Windows Networking/blocking access on select user account
QUESTION: I volunteer to assist users on a computer network for a non-profit. The ones I assist are retirees in an independent living facility. They share their computer room with children from a parachial school who have a tutor for a couple hours per day.
Recently, some, and in particularly one, of the retirees have been accessing free porn sites. This has resulted in malware popping up on the stations used. One particularly malicious virus locked up the data base completely claiming it was the US government doing so because of illegal downloads and claiming a fine had to be paid in order to “unlock” the computer. I solved the problem by deleting that particular database and opening a new one with the same name.
I’ve talked with the persons watching porn and asked them to quit doing so. Well, there is a decrease in activity but not completely so.
Is there a simple way for me to block content on one database in Windows 7?
PS: The reason I am writing you for advice is that the computers and software were installed by an absentee third party non-profit. I can only access these people via management at the retirement home. Management of the retirement home is likely to deny access for all persons based on the misconduct of one or a few......
ANSWER: Hi Theresa,
You may want to consider using a service like OpenDNS.com. The service is free for home users, and I think it is also free for non-profits. If you have access to the Internet router, you change the DNS setting there that flow to the PCs on your network. From there, you can block access to porn sites, as well as access to other potentially dangerous sights. If you want to create an exception for a particular user to blocked sites, you can simply change the DNS settings on that computer.
Also, I've seen that malware that you describe on several computers where I work. I good way to get rid of them is using Malwarebytes, or Hitman Pro. Google either one to find the free downloads. I also regularly use a free program called HijackThis! which lets you see how malware is loading on a PC.
I hope this helps!
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QUESTION: Thank you for your helpful and informative response! You've gotten me excited with your comment, "...which lets you see how malware is loading on a PC." This reminds me of some firewall freeware I used YEARS ago that allowed me to see and accept or deny access to everything that can knocking at my door! Is this how it works (as if my description makes any sense to you.....) P.S. Thanks again.
The Open DNS simply tracks and categorizes sites. When you use their DNS servers in your router, they simply remove DNS entries for all sites you wish to ban, meaning the user cannot access them unless they know the numerical address of the site (highly unlikely) or know how to change the DNS settings on their computers (which is only possible for very advanced users with Administrative rights on the PC).
The older firewalls kept hackers from directly accessing your network and causing harm. But if they trick a user into visiting an infected site, or mistakenly downloading malware, you are out of luck. Newer firewall devices such as Sonicwall or Barracuda can also block malware before it enters your network as well as block access to certain types of sites. However, they can be pricey.