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Private Browsing - can we block it?


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#1 ummhasan

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

Hello my dear forum friends,

 

I've recently discovered that my children have been evading my parental control blocks by utilizing the browsers private browsing feature!

 

I'm using my wireless gateway device to block certain sites during certain times, days, or completely. I decide which sites to block by viewing what sites my kids are going to via Windows Live Family Safety. However, recently, I noticed that a couple of the computers have been showing no logs whatsoever and this is impossible because FS is turned on on all computers they use and they do virtual public school. That means that they are on the computer all day long so no logs are impossible.

 

Anyway, I've found an addon for Firefox that disables private browsing and I edited the toolbar file in Opera (per a user forum post) to block it in Opera, but I'm not really sure if that's working yet or not and I still need to block Chrome and IE.

 

Does anyone have any ideas or knowledge of how to completely block private browsing capability from all browsers? Another solution is for me to find a full proof solution for one browser and remove all others; however, sometimes certain things for their school work on one browser but not the other and they have to have the ability to see and use school content.

 

Thanks



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#2 xXToffeeXx

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 10:19 AM

You can disable private browsing in Chrome and IE with a reg tweak. If you decide to do this, then please make sure to make a system restore point before merging the reg file.

 

To run a registry script:

§  Click the Windows Start Orb in the bottom-left

§  In the search box, type notepad, then click on Notepad to open it

§  Copy and paste the following text into the notepad document:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome]
"IncognitoEnabled"=dword:00000000
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Privacy]
"EnableInPrivateBrowsing"=dword:00000000

§  Click on File, then Save As...

§  Click on your Desktop as the save location, then in the file name box type: fix.reg.

§  Click save and close the notepad document.

§  Double-click the file fix.reg on your desktop.
Note: If prompted by User Account Control, select Yes or Allow so the fix can continue.

§  A message will appear about adding information into the registry, click Yes when prompted.

§  A prompt should appear that the information was added successfully.
Note: If not, please note the error message and post it in your next reply.

§  Right-click on fix.reg and click Delete, then click Yes to confirm.

 

You may want to note that this will disable private browsing for all users on the computer. If you want one specific user disabled then log into that account and replace the above script with this one (the rest of the instructions stay the same):

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome]
"IncognitoEnabled"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Privacy]
"EnableInPrivateBrowsing"=dword:00000000

Edit: Apparently half my post disappeared...

 

xXToffeeXx~


Edited by xXToffeeXx, 02 October 2013 - 10:26 AM.

If I am helping you and you have not had a reply from me in two days, please send me a PM.

 

~Open a window, eat an apple, chrome some metal, watch an opera, make a safari, hunt a fire fox, be an explorer~


#3 quietman7

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

Is there any reason you need all four browsers - Firefox, Opera, Chrome and IE?

If you remove two of them, it would be easier to maintain and control the remaining two as opposed to having to keep "tabs" on four browsers.
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#4 ummhasan

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 08:43 PM

I only need two browsers, IE and Firefox but Chrome will do instead of Firefox. I will remove the others. My kids installed the others before I put the parental controls on them - to make my job harder to control what they do. I just have so many computers, so much to do (6 kids all under age 14, packing, moving, all kids do virtual school so I do school with them all day, cleaning, cooking, etc) that I haven't gotten around to it. I'm trying to get all the computers clean up of malware one at a time, As I go to each, I'm getting rid of what they don't need. In the meantime and afterwards, I need to keep them from using the private browsing while I do one computer at a time.

 

Toffee, thanks for the script - I'll go ahead and do that. I appreciate your help.



#5 Queen-Evie

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 08:53 PM

You can also check your router settings to see if it gives you the ability to block access to websites. You should be able to block completely and by time.

If I had kids at home that's the route I would take. They won't be able to change the settings if they don't know the password to log in to the router settings. Routers will have a default password, which can be changed to something else.

#6 ummhasan

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 11:13 PM

hi Queen-eve,

I already do that but they are getting around that by using private browsing to search for sites I haven't blocked. When they use private browsing, the sites they visit aren't reported to me so I don't know what to block.

#7 quietman7

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 06:56 AM

This is a list of resources and tips for parents. Some information you may already know and may have tried but I am including it for the benefit of yourself and others reading this topic,

Resources for Parents: Child Safety on the Internet:

Resources for Parents: Social Networking and Children:

Parental Tools from Microsoft:

Parental Tools to restrict access to the Internet:

Other Restrict Internet Access Resources:

Tools for parents who want to know (monitor) what web sites kids are using:

Tools for parents who want to know (monitor) what instant messengers kids are using, see who your kids are chatting with on MySpace and what pages they are looking at:

Note: Not all parental tools are free but some parents find them worth the price so I included them in case you want to pursue that avenue.


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#8 ummhasan

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:27 PM

Excellent references Quietman! I'll copy them and keep them all for further reading/research/use.



#9 quietman7

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 06:40 AM

:thumbup2:


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#10 Lilyinsd

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 02:03 AM

Hi,

Just joined this club because of this issue. My kid id using Private Browsing to bypass the Hidetool-parental control I used for blocking certain websites, such as facebook, youtube, reddit, and some game sites.

 

Those add-ons or extensions can be easily deleated by my kid, who is a senior in high school and supposed to focus on college apps. He is using Firefox.

 

How can I do it? What's the best way. I don't know computer very much.

 

Please help ASAP!

 

Frustrated mom



#11 Kilroy

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:05 AM

I'd recommend setting your router to use OpenDNS for your DNS server.  This will control things at the network level and work on tablets and phones too.



#12 Lilyinsd

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 11:03 PM

Thanks!



#13 Lilyinsd

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 11:42 PM

It seems that the OpenDNS can't stop it, when they use private browsing to go to those game, or social network sites.



#14 Ezzah

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 06:39 AM

The most extreme thing to permanently block specific websites could be to modify the hosts file (which is a manual DNS override), and redirect them away from websites that you do not want them to visit. However, it is a gruesome process, and would require you to physically input URLs that you do not want to access. 

 

If you would like to take this approach there is a complete tutorial here: http://www.wikihow.com/Block-a-Specific-Website-Without-Software

 

Take note, if your kids have Administrator access to their account, they will be able to modify the file and remove the restriction. If they're not tech-savvy, and you do this step away from them, then they most likely won't work it out (hopefully). However, there are more elegant solutions, which has been posted by quietman here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/509607/private-browsing-can-we-block-it/?p=3173236


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#15 Kilroy

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 09:34 PM

OpenDNS won't stop private browsing, but it will allow you to control where your connection can and cannot go.  I'd advise you give up on stopping private browsing, as soon as you figure out how to do it the kids will just switch to a different browser, or use a portable browser.  You're playing whack a mole and the kids are going to win.

 

You can use a program like Spector, but then you will get more information than you want to know.  If you do install such a program I highly recommend you inform your children that you are monitoring their computer usage.  This will do nothing to prevent someone from connecting with a phone or tablet and going anywhere they want, that has to be handled at the network level.


Edited by Kilroy, 12 October 2014 - 09:34 PM.





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