you click done, you are ready to start using your new proxy. However, every geek reading this is twitching and their faces are all turning red. Why? Well, you’ve just opened up a virtually unprotected (albeit non-standard) port to the open Internet, and you’re forwarding all HTTP requests through your own Internet connection.  That’s a major no-no.  While you might hate security weenies, when you’re talking about your home PC, a little security is a good thing. Enabling HTTP authentication is a good idea, as is the FreeProxy authentication option.

authentication5   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

With these settings you can configure the proxy to authenticate with your Windows logon id/password, or you can set one within the FreeProxy software itself. Either option is definitely a good idea.

Step #4 – Start Your Proxy Service and Bypass Your School Filters

When you’re happy with all of the FreeProxy settings and security, all you have to do is start up the service and you’re good to go. However, in my case, to prove that the proxy is working properly, I enabled the logging feature.

logging   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

Don’t enable logging normally, because it will consume disk space. However, it’s a great way to see how well the proxy is working (and whether or not your security is working properly).  When you’re ready, just click the “stop/start” option on the main screen.

proxystart   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

Step #5 – Configure the Client Browser

To test out your new proxy server, go to a local library (tip: locate all nearby libraries with public library finder), open up a browser and select options and connections. Configure your LAN connection settings to use a proxy server.

firefox setup61   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

Select manual proxy configuration, and make sure to put the IP address of your router into the “HTTP Proxy” field, and the port you configured into the “Port” field. Now when you use the Internet, you’ll notice that it’s slower. Images on pages will take a bit longer to load, as the data travels through your home PC, and then to your school PC where you’re browsing the net.

slowdown internet   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

Having a slow connection is a small price to pay for being able to access any web page that you want through your own personal proxy that the school firewall won’t know to block. After browsing the net for a while through my own private proxy server, I went to the PC and checked the logs. Sure enough, it had logged every site that I’d visited while connected through the server.

proxylog   How to Bypass Firewalls & Get into Blocked Websites in School or at Work with FreeProxy (Windows)

FreeProxy works quickly and easily, and you’ll have access to a private Internet connection from school or work.

The Battle With Security Goons Rages On

Be aware that the security folks at your workplace or your school will not be content until you have lost all access to the outside Internet world. They will stop at nothing to prevent you from bypassing their firewall. Some corporations modify PC group policies so that users can’t even edit their connection settings. In other cases, they’ve blocked access to proxies that are identified by IP address by blocking all IP addresses in the URL field.  Regardless of their methods, while they continue to block you from checking your Facebook profile, or sending a shout-out to your friends on Twitter, they’ll have no choice but to eventually realize that there’s no harm in it.  IT departments across the world need to wake up and smell the coffee. The Internet is now a necessity – deal with it.

Do you have a favorite proxy server or free proxy software you use to bypass security filters? Share your opinions and tips in the comments section below.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.

95 Comments -

Andy

None of this will work if the security at the school is done properly. Any site serious about security will disallow all traffic from PCs other than too/from an ISP provided proxy.

Ryan Dube

Hey Andy – thanks for your comment. You may be right, but there’s always a way…well almost always. You’re right that a good security guy will plug up most holes. But consider this – using this approach, you can call up a single page that you want to check using the proxy and port followed by the url, such as: http://xx.xxx.xxx.xx:1087/http://www.yahoo.com

That outlines how this works a little better. It doesn’t matter if you go from the schools’ PC to the school’s proxy server, because eventually when you get to YOUR proxy server – you can issue HTTP commands and use your home internet access to visit any blocked site you want.

Try it! :)

secouritygeek

The only way to proxy an SSL connection is by adding a certificate on the client computer with out this the browser would worn the client that the connection might not be secoure

jesse

best thing i found was to find a free webhost that will allow php, and load phproxy onto it. and you will be fine as long as none of you idiot friends starts telling the school about it.

secouritygeek

the admins can see which computer you are doing it from though and can track you down based on that. if you don’t want to get caught you should randomize your MAC address and machine name at each start up. there are also other ways to get caught like using there DNS servers to resolve IPs for sites your not allowed to visit. you should run your own DNS server. another way to get caught is just using an http proxy because without encryption they can still see what you are doing. these are just a few ways you can get caught. I do get around the firewall at places without getting caught but I do it carefully be worwned that this is not my complete list and I am sure that no one including me has a complete list.

2ashishs

Hi Ryan, may be you are right, but i think port forwarding is not an easy job for most people. May be they should have a layer/interface to turn any PC connected to internet into a server. Funny everyone knows about this problem, yet haven’t found a reliable solution to it, that’s free !!

2ashishs

And btw is there any way to bypass blocked ports? (that is without using port forwarding).

secouritygeek

As far as I know it is impossible to bypass blocked ports all you can do is to use another one. As far as port forwarding I think it is a bad idea as mentioned in the article opening ports to the internet is a bad idea the best thing to do is to run your proxy server in virtural machine then put the vitural machine in a DMZ that way you don’t have to expose anything directly to the internet except the virtural machine

Ryan Dube

Thanks Jesse – PHP Proxies are great solutions too. In fact, if your school blocks the web host, you can always install Apache on your home PC and set IT up as a web host and install a PHP Proxy on it. Although that’s another article for another day! Thanks for brining up PHProxy though – great solution too.

Alex

I bypass the firewall in my job by using Glype + PhProxy plugin for firefox and the config for blocking Internet in my work place are very hard, It can’t load youtube video hehehe but is a good way to be free.

Chris

The pain with this is that you have to leave your PC on. Some people don’t mind, but I prefer not to.

Glype and PHProxy are good, but at the time of writing, neither are not working with Facebook. You get a blank page.

From the “5 Methods To Bypass Blocked Sites” article, I have found that UltraSurf works very well and I will give that a try tomorrow at college. :)

Alex

I get slightly irritated by these kinds of posts, I’m employed to stop people getting to web pages they shouldn’t.

This puts you in the group of people responsible for letting our children get to pornography and violence on a school network that we spend tireless hours preventing them getting to.

Get ready to book your children into therapy.

Sanity

OR… we can just communicate with our children and teach them the truth about sex and violence. That way, they learn about it from a trust-worthy source and won’t have as much curiosity to access it in private.

Jim

Yeah, teach them the TRUTH about hardcore German pornography. You really think it’s a good idea to just say “this is what you should know about sex” and let children roam free on the web? You should be ashamed of your ignorance.

sheldon

Thanks for your post. This Geek needs to get the message.

Adam

It is not the geeks responsibility to “teach the children the truth”. It is his responsibility to keep them safe. If some kid meets some creep on the internet while at school, then the school can be held liable. If they want to meet a creep at home, that is mom and dads issue to deal with.

Chris

Two opinions, both valid, so both sides need to stop forcing theirs on the other. Control vs. openness, whatever, but remember – MYOB.

Guy McDowell

Probably the easiest way to circumvent website lock downs is to use TorPark on a USB drive. But as I’ve said many a time, technology is not the issue – policy is. If the school has the policy that you don’t circumvent security, even if the security sucks, and you do it anyway…well, you deserve the consequences. That might include suspension or expulsion. Is it really worth it?

When I write an Internet Acceptable Use Policy, it always states clearly that any contravention of the policy can result in a suspension of IT privileges. Since they need that to do the job, they are effectively relieved of their duties. Just not worth it.

Tina W

TorPark worked so well!

I tried the tutorial and it didn’t work but TorPark worked perfectly, thanks Guy!

sheldon

Thanks for your post. Security issues should be top priority.

Old Codger

What is described will work fine and dandy in most places. However, when one is behind The Great Firewall of China it ain’t going to work. LOL Alternatively, I am not going to mess with them.

A good, free alternative, which will get around The Great Firewall is Hot Spot Shield. http://www.hotspotshield.com/
If it gets around that firewall, it will get around anything there is.

It ain’t easy being me

Eleni

haha thers nothing that will get around this damn firewall if mine at work.. ive tried all of these.. :(

Aikidoka

Before I begin, this is a little OTT, and a little tongue in cheek… (and I accept the main focus of your article was at school use)

Hi, like others above I’m one of the dreaded security guys. Sorry. (unlike some of you I’m actually doing the job I’m paid to do by doing these things)
Securing via firewalls is good but as you can see can be circumvented by some solutions like these.

For all you other security guys out there I recommend “surfcontrol” from Websense.
Ryan’s solution of: http://xx.xxx.xxx.xx:1087/http://www.yahoo.com
Would be stopped by surfcontrol because it also does URL filtering so it would stop access via this method.
(it also detects chat programs and Skype working on any ports)

Looking at hotspotshield it’s similar to using a VPN connection to route your web traffic – simply download it, monitor the IP(s) it uses and block those IPs – Done.

Personally I don’t like the fact people assume it’s their right to access blocked material at work and school etc.
If you’re paid to do a job that doesn’t include surfing the web for unrelated stuff then I suggest you be a professional and do the job you’re paid for.

I feel, especially at work, if you’re blocked from something it’s for a reason. If you can’t wait till the end of the day to see the pictures of your friend’s latest booze-up on facebook or someone’s latest Myspace album then I think there is something wrong.

How to bypass firewalls and blocks – My way:

1) Find you’re blocked from a site at work – while you should be working
2) get up and tell your manager that you’re going home to view these un-work related sites because they’re blocked
3) savour the look on your bosses face as your walk out
4) You might as well stay at home and enjoy more sites while you wait for your P45 to come in the mail.
5) find new job
6) repeat.
:-þ

I agree and disagree with Ryan’s comments of “The Internet is not a necessity – deal with it.”
It certainly is a necessity but that doesn’t mean it is necessary to check your personal email every 10 minutes, your facebook profile every 5 minutes and search for flash games to play whenever you’re bored of work.

If you really want to do what you want – get a blackberry or iphone and play with that until your company introduces a “no mobile” ban.

Aikidoka

germ

@Aikidoaka; And I don’t like that my employer blocks access to certain sites because if NO REASON whatsoever. See it another way: We spend WAAAY too much time at work. We do need to take care of some private business while at work. As long as this is kept within limit, I do believe that it is in out right to do so. Idiotically blocking all or any web sites just because YOU or somebody thinks we shouldn’t need to be looking at them is just arbitrary. I ask you: Does your company block access to some phone numbers? No? Then, why block access to some web sites?

Aikidoka

@Germ, not need specifics but what private business do you conduct at work that isn’t related to work?

I believe if you’re not paying for internet access then you have no right to have access; it is a privilege.

Just as an FYI, we have several public machines at work that are allowed access to sites normally blocked. These are limited to minimise impact on bandwidth etc and are there for use 24/7. Strangely they aren’t very heavily utilised.

Just curious; how would you justify access to, say, movietrailers.org (or similar), or iambroredatwork.com or bored.com?

O and about phone numbers… OF COURSE we BLOCK some phone numbers. We block premium rate numbers to avoid misuse; we block most phones from calling mobiles for the same reason.

Aikidoka

Mark

@Aikidoka – amen…

The rationalization that goes on… I liken it to me walking into a Porche dealer and stealing a 911 justifying it with… “well, if they priced it right, I’d pay”.

Andy

OK, but in that instance the content will still get blocked by the filters at the ISP because their proxy will see the traffic. It might work if you had https connection to your own proxy server but even https traffic can be scanned if you really want to.
Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

Ryan Dube

It’s great hearing from security folks, because there’s always two sides to every story, and it’s good for anyone reading this post to get the point of view of why security guys do what they do. One thing I should have included in the post is the stipulation that if you plan to abuse the Internet, use it excessively or access sites that are obviously harmful – *then* you deserve the consequences. Use common sense. However, I personally don’t think it should be up to security folks to decide what’s right and wrong or whether or not someone can effectively view their job and check their Gmail email account at the same time and stay productive. If a person can’t stay productive, they’ll get fired for not doing their work – it’s not up to security guys to protect people from themselves…although they’ve been convinced by corporations that they have that elite status… :)

With all of that said, I wrote this article mostly for those students who simply want to check email, facebook, or other safe social networks. I trust kids (mostly). When it comes to a corporate network, I don’t see as much of a need to bypass a firewall because, at least I know for me, when I’m at that weekday job it’s just far too busy to do anything else.

The simple fact is – students are desperately searching the web for how to get into blocked websites in school…and the goal here was to offer them a ray of hope. :)

As far as therapy for my kids – I offer them my own trust first. If they abuse that, *then* they lose privileges – not before. And I would never treat them like a dictator, that’s typically the kind of thing that leads to therapy. ;)

Awesome responses guys – I’ve really enjoyed reading these from both sides of the aisle, you guys are great.

Aikidoka

Great reply, thanks.

I agree it’s not up to just the security folk to decide – most of the things I do I do to protect ourselves and the network – Under the company’s rules and guidelines

We don’t, but I’d like to, block personal mail accounts. – Hotmail, Gmail etc.
The reason being is that we already block the use of USB devices to prevent removal of company documents and the ingress of malware. Sadly it’s just as easy to send a personal email with those attachments and you’ve got the same problem :-(

I would add that most of the sites I block are not just “fresh out of the bag” blocks but rather built up over time from previous abuses.

As for elite status.. That’s a perk of the job >:-) hehe

I agree and understand that the article was for kids but the biggest problem I’ve had recently is dealing with these little kiddies who come to work and expect to get away with the same things as they did at school.

O I might add that also in a work environment there are other considerations to bear in mind regardless of what is a allowed or not. For instance, if you host a website for your customers you really don’t want your bandwidth being soaked up by everyone who thinks slacking off is fun.

But as has been mentioned before, great article on how to do this if you ever wanted to.

Maybe some articles on how to better make end users life a misery :-þ (ah just read the BOFH stories for that)

Aikidoka

sheldon

Thanks for your post Aikidoka. I hope the Windows Geek gets the message. The security guys do what they do for a very good reason, but they can’t do it alone.We all have a responsibility, including companies as well.

Victor

Honestly, for both security and those who are bypassing security. I’m surprised neither of you have learned yet. Your efforts are futile, it’s only temporary until a new solution is found on both side. It’s a cat and mouse game.

Instead of blocking people or telling people how to get around blocks, you might want to see why people are going off-task. And see if you can fix that. In fact there was a recent study that found out that people who go off task for a limited amount of time actually performed better. (though the research should be done again just for reliability reasons). Then in that case you could set up a situation where each user could click something to go off task for say 20 minutes for every X hours they work. Though there are those who will always try to screw over the company, part of the problem is the company itself (as my dad told me, if a company is screwing you over and asking you to contribute 110%, is it really a surprise that employees are demotivated?). The other problem is the employee himself/herself (educate them, convince them, etc..)

Or you can do the same and be trapped in the same cycle.. forever.

Just some advice from someone who studies Psychology and has been on both sides of this situation before. ;) [also a former computer science major and IT intern]

Michael Knight

Im sorry, but I find this article Immensely irresponsible.

We teach people to protect networks, information and protect people from porn, viruses and malware. This article explains how to bypass security, put there on purpose, and for children.

What are you trying to do here? Teach kids to be pre pubescent hackers? or boast about some information that you have found online on how to use proxys to make yourself look good?

Either way, teaching people or KIDS to bypass security is wrong and this article should be removed.

But in all fairness, your tactics wont work on most networks like (JANET) as schools are locked down (and for a reason).

I think you, and this site, should think before posting articles like this one.

Ryan Dube

Hey Michael,

Thanks for your comment and you make great points. To answer your question, what I’m trying to do here is answer a question that students from high school through college are searching for (I base articles on the volume of web searches for a topic). Your opinion that freely publishing content is irresponsible is perfectly valid, and like I said you make a very valid point – should all kids have this information, whether or not it works? Will some use it irresponsibly, in other words – to access things other than Facebook or their webmail accounts? That’s possible. However, just as I believe in freedom of speech above all else, I believe in the freedom of the Internet as well.

I think the real debate is not whether networks should be locked down…I think most of the networking/Internet gurus here accept that networks need to be protected from malware/virus/trojan threats and to block blatantly disgusting websites. On the other hand, this article targets those network security admins that take that “protection” to an extreme – and go far beyond that simple task, and they start picking and choosing what content people have a right to see. I’m not talking porn here Michael…we’re talking Facebook and other social networks that are not “pornographic” by any stretch of the imagination.

Is teaching kids to take a stand for their freedom and liberty wrong? Paint me wrong then, my friend. :)

By the way…thanks for reading and responding – I do enjoy the comments immensely, and learn a lot from them as well!

youthworker

All these comments about workplace blocks are off topic from the way the article was written. It specifically addresses students at school. Despite your protestations that you were aiming this at responsible young people wanting to access responsible sites, that is not the tone, or the outcome, of what you describe. “Face it, you’re living in a world where your parents and your teachers want to protect you from the vile and nasty evils that lurk on the Internet.” I can’t see a problem with this- do you? I can’t agree that “there’s no harm in it.”

dman

Security at the schools is a legal requirement as well. I would like to see anyone tell a Minister/Pastor/Deacon etc father of a 10 year old that you had the means to stop the child from visiting pornography and did nothing. I am sure the “we have an AUP and your child should not have visited the site” would go over well. Then, there is the financial aspect of the incident(s). “You allow children to access YouTube videos and Facebook utilizing state owned computers? Is that why you asked tax payers for increased bandwidth to your school system? Looking at your logs, Stupidvideos.com and youtube.com are your top resource intensive sites? And you want the taxpayers to pay for that?”

Ryan Dube

Dman – thanks for your comment. Excellent points. Although – I would ask – who decides, then, what websites the school system should allow and not allow? You and I are both taxpayers, yet we’d likely disagree. So who has that right to control content? Maybe we should remove all Internet access from schools…yes? But then, we limit the student ability to perform research within the school. Quite the sticky wicket, isn’t it? :)

Scott Barbour

As an IT administrator that has worked both for a school and in the private sector, it isn’t as much about the content of the blocked sites as it is the security risks they create. Social networking sites are a major vector for virus infections. I have seen it in action. No anti-virus software is perfect (in fact, more often than not, it only protects against “old” threats.)

It is our responsibility to protect the computers from the users. In the case of the schools, the taxpayers paid for the computers too. The taxpayers also pay us to ensure that the children are staying on task. Any school that completely outsources their proxy systems is doing it wrong though. When I did it for the school I worked for, we had the proxy running on a local server, with a firewall configured to only allow http traffic from the proxy server and redirect all non-proxy originated http traffic to the proxy server. If a student was blocked from a site they needed to access, we would simply unblock the site. Students that have a legitimate reason will speak up about it. Those that don’t quietly go away.

In the private sector, we utilized a different approach. By default, we filtered nothing, and added to a blacklist as needed, which includes a ton of proxy sites now.

Ryan Dube

Scott, thanks for weighing in – it should be noted that there are a lot of organizations and IT Security groups that go about IT Security appropriately, as you’ve described.

Aikidoka

Back again…

I agree a lot with what most people have said – on both sides of the argument.

Talking to and training people is very necessary but unfortunately VERY difficult – you can’t stop people being stupid or gullible.

The biggest problem I have is; what happens if someone wants to hurt the network, company or an individual and the network is in huggy-feely mode? Chances are you’re in serious trouble – TBH Chances are you’re in trouble even with security as it is almost impossible to secure everything completely. As with all trust based systems they are open to abuse.

There have been law suits against individual and companies who allow questionably or illegal material to be on display on public or company computers. If set up right, we hope to minimise that.

I agree with the fact you should trust your children until they abuse that trust but there are limits – I don’t want this to be personal but… what stance do you take if your child is exposed to pornographic images and materials on a school PC because there are no filters or someone has worked out how to bypass the security? Are you (no one in specific, just you the world) going to be ok with it of are you going to raise concerns?

I liked the article TBH because as an IT Professional I saw it, thought it through and was happy in the knowledge that I and my company are protected from this sort of abuse. I also like it because if nothing else it raises the awareness of the need for security and shows how easy it is to bypass general, simple security.

I, like many of you IT guys out there, have not always played by the rules… at school myself I was wagered by the deputy head that “his” security system was soooo advanced that no one could abuse it. 10 minutes later he had a document in his personal drive explaining why he wasn’t so great. (Bear in mind this guy wasn’t an IT pro… he was just suckered in by sales droids)

“As my dad told me, if a company is screwing you over and asking you to contribute 110%, is it really a surprise that employees are demotivated?” – Well we’re not all happy with our jobs, but I can tell you that one of the biggest annoyances to myself and others in my IT department is when we’re giving 110% and you have the average Joe in sales, or the call centre etc giving maybe 70% and spending the other 30% on gossip, sports or trying to get around my security.

As for being able to have time to relax from doing your work on the computer – well there are guidelines for VDU usage – you should get up and walk around regularly to avoid RSI, eye strain, fatigue etc etc… Now I don’t have the guidelines to hand and I’m not 100% sure they are legal health and safety rules (but I think they are) but I see this as valid distractions from work that don’t involve hogging bandwidth, overly distracting people or trying to break the rules.

I do find these types of discussions very interesting and very informative – it lets both sides see each others points of view and maybe helps soften each others views to everyone’s benefit.

Aikidoka

Your school’s Security Goon

Yes, I’m the goon who sets up and administers the proxy server and security on your school network. Why do I do it? Well, your school district accepts federal dollars for funding, so Federal Law requires your district to install content filtering. Although I may or may not want to filter content, your district desperately needs access to federal dollars, so I have to accept the strings that go along with the funding.

Do I unblock sites for students and teachers who need access to educational content? Absolutely! The best part of my day is working with people to improve the educational experience. It’s why I decided to work in education.

So what’s my beef? Education is a collaborative experience, where everyone should be working together to “raise all boats”. The author of the “bypass our technical safeguards” article seems to feel it’s an us-against-them world. I can’t imagine how sad your life must be if you view education in those terms. I recognize that you may have met some people who use technical power as a weapon, but those of us (and we are legion) who truly believe in the power of education would love to help you learn that the best way to overcome an enemy is to make them an ally.

Cheers!

ed

Stop whining admins, check your network configs and stfu. Come correct about costs because majority of the proper tools are free. I thought I was reading some good info, but then realized we don’t allow users to configure these settings (after fighting with my supervisor about settings I wanted blocked. I think of this stuff as job security. THANKS FOR THE ARTICLE!

-Network Admin for a local ISD.

S

My college blocks online gaming, so we use your freedom and sockscap. Works excellently.

itmaster

If your IT manager is only managing blacklists, he is incredible stupid. This process will not work on a large enterprise. It is hard to believe some schools and enterprises keep their ports wide open.

Admin

To all who bypass traffic through proxies:

You’re as good as caught the minute your school/work’s admin looks at the logs. Everything is logged. Including the 500mb of data passing back and forth from your home’s IP every hour on port 1087.

Ed Vim

Ryan, I’m sorry but I have to disagree with all your arguments that students have any rights whatsoever to use online access for personal reasons. I’ve been a contractor at a Chicago Public school and there is absolutely no way you can tell me that kids have the judgment skills to decide for themselves what may or may not fall under ‘educational’. There are even teachers that complain that they can’t get to site ‘…xyz…’ when it has nothing to do at all with any school related topic or function (and thankfully those are a very small minority as most recognize the massive problems if there wasn’t any filtering and monitoring). Your article is very good, with step-by-step instructions and good explanations but you’re simply rationalizing its usefulness by subtle suggestions of ‘evil admins’ along with the illusion all the kids are being denied their civil rights. A student might try to justify why it’s so important to get to his/her Facebook page, just like you’re trying to justify posting this article, but the reality is they are there for more important reasons than mind-candy web surfing. As a tech support person I feel very, very lucky not to be in a position like a teacher — little support from administration, indifferent parents, increasing paperwork/documents/senseless testing, and articles like yours so the kids can create more fuel for the fire. You obviously have never been in a position where you have over 30 kids in a computer lab trying to maintain control and still teach a lesson plan. (And I’ve lost count of how many people have said they would ‘know how to get those kids to quiet down.’ Yeah, right.) I’m sorry if I seem harsh, and while there are a number of sources for similar information, it galls me a bit to read your justifications, they just don’t have any basis in reality. Simply, the students are not in school for free online access. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube are for their own, personal time.

Ryan Dube

Thanks Ed – you make an excellent case for the need to regulate when students access personal sites. My question to you then, is that if there is decent control over the pornographic/violent/obvious sites that shouldn’t be accessed, and there comes a time in the day when a student has a free period where they would like to unwind by reading blogs, posting comments on their friends’ Facebook “wall,” or chatting with a friend from across the world – would you have a problem with that? We’re talking during those free periods where, at least when I was in school, students had an hour or so to take a break – many were even allowed to just go outside and chill out on the lawn for an hour. So – what’s the harm?

Common Sense

Dear “Ed Vim”,

I couldn’t agree with you MORE. You have some of the best, most rational comments on here.

Finally, an adult with some intellect. Amen!

“Ryan Dube”,

Someone shoule BAN you from posting your garbage, and your enabling of CHILDREN to break the rules.

Wonder what would happen if someone did something extreme with the knowledge that your are providing? Nobody ever said that children were dumb or incapable, that’s for sure! What you are teaching these kids is WRONG and you full-well know it.

Through your advisement, someone could potentially do something harmful or be subjected to something harmful by by-passing that which has been purposely firewalled or blocked, and then what? If something were to go wrong, and after the “fall-out”, it managed to all fall back on you – then what would you say? Huh? Keep in mind, you are the “enabler” here.

I don’t know what kids would do with all their “free-time” at school if they didn’t have computers and the internet!
I mean, OMG, how did any of us survive without them?!

Give me a break…

Dan

I feel as though most of the comments here consider teens unable to think rationally. I personally whole-heartedly agree with bypassing firewalls and blocked site, partly because I’m a high-schooler and because I don’t think its right.

Dan

I feel as though most of the comments here consider teens unable to think rationally. I personally whole-heartedly agree with bypassing firewalls and blocked site, partly because I’m a high-schooler and because I don’t think its right.

It seems that most of the poster’s here think we are stupid enough to view illicit things if given the ability. How many people do you think would try to look at porn during class with a teacher patrolling the isles or in the school library during their lunch where teachers also for the most part patrol.
It just wouldn’t work out. Now I don’t have a facebook but i know most people that do would have a hard time picking up a virus that something like spysweeper couldn’t handle, so for the most part that problem is out of the equation.
Now the main reason I would do bypass security measures would be simply to read updates on some games maybe visit some blogs or read forums or comments on sites like this. No real harm in that right, and once again a decent virus blocker can handle a bad link if i happen to click on one.
However i cant because my school goes a step father than what is discussed on this post. We have a list… a list of pages that we can visit anything else wont fly. However that is for the first floor of the library only. The laptops and second floor of computers have standard blockers. Also all of my library computers have “Visionclient” a program allowing the head librarian to see what every other computer is seeing. The laptops do not have this, however as mentioned before teachers patrol the room when classes are given permission to use these, and also changing of any internet settings is not possible on any of the computers
The internet’s settings and configurations are admin only, we can not even use tabs or open the desktop start menu… complete lock down

But back to original topic, adults give us a little more credit, the majority of us aren’t retarded and we grew up with computers it isn’t that hard to tell what is malware or spyware. just prohibit downloading freeware programs and set up an anti-spyware program. I for one (with the help of spysweeper) have yet to have a virus on my computer and admittedly anyone who can’t cope with those restrictions really needs help, or shouldn’t be in school.
We just need to be able to access some info and wind down during our free/lunch periods

Ryan Dube

Thanks for speaking up Dan – I was wondering when a few teens might weigh in on the discussion. ;)

Tsudohnimh

I’m incensed by the last paragraph of this article that frames IT Security as scrooges with out a cause. It is ignorant to think that security people block sites b/c they want to. There is always either a mandate from management or security concern that causes sites to be blocked.

Oh the horror of preventing users from modifying their network settings or wasting resources on non work activities.

Any decent firewall and network properly configured with detect and block this proxy or prevent you from configuring it in the first place.

I’d love to have all my users allowed to do anything they want but guess who they call when they are infected or unable to work b/c they changed something.

Was this article written by a 13 year old? Give me a break I’ll return to the real world now.

Tsudohnimh
KnowtheNetwork.com

Ryan Dube

I am an IT guy and an EE guy, I’ve supported PC’s for years, and I’m seeing an epidemic problem on the IT Security side of things (33 years old if you must know). IT Security (in many institutions – not all) are taking security to a level where it should not go, nor does it need to go. These days, even legitimate IT staff, experts in their respective computer fields, are getting blocked from modifying PC settings. That’s how bad it’s become.

The funny thing is, this article was written partially tongue-in-cheek – because I’d personally never use the tactics described. I have no need to – I’m far too busy trying to get around the new PC “security” settings to support the computer applications I’ve written for my clients to spend any time surfing the web. But when I saw the volume of students looking for respite from the IT Security epidemic – I realized someone needs to point out the elephant in the room.

Yes, block porn – duh. Yes, block obvious malware and spyware – that’s obvious too. But blocking certain social networks or websites/blogs because you deem them non-productive? Excuse me, but guess what – we’re in an era today where social networks are extremely productive. Business colleagues around the world use chat, forums and other social network tools to work and collaborate from locations around the world.

When you are considering security initiatives and priorities – consider the things that people need to realistically do in order to remain productive. What I’ve personally found, where I work, is that IT Security has made my job, and many of the jobs of people around me, far LESS productive.

By the way – where does it stop? What if “Christian” sites are deemed inappropriate because they should not be viewed by computer systems supported by tax-payers. Shoot…we should put all Christian websites on the “blacklist” shouldn’t we? What about websites that deal with Christmas, Easter, etc… Sorry kids…can’t research the Christmas holiday from school – we can’t support it with taxpayer dollars.

It’s a slippery slope when you deem yourself important enough to decide what content is appropriate (beyond the obvious porn/violent/etc sites).

In the end though, these days will also come to an end, just as other eras of IT have. These “little troublemakers” who “whine” when they can’t get to their Facebook pages will, very soon, be the CEO, CIO and Presidents of these corporations. That’s the “real world,” and it’ll become a reality around about the time “old-school” IT admins are due for retirement anyway.

But you know we love you guys. Just lighten up, will ya? ;)

JTWestside

I’ve always found that companies who deploy draconian internet blocking policies akin to what Aikidoka describes in his first post are the type of companies who also has very weak management and very little trust/respect for their employees. Would you rather have happy employees who occasionally check their personal email and bank account or unhappy emps who sit politely at their desks and twirl their thumbs?

I currently work for a company where the written policy is limited personal use. And they do employ websence to block Flickr and myspace and facebook (not that I care). But I’m guessing it’s a cost/bandwidth saving measure and to keep you from seeing the occasional boob on flickr. The ironic thing id that most in our organization work from home and VPN in so I could have my personal laptop up looking at those very same things anyway.

I also find it very ironic that Aikidoka is probably posting from work at this very moment.

The bottom line is that if you have employees who are not getting their work done this needs to be addressed by management (writeup/fired) not some sweeping policy. This doesn’t matter if they are weaving baskets or surfing the net.

RB

The security at my school is out of control – students and teachers alike are fed up with it. I like to affectionately refer to my school days as “foreign exchange”; it feels like we’re living under the reign of English-speaking Chinese for 6 hours a day.
The security here is a hindrance, constantly blocking websites teachers request to have unblocked, or just randomyl blocking websites. My music class has a blog, that my teacher specifically asks to have unblocked since some students have dial-up (myself included) and he uploads videos, but every week it’s blocked at school again. My design teacher constantly sends us tutorials that she found on deviantArt, so we end up with an entire period and no lesson to complete. Google Images is also blocked, so we can’t complete projects that are required during one period. My computer programming teacher referred us to a site that helps us define terms used in the industry, (www.techdictionary,com) and the next project we had that required definitions it was blocked. Why?

I have NO idea.

Do you? Why should this website be blocked? Do any of you security guys have a legitimate answer to this?

JTWestside

“Why?”

My guess would be because of this http://www.techdictionary.com/games/index.html

Not that it’s warranted mind you. But some peon somewhere (probably at websence) found that they have flash game and thought “we can’t have the little monkeys playing flash games!”

H@ck3R

you people are all off topic and by the time that a kid reads this evwerything is blocked SO you should get back on topic and find a new way around the firewall

JTWestside

The whole point is that maybe you should be attacking the policy that put the firewall in place instead of the firewall itself. OR STFU and GBTW! :-)

H@ck3R

I tried that dont work they shut me down faster then a full auto

this is the only way let the new dawn begin

Ed Vim

Hello Ryan:
This is all turning into quite an interesting discussion. To expand on one of the previous commentators posting on the ‘us vs. them’ mentality, that’s an unfortunate tool some people are using to make their point. Content filtering is not some kind of ‘Big Brother’ experiment for IT admins to play with, it’s not some kind of ego trip either. There are very real and clear problems with letting people have free, unrestricted online access. Dan made a comment about how a number of the other comments where making the assumption that teenage kids can’t be trusted to make good decisions and looking back at my previous post I may have alluded to that myself as a blanket statement. My apologies. To be clear, the problem can always be centered on a one or a small group that instigate a situation. So no, it’s most definitely not ALL teenagers, but it only takes one to kick off an avalanche of problems. Most of the kids I see are incredibly inciteful and inventive, more so than I remember being when I was their age.

Anyway, I want to re-emphasize a point that was also brought up in another comment — in order to receive Federal funding, all nonprofits, libraries, schools, etc. must have some kind of content filtering in place. Unfortunately bypassing filters and firewalls is a big joke for a some people, but once you grow up and have kids of your own, hopefully your viewpoints on some things will change. Public access computers are often in situations where many different people use them. Some are young kids where porn might be an issue. Some might be of a different race or religion so your favorite ‘white power’ site might be offensive to them. The fact that so many people think they are entitled to whatever they want is disheartening, the lack of a sense of ‘community’ is disappointing. If you want to bittorent GBs of porn, or music, or warez games, that should be done on your own time, on your own computers, that you, or your parents, are responsible for.

And Ryan, no I don’t care, and it’s really none of my business, what the kids do on their own time. But I still have to disagree with you about the value of social network sites on school time. It’s my belief that there are so many other fundamentals – reading, writing, math are just a few – that are much more important. If you spent any time in a classroom today, you’d see there is a very limited amount of time a teacher actually gets to ‘teach’. Also, in a public school situation, something this country once had a great edge over other nations, everything was based on the idea of accommodating the lowest common denominator. All kids were entitled to an education, no matter what their race, color, religion, or in this discussion, those with computer skills and those without. Lately, we’ve been drifting backwards into a tiered educational system, and the Digital Divide is a major factor. Something that people like us should not ignore.

Well, thanks for letting these comments continue. Sorry if I let my comments move too far away from the topic of your FreeProxy tutorial.

Common Sense

Dear “Ed Vim”,

Again… very well put. Appears we think a lot alike.

Perhaps we are the only real grown-ups posting on here amongst the children?

LOL

jonah

big brother is watching and geeks are busting all the time !!
A lot of kids know more than the parents and often more than some admins at school or work ! There is so much they can find on the net , they can text on the go , omg they have their own language !!

sunate

Wow im a high school student im 16. i havent seen any disscusion like this before lol really interesing. Anyways i think you guys need to learn that just as much as u guys we love to read our meassages and actually enjoy what little bit of school free time we have. anyways ty ryan ima go home tonight and set up the proxy thing on my computer. also im a internet coder for websites on my home free time so non of this is new lol.

ZeroCool

You guys are really missing the point. While you can use TOR or a home proxy or any of these items, to get you to your pages you can just use VNC, GoToMeeting, WebEx, NetMeeting or LogMeIn and they are all free, don’t require open ports and normally are not monitored because they use port 80 which even when the traffic is scanned it only shows web traffic to thier site.

himanshu

We can use Yauba.com to open a banned websites.

mimi

rite well how do ya go on 2 start and den run i dont understand how 2 do it

does any1 hav anysites to get onto bebo id be very thanful!!!!!

mi mi xoxoxoxo

Jeff

I surf at work with Freedur.com and watch Youtube. I can read my gmail too. It rocks ! So simple to use and so powerful.
You even don’t need to install it.

Pranay Sanghavi

anything for mac users?
i have windows at office, but macbook at home.. both r always online, but pretty much useless, since after i go home i dont feel like using web, and while i’m at office, i cant even if i want to.

Rose

mmm, we don’t have access thru the internet except secured sites and other important sites too. but even if we’ll be given the access, i still won’t have to surf the net because i have work to do.

how stupid the management is how many safe sites are blocked.

if an employee is motivated enough, the hell with facebook and everything else? i need my salary and bonus, teehee!

Common Sense

First of all, I think this entire topic is very interesting. I think that it’s great that this gentleman is telling kids how to get around a firewall and use their home internet access to break the rules. This is called “life” folks! No matter what one person does, another can (or will figure out a way to) UNdo it! However, none of this workaround stuff is necessary, if people would just wake up and use a little common sense.

Boy, I’m not sure how I ever got through schooling without the internet. I mean really, OMG! I must be a social outcast! Yeah, ok… whatever! Except for research purposes only, CHILDREN have no business being on the internet during school. What they do at home on the internet, on their own time is up to them and their parents. Perhaps if we taught this way, then once they grew up to be adults, they would continue such good behavior practices into their jobs. DUH!

Before I continue, let me tell you a little about myself. I’m a successful 33 yr. old college educated businessman. I allow my employees to use the internet whenever they need to, which is actually not very often. I expect the best from everyone I employ, as often as they can. I treat them all well, (good pay, good benefits, am pleasant to talk to – my door is always open to talk to them), and in return, they work hard for me and are productive. I have no problems with theft or with abusive internet practices. A little common sense goes a long way. Many businesses these days seem to lack that.

Ok, so back to the topic of internet access in schools…

Look, the bottom line is this – The internet SHOULD BE BANNED for all children’s use from grades K-12. Not just parts of it, but ALL of it with SOME exceptions.

Now, wait before you freak out about what I’m saying here, and continue to read on…

Exceptions should be for when research is being done in the library, for when children are using a computer in a classroom setting where the teacher is using the internet as a learning tool, and for internal e-mails. Nothing more.

Sorry, but all this social network crap, porn, messaging, and any other obvious sites that children need not be on should be blocked for all children while at school. Cellular phone use and “texting” should also be completely banned during school. Cellular phones should not be allowed to be turned on during the regular school day. If anyone disagrees with that concept, then I’m sorry, but you are nothing but a fool. Children are in school for one purpose, and that is to LEARN. They are not in school to be talking on a phone, texting, chatting, you tubeing, facebooking, or any other such nonsense.

E-mails should only be with internal accounts set up by the school system, and NOT via yahoo, hotmail, or any other webmail accounts. That’s right, limiting e-mails to internal school use only, and not the “outside world”. This would greatly limit unnecessary e-mails that have nothing to do with education, although I realize there would still be some, it would be substantially minimized. The sole purpose for e-mails in school should be for student/teacher interaction, for student-to-student interaction, and nothing more.

Aside from doing research or limited e-mail contact, there is absolutely no reason that kids should have any additional internet access during school. None. Period.

NOW, on the topic of internet use in the workplace:

From then on out, once you have graduated from High School with a diploma, you are now an ADULT and should be made to use your OWN brain and make ADULT DECISIONS. Time to be a grown-up folks, so start acting like one!

Banning adults from ANY sort of internet use is just utterly and completely assenine.

Want people to not screw off at work? That’s really simple. Fire them if they are screwing off! Hire people that have some intellect and know the difference between right and wrong.

Secondly, allow employees to use the internet for their personal use during their lunchtime. You are paying for it either way, so what’s the difference? (NONE.)
Many people need to pay bills online or e-mail a family member or friend. Nothing wrong with that if you are doing it off company time.
To be completely honest, the truth is, if you are staying productive, I couldn’t care less even if you did some outside internet usage ON company time, as long as it was kept to a minimum.

The problem is, people like to abuse EVERYTHING. Give an inch, they take a mile. It seems to be human nature for the vast majority. That is why BANS are put into place in the first place – CONTINUED ABUSE, WITHOUT CONSEQUENSES.

Personally, I would highly recommend this: Have a company policy that fully details all internet usage while on the job. Have a system that you can easily periodically “police” the separate employee accounts for abuse. If an employee is found abusing the system, visiting sites on company time that have nothing to do with the job, then sit them down and talk to them. Give them a warning. Let them know that if they continue to break company policy, they will be fired.
Then, if they continue to break policy – just FIRE THEM!
This isn’t rocket science people!

Treat your employees with respect and trust. Treat them fairly. You will be amazed how well they will reciprocate.

Shit on your employees, be dictator-like, be paranoid of them and act like they are all out to steal from you or do things they shouldn’t, and they will stick it to you!

You will find in life that most people give what they get. If a person gets crapped on, expect crap in return. Treat your employees like one of the family, expect (and receive) their best!

Good luck and god bless.

Dan

Common Sense stop acting so arrogant, the need to filter and block websites on school property is minuscule. Sure we may not need to to be able to visit or read blogs social sites or even sites like this, It’s a luxury sure… but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be allowed to use it. You going to take away air conditioning next?

One of the only reasons i feel the need to argue this topic is when I’m given 45 minutes of free time at school with access to computers and internet i expect to be able to use it as i wish as long as it isn’t harming the computer or anything else.

In terms of internet access we deserve the same rights you allow your employees, unrestricted access to the web. Albeit if doing something outlandishly inappropriate sure you can kick us off or something but for the most part unrestricted access.

And i don’t know why you even brought up the topic of texting. Imagine this, Your employees are able to finish their work in 3/4 of the time you expect them to take, however they are forced to sit there in their office until that last 1/4th of time ends, wouldn’t it be acceptable for them to do a leisure or social activity.

Texting in class works in much the same way. For a certain amount of students we can easily manage the work load handed to us or pick up the point of the lesson well within the time constraints of the class/school day. And before you say anything while i doze or sleep instead of text in class (or doodle or just talk) I’m in honors classes don’t take notes and consistently get B’s and A’s. So I’d be able to text while going to school to LEARN as you put it and still excel while expanding or strengthening my social network which is useful and an incredibly important skill in the business world.

I understand that texting during a teacher’s class could be considered offensive to the teacher but since so is talking and you didn’t mention that i will assume that was not the arguing point you were using.

And oh also, the whole “The problem is, people like to abuse EVERYTHING. Give an inch, they take a mile. It seems to be human nature for the vast majority. That is why BANS are put into place in the first place – CONTINUED ABUSE, WITHOUT CONSEQUENSES.”

True to an extent, we do abuse some things. While i can’t speak for others the main reason i try to bypass internet security is not really to view sites i want to (Though a nice benefit indeed). It is to say i beat it, I try to beat it because it is banned and I’m not a fan of the oppression. Similar to the way there are more drunk driving accidents with teens in the US than in countries where there is no drinking age or it is very young.We get a thrill not only from the booze but because its not allowed so we go out of our way to do it. If internet restrictions were lifted maybe we wouldn’t try to abuse it so much… Just a thought. ~Dan a.k.a. Dpldogs

Common Sense

Dan,

I’m really not being arrogant, just stating some good common sense. Sorry if I come across that way, but sometimes a little over confidence and certainty is needed to get a point across.

About school… What I’m saying is that children don’t need to be on the computer during school unless it is for educational purposes. Period. Sorry if you don’t feel that way, but that’s why I’m an adult and you are still a child. I know what’s best for you, and you still do not. That’s how it works. Ok, now if children want to be on the computer (internet) at home or outside of school, that’s perfectly fine with me. However, it is then up to the child’s parents as to how they regulate their kid’s internet useage.
Since MY tax dollars pay for the computers and internet use at schools, my children do not need to be exposed to the unregulated/unrestricted internet at school unless it is for educational use only. I do not want other entities allowing the open and unrestricted use of the internet to my children. You will find that the MAJORITY of responsible adults have the same feelings as do I.

I actually give my kids a lot of freedom and basically free roam of the internet when they are at home. It’s called trust. I do monitor their useage on occassion. If they violate that trust, then I put down restrictions. For the most part, we have no problems. Again, at school, they are there to be learning and doing as they are instructed. Not to be free roaming the internet or playing with cellular phones.

Secondly, comparing air conditioning to the internet is a rediculous analogy. Please use a better analogy and try again. (By the way, who had air conditioning in school?) Modern day kids have so much handed to them that it’s crazy. It’s called SPOILED. We certainly didn’t have A/C in our schools, and in fact, they still don’t.
I really suppose it depends upon where you live, whether or not it is justifiable to have A/C in schools or not. Areas like Florida or Arizona or the like certainly would need A/C.
Regardless, air conditioning is not the topic here. Regulated internet useage is. But before we get back on topic, I want to say a few things about “texting”.

Dan, in regards to your opinion on texting, and I quote:

“And i don’t know why you even brought up the topic of texting. Imagine this, Your employees are able to finish their work in 3/4 of the time you expect them to take, however they are forced to sit there in their office until that last 1/4th of time ends, wouldn’t it be acceptable for them to do a leisure or social activity.”

Well Dan, the answer to your above question is NO. It would NOT be acceptable for an employee to do a leisure or social activity while they are on company time – EVER. If you think that it should be acceptable, then you are in for a rude awakening once you get out in the real world. No well run company with any business sense is going to pay someone to screw off and waste time. Sorry.

Texting was brought up because it is basically a form of internet and communication that is totally unnecessary, particularly for children. As for texting or any other social networking nonsense, my employees are not allowed to do any of that during company time. I pay them to work for me, not to play around socializing. My employees know that our work is never done, and that if they complete one task, then it’s on to the next. If they somehow manage to get caught up with their work, that’s great, but there is always something they can be doing to earn their wages besides playing around on the internet or on their cell phone. I don’t care if it’s cleaning their desk or sweeping the floor.
Additionally, I would be more than happy to find them something more to do with their new found “free-time” if they came and asked me. Employees like that show initative and those hard-working people are the ones that get promoted. Certainly NOT those that play on the internet or are texting all the time. (They wind up fired.) If internet or cell phone use is that important to them, and their work is truly complete with nothing more to do, then they need to contact me and find out what else they can or should be doing with their time. If I have nothing more for them to do, at that point, they are more than welcome to punch out for the day and leave the workplace to go play with their internet or cell phones.

An employee should realize however, that if their leaving the job became commonplace, I’d find more work for them, or if that was not practical, then I’d find a way to completely eliminate their position because clearly it is not needed if they continually run out of work with nothing to do. However, that would be an internal management issue that I would certainly deal with. By the way, I can assure you that running out of work rarely, if ever, happens.

The bottom line is that in the business world, we do not and will not pay for others to play around – using the internet, texting, or whatever. That would just be foolish and very bad for business.

I’m happy to hear that you are a scholar. That is good. Keep up the good work and with any luck you will go places in life. However, you will find that the majority of people are not top scholars. Outside distractions are not welcome in school environments, or even in work environments to be quite honest. Additionally, your “social networking” that you cherish so dearly, can wait. There is nothing that any child must do on the internet or on a cell phone DURING THE SCHOOL DAY that can’t wait until the end of the school day. NOTHING. Sorry, but it’s just a fact.

I’m not a fan of any type of “oppression” either. However, you must understand this. Under the age of 18, you are a child. As a child, you have LIMITED to NO rights. That is a fact of life. Deal with it. Your parent or guardian is the one that is in charge of making decisions FOR you. Yeah, I know that sucks, as I was a kid once too ya know. But that’s called LIFE. Deal with it. Life’s not fair. Most adults are looking out for their children’s best interests. (I realize not all adults are good parents.) Allowing free use of the internet and cell phones to children is a really BAD idea, and should be regulated/limited and in some cases, yes, banned.

Additionally, you should realize that things that are made illegal or banned or policies are set for you to follow for a reason. They are all one thing – rules. If a person is to break those rules, be aware, there will very likely be consequences. More often than not, you will not like those consequences! Whether it is hacking on a computer, or drinking underage, or stealing money or goods from someone… sooner or later you will get caught, and you will be punished. The sooner you take personal responsibility for your actions and grow up, the better. You can then avoid any wrongdoing and save yourself from punishment(s). Most everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. It’s whether or not you choose the right decision or not that will dictate your future.

Once out of school and grown up, you will have plenty of time to make the phone and internet access companies rich with all of the internet and social networking crap. Let me assure you, none of it is NECESSARY for the business world. Business’s that profit from the internet and cell phones have forced these things into society and strive to make them necessary, but they really are not.
A perfect analogy to get my point across would be cigarettes/tobacco. Tobacco companies force it on the public, make it available and affordable, once you are “hooked” (both by the nicotine and the psychological effect) they’ve made it so that the person feels like they cannot live without it. But anyone can, and many people do. Same goes for the internet and cellular phones.

There is a time and a place for everything. During school hours and the learning process, there is no place for unregulated internet or any form of personal cellular phone use. Same goes for most all business during the workday.

‘Nuff said.

Common Sense

One last thing I did want to mention… I’m not an IT guy, so I’m not up on how they put internet website restrictions in place. I have found myself, that all too often there are many valid websites that are blocked for no particular reason. More often than not, these sites should not be blocked.

How to fix this issue? Well in my opinion it’s simple. Every school/business should have an e-mail set up for students/employees to send websites to that they feel should not be blocked.

Then, an “IT god” (as they often think of themselves) can go through the e-mails and allow access to those sites where a valid arugment is made or where the site clearly doesn’t fit the restrictions set forth by school/company policies. In time, things would greatly improve for everyone.

But hey, what do I know?

LOL, If you think things suck here, just be glad you don’t live in a Communist Nation.

Have a good one folks!

sam

I dont ussually reply to posts,but this seems like a vey good exception.

common sense, just cos u didn’t have somethings when u were a kid, doesn’t necessarily mean it is bad or unnecessary, what was probably a luxury at “YOUR TIME” need not be the same at present.

Your perfect analogy- “A perfect analogy to get my point across would be cigarettes/tobacco. Tobacco companies force it on the public, make it available and affordable, once you are “hooked” (both by the nicotine and the psychological effect) they’ve made it so that the person feels like they cannot live without it.”, is not even close to being perfect, cos to a person who is using cigarettes/tobacco there are no positive effects or aspects, while with internet an cellular phones the positive aspects heavily outweigh the negative aspects.

On your
“I’m an adult and you are still a child. I know what’s best for you, and you still do not. That’s how it works”.

If it was working, do you think we would even be having this discussion.I respect the fact that ” U might actually care”, but that doesn’t make u right in deciding what is needed an not, cos u will be deciding based on your experiences tat are at least 2 to 2 an a half decades old.

I agree porn an violent sites should be blocked but social networking sites???

“Boy, I’m not sure how I ever got through schooling without the internet. I mean really, OMG! I must be a social outcast!”
In your schooling days that might not be true… but at present it almost always is.At an age wher everyone is talking about freedom of speech, an freedom in the internet. How can u or the IT gods hired by you, decide which sites we are allowed access or not.

Also your comparison of school an your job place/company for everything seems not only absurd but also very lame. cos you yourself keep emphasizing the difference between us kids an adults.

Lastly,
“Yeah, I know that sucks, as I was a kid once too ya know. But that’s called LIFE.”

I am not trying to be rude or anything but just cos your childhood sucked doesn’t mean our should too…

Dan

To start off this is my last comment, i’ll read what you put but i will not respond. Just saying.

Now I used the adjective arrogant because you seem to think you know what is right absolutely and anything else is just pointless or falls to your unfaltering logic. quote incoming

“I’m an adult and you are still a child. I know what’s best for you, and you still do not. That’s how it works”

I like to think I’m self aware and know what is good for me at least when it comes to internet.

As you pointed out we don’t need internet sure i agree i said it was a luxury. Doesn’t mean we CAN’T have it though as long is it doesn’t inconvenience anyone i don’t see why it should be restricted if anything having to monitor the filters and pay for an IT God is the inconvenience.

and just to say Dan goes to a private school where your tax dollars don’t pay for my internet and computers my parents pay for it and they trust me enough to not have to spy on me and i respect them and am very grateful to have their trust.

Back to no texting on company time… Yea i admit not the perfect analogy but i would leave school and text so its not on “company time” and most of your employee’s can leave when they are done… Students cant we are forced to sit and wait we can’t leave because trust me if we could we would. And no student is going to ask for any more work because there is no promotion to look forward to and if we can grasp the idea’s put forth in class why waste paper ink and time while cramping our hands repeating something we already understand.

Also you mentioned that anything can wait until we are outside of school. Once again i agree that is true but why wait if we don’t have to with the extra 1-2 hours i spend doing or learning nothing in school for every day. I could do a hell of a lot of stuff, but people seem to think they know more than the people actually forced to go through said experiences.

My last comment on your post has to do with this quote
“you will have plenty of time to make the phone and internet access companies rich with all of the internet and social networking crap.” Considering that internet and phone usage is payed for on a monthly subscription, so whether i use it or not i get charged Might as well get my monies worth. Isn’t that something business’ do rent a vehicle or something do as much as you can with it in the allotted time so you get the most for your money.

Well those are my points and i really wish you wouldn’t blatently claim you know whats best for me… Maybe some teenagers without Common Sense (lol) but you should never generalize like that and assume you know everything for all people under 18

~Dan

Common Sense

Glad so many kids today feel so independent, but under the law, if you are under 18, you are still children. Some of the opinions and comments you guys have made prove why you are still children.

Like it or not, children should not have unlimited access to everything. Our society runs on rules, laws, and regulations. It’s just a fact of life.

As I previously pointed out, restrictions are part of life. You’ll have to deal with them, or face the negative consequences.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t like some of the rules and laws on the books either, but I have learned that I have to tolerate them and obey them. Why? Because ultimately, I will be the one to suffer in the end.
For example, I dislike speed limits on most highways. After many years of disobeying many speed limits, I’ve spent exorbitant amounts of my money in fines and fees and such. I’ve finally decided that whether I like it or not, I’m going to have to obey the laws, because the consequences are just not worth doing it my way, no matter how much I think that they are wrong.

By the way, in regards to Sam’s comment about my childhood sucking… Quite on the contrary, my childhood was perfectly fine – AND, I did not have internet or cell phones, as they didn’t even exist yet – THANK GOD! There was no way to “track my every move”. (Anyone who disagrees with that is delusional and only kidding themselves.) Nothing worse than having a leash around your neck! (That’s exactly what a cell phone is.)
We had school sports and friends, brothers & sisters, video games, farm work, bicycles, atv’s, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and later on cars & trucks, as well as tons of other things to do to utilize our time. My family did not grow up glued to some computer, wasting our time, minds and bodies away.

“Social networking” is nothing but a complete waste of time and as I stated before, it is a great way to make the internet and phone companies rich. Sam, most of what you said in your rebuttal to my comments is exactly why you children shouldn’t have so much “free time” to waste your minds. Most of your comments were nonsensical and didn’t make any good points at all. At least with Dan, his thoughts were better thought out and he presented some more reasonable arguments.

To all children in school… instead of sitting on your butts and texting, surfing the web, or whatever, try getting off your asses during your lunch breaks after you’ve eaten, and go play sports or some sort of physical activity with the rest of your allotted time. Don’t tell me you can’t. Also, why not try socializing with people in your school IN PERSON, and not on some damned computerized device? During your “study hall” periods, try actually doing your homework or studying – now there’s a concept! You could even try reading a book, magazine, whatever if you have completed all of your homework assignments already.

Like it or not guys, here in the real world, you aren’t always going to get your way. There’s a reason that 18 is the age of minors – maturity. Yes, I’m aware that some people mature sooner, and some later. Unfortunately, our world tends to operate in black and white. Yet, there are grey areas in many aspects of life. I would have to say that school internet access is one of those grey areas currently set in black and white. Unfortunately, for everyone, many programs tend to ban unnecessary websites. I agree it is an imperfect system, but for now that’s the way it is. There’s no sense fighting it, or purposely breaking the rules through work-arounds, because you are only wasting your time, and setting yourself up for punishment. Is it really worth it? Nope. Adults have decided that you don’t need access to certain things at certain ages, and that’s just life.

Additionally, you kids can continue to fight regulations and restrictions all you want, but in the business world, people (adults) are not going to tolerate unnecessary internet or cell phone use. If you think that’s the case, then you are in for a rude awakening and you will likely not be able to hold a job as you will be fired repeatedly.

I have watched several of my friends’ children get fired for foolishly using their cell phones (mini-computers) for texting, “social networking”, internet and other uses while on the job. Pretty stupid, but we see it more and more from the younger generations, and it is completely unacceptable in the working world.

I sure wish more parents would limit cellular phone use with their children, as it is the primary reason for so many problems that are created in their future employment. The bad habits formed growing up (and while in school) are typically continued into their future adulthood employment and therefore lead them to many unnecessary problems.

Unfortunately, many adults are lousy parents in this day and age, and have little to no control over their children. Sad, but true.

Anyhow, I wish you all well. Remember, breaking the rules has consequences. Think for a minute – is it really worth it? – Probably not.

Name

Whoever you are, you need to shut up (common sense). You are clearly stuck in one frame of mind, and no healthy arguments can come forth from it. You’ve already stated your point, but it’s as if you’re reading without actually listening, because you return with the same thing.

Personally, I think you need to loosen up with the whole ‘rules’ analogy because if the rules were always followed, nothing would change, and if nothing changed, society wouldn’t progress, and deviance(not crime) is what society thrives on. However, you might not want to let go of your ‘rules’, so then just bear in mind that everyone is not you. They can’t live and be satisfied with everything you are okay with, they weren’t conditioned like you, or brainwashed (don’t worry, everyone is really) with the same morals/perceptions/ideas so you can’t expect them to see everything in your light.

And that line, “I’m an adult and you are still a child. I know what’s best for you,
and you still do not. That’s how it works”, just for that, no one should read whatever else you have to say. FYI, that’s not how it works. If you want to continue seeing the world in black and white, and you don’t want to think for yourself, then go ahead, your loss.

I’m sorry I’m not commenting on the actual article. I found the arguments much more interesting, and a perfect example of how people are prone to becoming static once they’ve come to a conclusion.

And I am still in my teens, hoping this comment will irk you.

Common Sense

Quotes: “Whoever you are, you need to shut up…”
“…if the rules were always followed, nothing would change, and if nothing changed, society wouldn’t progress, and deviance(not crime) is what society thrives on.”

Dear “Name”,

Are you kidding me? Do you honestly believe what you wrote? Additionally, telling me to “shut-up” followed by your under-educated and poorly thought out reply to my post merely proves to everyone that indeed, you are an immature child, thus proving yet another one of my points from past discussion.

Please respond again when you are a grown-up with some logical thoughts and opinions. Until then, try LEARNING something in school, and not just shooting off your mouth and insulting others.

BTW, I’m very well aware of how “life works”. I’ve undoubtedly been around a lot longer than you have, and I can guarantee I’m more highly educated than yourself.

Take care,

Common Sense

Name

I was wondering when you would show up again.
I’m not even giving an actual response to your statements. This is obviously a lost cause and you won’t ever back down.

ravalika

If you just want to view the webpage i think google cache is more than enough http://www.ceveni.com/2009/06/how-to-bypass-office-firewall-with-help.html

as most of the firewall allows access to google

Antivirus

Just to make it clear, I am glad for the publication of this article for the benefit of those who read it. It takes guts to write an article that boldly speaks the truth to high school students who would not have it otherwise. You are providing raw intelligence to these kids, and I for one, believe they are worthy of possessing it. Just wish I knew as much about computers now as I did in high school (I may have had more fun).

Common Sense

Dear “Antivirus”,

You want to know more about computers, then go educate yourself. Your statement is very ignorant. Only YOU control your continued ability to learn. Nobody is stopping you from returning to school or other venues that are available, and continue your learning about computers.

Secondly yeah, it’s just swell that this guy decided that he is going to publish information to CHILDREN that enables them to break the rules, potentially getting them into trouble. We should all be so lucky that there are damned fools out there that are happily ENABLING our children to break the rules and regulations set forth for them to OBEY for their own good.

That’s just great.

Say, tell you what… I’m going to start teaching children how to acquire and fire loaded weapons at people like you. Isn’t that a great idea? After all, it is their “right” to bear arms and shoot others. Correct?

WRONG – Just like this entire thread owner.

GOD

This website helped me a lot, and there are many great comments. Youtube isn’t just a social network. There are many educational videos that can help teachers teach students, and so I don’t get why schools block it.

Common Sense

Dear “GOD”,

First of all, I’d just like to say… how inappropriate of a “name” to give yourself.

Anyhow, I don’t “get” why schools block lots of things. Just like I don’t “get” why employers block lots of things.

But do you know what? If I really want to know, and if it were really that important, the first thing I would do is ASK. Next, if I didn’t like the answer that I was given, or if for some reason I felt that I was “entitled” to access such “blocked” content, then I would take the necessary steps to do something about getting the restrictions lifted.

Fact is, most people can’t/won’t be bothered. It is not worth their time or effort to fight against something that they don’t particularly “like”. There are those in society that do “fight the good fight” and achieve changes in their favor. There are also those that lose their battle.

Choose your battles wisely in life. Otherwise, you may just be in for a long miserable life, worrying about things that are beyond your control.

So, your school blocks YouTube. I realize this is only one example, but honestly – is it really a big deal? Can you not watch YouTube on your home PC, on your own time?

If it really upsets you, then by all means do something about it. Otherwise, please STOP complaining. That goes for everyone on here. Go through the proper channels to get “change”, if that is what is important to you. But please, EVERYONE needs to quit whining about things that they will do nothing about!

Breaking the rules/regulations/laws in society is NOT the proper way to achieve change. It IS potentially the way to get yourself in a lot of trouble.

Think about it.

neenoxavier

I cant login to the rooter………

They ask for passwords and user names

mtcomsys

Im an adult working in a school, all I want to say is “Freedom of speech ….. freedom to surf the net!”
The internet was made so computers can communicate with each other. If a route is blocked then there will be another route …etc

Common Sense

“mtcomsys”,

Yep, and it’s people like you that continue to promote the problems that we are talking about here in this forum.

No wonder our CHILDREN think they are “entitled” to have free use of the internet. There’s people like you filling their heads with such nonsense.

Some “adult” you are – how pathetic.

By the way, it’s clear that you have no clue as to what you are talking about. The INTERNET was not solely designed for computers to communicate with each other. Its original intent and design was for MILITARY use. For HUMAN BEINGS to be able to communicate with each other. It has “evolved” into so very much more over the past several decades. Get educated.

gsk

hai there ur scripts where very useful. And i need little more on µTorrent download processing. I could able to download the torrent links easier but couldn’t able make its content to get downloaded in µTorrent software. The torrent links are abled to enter into µTorrent software but its not getting started to download. It show as zero peers & leachers even if there where n-number of peers,etc..

GOD

@ Common Sense,
My name is just a backwards “DOG”, I’m not saying I am “GOD”. Sure, the internet was made for the military, but everything evolves, and so should the rules allowing people to use it. My school actually can’t block us from using the internet, all we do is change our IP address.

RJB

As a retired computer science teacher, I can tell you that if kids want to get into porno and other “forbidden” sites, they can usually get into them at home anyway. A recent survey showed that the average age for kids starting to look at porn was 11 and that was the average age! A university research group was trying to do research on the effect on adults of looking at porn and they couldn’t find a control group! One of the main reasons for keeping kids out of their email and not allowing cell phone use at school is to reduce the time wasted on emailing and texting, which can be considerable. Yes, illigitimate use should be blocked where possible in order to assure parents and the public that the schools are not being used for these purposes. What happens at home is the parents’ responsibility.

me

Don’t you think the people who put up the blocks know what they are doing?

Saggee

Im 13, to start off with.
you guys are ridiculous.
were going to find a way to get on myspace/facebook/twitter.
no matter what. so why are you guys fighting.,?
its pointless, your stating you opinion when it doesnt even matter. you cant do anything about the school systems.
heres a good proxy, i was on today.
http://www.facebookfirewall.com
good luck(:

darkflux

this article is indeed a ray of hope to every child being denied information, although it really won’t work at most public places anymore… most PC’s are “locked down”, so that you can’t ruin them [and i've seen people (kids AND adults) ruin some PC's!]. “My Computer” is removed from sight, as is the “Run…” option, and ipconfig is blocked [at least the one in the usual place ;) ]. also, most computer use is logged, both who’s using it during what hours, and what sites are being accessed, even thru proxies, so that the offending child may be punished for seeking “the truth” being kept from him…
most proxy options (in fact, often ALL “Tools > Internet Options” altogether) are blocked, and all installations are stopped from being made on the C: drive, which is usually reset to predetermined specifications after system restart automagically [at least at my Library they are], so anything changed just gets changed back tomorrow…
you can’t even download .exe files using their setup!
that WebSense is trouble too, nigh impossible to bypass. nigh impossible…
except that they allow people to use USB drives (not originally, but it got to be a necessity for some). so while you can’t download installations or .exe’s, there’s no problem with downloading a zip with a standalone program to the USB and run it, especially when that standalone is Opera, which you can then change proxy settings in…
getting a list of proxies is another story. half don’t work [dead], some have limitations themselves [what's the point there?], and going thru the list to find a decent one [with decent speed] with limited time can take a few days [and repetitive stress injuries], and all of this without getting caught…
but doing that was worth it to get to that beautiful bevy of porn, hacking info, and other “sensitive documents” that for some reason the “adults” around me didn’t want me having, and i seemed to have turned out ok [at least that's what those same "adults" tell me].
maybe that was it, maybe the “point” of all those safeguards was to make us use our minds to solve their silly riddles. and perhaps all of that has made me stronger now that i know it, and can access “taboo” info at will.
perhaps…
at any rate, likely now USB usage will cease once “they” read my post and make the appropriate changes, and then the thrill of the backdoor hunt can begin again!
df

darkflux

oh, i almost forgot. getting a crappy proxy, then searching for proxy lists using that works GREAT! l8r

Aaron

Hello, I’m a 17 year old high school student weighing in on the issue. At first, I didn’t have a problem with my schools filter. Obviously, they had to block porn and other sites including adult content. I didn’t really like the block on Facebook but I understood why it should be blocked. I also didn’t like the block on Youtube because teachers often show videos to students on Youtube related to school but then they unblocked Youtube for teachers so that was fine.
They really started to piss me off when they recently really added much more to the filter. I was researching something for history but the filter blocked me from searching the word “Nazi”. There’s many more things that should not be blocked.

I tried to set up my proxy but I had a bit of a problem and was wondering if anyone knew how to solve it. I set up my proxy exactly as instructed in this guide but when I tried to start the service it said “Cannot establish status”. I can’t figure a way around this.
If anyone knows what’s wrong, I would really appreciate if they could help me out here.