How to block specific websites for you android phone?

Checking24Checking24 Posts: 2 New Member
edited October 5 in F-Secure SAFE

Hello,

I was happy about the F-secure SAFE's Family rules -option and for content filtering for a moment.

Then I noticed that there seems to be a loophole to get around for this. I tried to block harmful websites for cell phone. But it seems you can still open these harmful websites via search engines that offer anonymous views for websites (www.startpage.com for an example).

Why there is not an option to block specific websites for cellphone in SAFE's family rules? This way it would be easy to block all the websites that offer this kind of a loopholes for blocking content that is not meant for children's use.

Comments

  • UkkoUkko Posts: 2,999 Superuser

    Hello,

    Sorry for my reply. I am only an F-Secure user (their home solutions).

    Just an interesting point. Did you mean that 'family rules' / 'content filtering' is configured. And, for example, social media category is blocked. Then it is possible to open certain search engine (like your provided example) and it is possible to open social media rated website from here. While it is blocked during direct try to access?

    Or your concern is about that provided example is not blocked and it is impossible to block/deny only certain URL (website/webpage) on Android device?

    Thanks!

  • Checking24Checking24 Posts: 2 New Member

    Yes,

    you understood it correctly. No matter I have switched all family filters on, you can still do website searches to adult websites for exapmle and you can view them with the anonymous view -option offered by this search engine.

    For some reason. F-Secure Safe does not recognize that you are opening blocked websites under a search engine and it basically makes the blocking option useless or worthless.

    I'm not sure what would be the best solution. If there would be a option to manually block certain websites, it could help. But it seems you can only teach manually your home computer to block certain websites. Android phones are totally different thing.

    Ukko
  • UkkoUkko Posts: 2,999 Superuser

    Hello,

    Thanks for your feedback! Yes, actually I can to reproduce it and even with Windows platform (but where can be workaround against it by blocking this website via adding domain to deny list of allowed/denied websites under F-Secure SAFE).

    For some reason. F-Secure Safe does not recognize that you are opening blocked websites under a search engine and it basically makes the blocking option useless or worthless.

    I think that mostly it is because of 'compatibility' matter. Opened website is actually 'search engine' domain where website is only text in URL. Then works like a proxy. So, to block any URL with 'unwanted' words is a bit wrong. First, a lot of false positive points; Second, by avoid 'unwanted' word - website still can be opened under web proxy. To analyzing actual content or more is also quite tricky since of HTTPS and other privacy matters. F-Secure with some advanced techniques for supporting HTTPS (but not breaking it) - but it is also limited.

    For example, I think that this kind of bypassing also can be achieved via Google Search and its Cache/Translate functionality. However, to use web by such a way is also not a real pleasure. With supported search engines like Google Search / Yahoo / Bing / DuckDuckGo - usually there is a "Safe Mode" during child use. So, most of dangerous content should be restricted on their sides. While unintentional access to such sites is already controlled by F-Secure.

    Anyway,

    I'm not sure what would be the best solution. If there would be a option to manually block certain websites, it could help. But it seems you can only teach manually your home computer to block certain websites. Android phones are totally different thing.

    I think about some workarounds:

    It is possible to check "I want to give more details about this sample and to be notified of the analysis results" and then to choose categories like: URL type as "Inappropriate content was not blocked" and Problem type as "Others". In description field - to explain ways to bypass content filtering when search engine used as a proxy.

    Based on this article: https://help.f-secure.com/product.html#home/safe-windows/latest/en/concept_85D15759CDA244B096BB3E31D0FB0781-safe-windows-latest-en

    It can be categorized as "Anonymizers" (Websites that allow or instruct people on how to bypass network filters, including web-based translation sites that allow people to do so. For example, sites that provide lists of public proxies that can be used to bypass possible network filters.). At least, when "Anonymous View" is used.

    Thus, page can be blocked as "Anonymizers" if this category is chosen under Content Blocker.

    Another way for Android phones (since it is impossible to use 'local' allow/deny list of websites as it is with Windows platform):

    • check your Router settings (maybe it is possible to block unwanted URLs for all devices) - so, devices with connection to this router will be filtered. And to check Android phone settings - recent builds of Android with some useful Parental Control options - maybe something can be helpful for content filtering too.

    Sorry for my long reply. And sorry for my English!

    Thanks!

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