iPhones, iPods, & iPads forum

Resolved Question

Block access to Facebook App

by Brice82092 / July 6, 2011 5:28 AM PDT

I am currently working in a school's IT Department. One of the principals is wanting to buy iPad 2's for all of her teachers. We have had a problem with teachers accessing facebook on their phones so we definitely do not want to let them have access to it over the wifi network. Does anyone know how to block the app or how the app accesses the internet and if it can be blocked that way??? Any help would be greatly apprecitated!!!

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Clarification Request
You're going to Jailbreak all the iPad's?
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 7, 2011 8:11 AM PDT

Seems a little drastic

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Brice82092

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An iPad is a consumer device.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / July 6, 2011 5:47 AM PDT

And those definitely lack such resticting software. It's like asking for a TV that doesn't show football matches because you hate football.

All you can do: note their MAC and block that (or don't give access to that) on the school's wireless network. Then, of course, they can do whatever they want with that iPad when at home or at a public WiFi.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4783923/can-i-edit-an-ipads-host-file gives an alternative. But that can easily be broken by anyone who knows that he can access facebook by simply typing in the browsers address bar. You'll be amazed how fast such knowledge spreads. You can just as well announce it on posters in the coffee room.

The P in PC stands for "personal". But it's used so widely in corporate environments that there's an industry of locking-down software. But that doesn't exist on the iPad and I'm sure Apple won't allow such app either.

So, no, (a) either trust your teachers or (b) have strict rules and be prepared to fire a few of your most popular teachers because they don't abide. After firing half of the staff the remaining half probably will understand the rules.


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 6, 2011 8:14 AM PDT

Ok, you work in the IT group. All you need to do is to block FB from your internet access.


Hope all your questions are that simple.

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You beat me to it, again!
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 6, 2011 12:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Cool!

by far the simplest method

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Think again!
by Brice82092 / July 6, 2011 1:51 PM PDT
In reply to: Cool!

Question really is not that simple. Working in IT, Facebook website has already been blocked obviously for a while. However the app is still allowed access. Kees already gave best answer. Hope all of your answers are it that simple Bob.


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We'll have to find out more.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 6, 2011 1:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Think again!

If FB is getting access via your network and you say it's blocked, then they found a way around your block.

Time to work your firewall or whatever does that blocking.

You asked how it accesses and if you get the wifi only model, it uses your wifi. If your wifi allows FB access, then it will get it.

I have encountered IT staffers that can't accept their blocks have failed.

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A Little More Research
by Brice82092 / July 6, 2011 11:14 PM PDT

We are using Endian Firewall and it has blocked the URL perfectly. However, the app uses a different route obviously. That is what the question was referring to. One can not access from the URL on the iPad only from the app.

I have encountered people who can't accept they don't really know what they are talking about.


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Then it's time for monitoring software ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / July 6, 2011 11:24 PM PDT
In reply to: A Little More Research

on the other side of the firewall and see what ip-address is being used. Than block that.

You'll need a Facebook app and a quiet evening or weekend where nobody else uses the network.


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That helped. URL blocks are ineffective.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 7, 2011 12:45 AM PDT
In reply to: A Little More Research

Here's why. Because these can allow access by typing in the IP number, you'll have to block the IP as well.

I continue to find IT staff that don't want to change these things.

Sorry but I seem to have upset you. My background includes writing a router software back in the early 90's before we had routers as we see today. While I can talk about such things, I find it can upset folk.

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IPs are covered as well
by Brice82092 / July 7, 2011 2:34 AM PDT

We have recorded all of the known IPs of Facebook and it still doesnt help.

Thanks for the idea Bob, sorry if I have seemed standoff-ish. This problem has been racking our brains, but I really do appreciate the help.


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Then a test is needed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 7, 2011 2:39 AM PDT

We have to watch the log files. Sorry if this repeats former knowledge but here goes.

1. Clear all the logs of the router/firewalls.
2. Access FB with the device.
3. See what the DNS and logs show for what was accessed.

Add those new URL and IPs to the block lists.

Remember if these are the 3G cellular models I can't know that. This discussion is, so far about the wifi only models.

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Use the iPads security
by 37Bruce / January 26, 2012 11:32 AM PST

Why not go into the settings of the iPad, change the restrictions on the ability to use the app store, after you install everything you want them to need or use, and it will erase the app store app from the home screen and they won't be able to download the app. That doesn't solve the browser version of Facebook though.

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Until the teachers go into settings and change it back
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 26, 2012 8:35 PM PST
In reply to: Use the iPads security

this needs to be done at the Router level

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Another Possible Answer
by atib31 / February 28, 2012 11:17 PM PST

I had this problem at home. Where my children were using iDevices to access facebook. I blocked all access to their specific IP addresses and saw blocks to strange IP addresses. They started with 0.0.

I am going to investigate further and will post again if I find anything out.

If you have a router/firewall that will let you block a subnet try blocking to not sure what then mask would be for that.

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I think I have the answer
by Edward Sharp / November 14, 2015 2:59 PM PST

This thread is quite old, but in case anybody else is looking for the answer, I think I have it. The url for an ipad app is not the normal url you would use accessing over a browser. To find the url which the app uses, go to the Appstore on an iPad, search for the app in question (say, facebook), tap on the Action icon (Square with an arrow coming out of it) in the apps detail page and Tap on Copy Link in the available options. You can then paste somewhere to see what it is, and then enter that into your url blocker in the normal way. For facebook the url will be "https://appsto.re/gb/NuV-q.i" and blocking this will block an ipad on the network from accessing Facebook.

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