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Restrict internet access

by jakiehung123 / June 5, 2008 3:10 AM PDT

I want to restrict internet access for a computer. I want it to only be allowed to send and receive e-mails, and only go to certain sites that are specified. How would i do this on an xp system?

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You could do it by insuring ...
by Edward ODaniel / June 5, 2008 3:41 AM PDT

that all users had to log into their own limited accounts and you as Administrator would have to set local policy and restrictions as well as ensuring user permissions were only what you desired them to be. Easier done with XP Professional than XP Home but you failed to mention version which is IMPORTANT as Home and Pro are not created equal.

Possibly a better option for you if you are unaware of the use of permissions would be to take advantage of a free product Microsoft offers that makes use of policy and permissions through an easy user interface. The product is called SteadyState (formerly Shared Computer Toolkit). You can read all about it and download it from this link:

Shared Access Computing with Windows SteadyState

Do note that you should also assign a password to the default ADMINISTRATOR account so other users can not boot to it to make changes.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 5, 2008 3:46 AM PDT

On google or your favorite search engine. Why? XP doesn't do what you ask natively.

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I can tell you right now
by Jimmy Greystone / June 5, 2008 4:37 AM PDT

I can tell you right now this isn't going to go well. All you have are a number of imperfect solutions that can be bypassed with relative ease since people will have physical access to the system.

You don't really go into details about what sort of environment these systems will be used in, but my advice would be to compile your own Linux LiveCD that basically only has an email program and whatever programs you select. There's no real good way to limit web access... Well, that's cheap and/or easy anyway. So maybe give up on that idea, and think about imposing time limits if it's a KIOSK type system. After 15-20 minutes, it boots you out for example.

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Do tell us how "compile your own ...
by Edward ODaniel / June 6, 2008 8:03 AM PDT
Linux LiveCD that basically only has an email program and whatever programs you select." is any better than ANY of the other solutions as the user STILL has physical access to the system and could easily use their own Live CD or even QNX Operating system on floppy or CD.

It isn't any better solution - matter of fact it could prove to be a far worse "solution" as it, by its nature of being on a bootable CD, allows any other bootable CD to be used while the other more reasonable solutions can disable any but a hard drive boot and if a CMOS password is also added to the mix prevents any changes INCLUDING boot device selection which thwarts easy access through changing of admin passwords.

With physical access, you are indeed right that no system is completely secure but a Live CD "solution" is worse than any of the rest so far (even if CMOS password is added as it still allows anyone a choice of bootable cd media).
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Not necessarily
by At The Opera / June 6, 2008 10:47 AM PDT

I think the idea is more psychological than anything. Linux is different from Windows, and so that sort of puts people off a bit, discourages them from poking around a bit. All they see are the programs you put in front of them, on this strange OS. You can do essentially the same thing with Windows, but people are familiar with Windows and not so afraid of tinkering around with it.

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