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locking down a public Library Internet Terminal

2959 Views 16 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mraaron012
Hello to all. This is my first post. I read about this site in a recent issue of PC Magazine. I have a question about how to lock down (if possible) an OPAC terminal in a library.

I work in a good sized public library in Massachusetts. Our card catalogues are now set up so they can be accessed via the Internet. We have numerous computer stations within the library specifically used for this purpose. Our Computer Technician, using Microsoft Management Console, has managed to disable certain features that would allow people to access other websites. It still hasn't worked. The Explorer Bar on the View menu on IE 6 can still allow patrons to search the Web. We have Internet Stations that the public can use. Mostly, we have those individuals who wish to view pornography or things of that nature.

Can anyone recommend anyways to go about dealing with this situation. I have recommended a few things to our Technician, but he doesn't see this as a major problem as the rest of the staff.

Thanks in advance.

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Have you ever considered using a HOSTS file? A HOSTS file is a small file named "HOSTS" with no extension that sits in your windows directory and redirects addresses.

For example:
Code:  [url][/url]  [url][/url]  [url][/url]
That would redirect all of those sites straight to, which is local. Instead of the web content it would generate a 404 message.

I've attached a HOSTS file with the extension .txt to this post, you can download it and look at it. It contains only a few examples, but you can always delete and edit the stuff inside and make your own. In fact, if you do a search online, I'm sure you can find a well updated adult blocking specific HOSTS file.

Just remember to leave this one:

Also, every line with a # at the beginning is comented out and ignored.

For example:

#This is text explaining that hosts files are really neat!
Remember, don't add "http://" to anything, only in the format of..

..those are some examples.

Also, one more thing to note... the HOSTS file must follow these three guidelines:

1.) It must have no extension, just "HOSTS"
2.) It must be "HOSTS", not "HOST"
3.) It must be in UPPERCASE

If you have any questions or need further explaining, don't hesitate to ask!


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If people had access to the windows directory, and the ability to delete windows files, I believe I would be more worried about that then I would people looking pornography. But I agree, doing it with the hosts file is a bit technical. Cybersitter is a good choice.
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