How to block internet access in a standalone Windows computer.

One of the main challenges small businesses face is to make sure their employees stay productive when using company resources, that means limiting or eliminating web browsing activities such as social media, entertainment, news, etc, during work hours.

I decided to write this basic tutorial after the owner of the small businesses we serve in Jersey City and Bayonne asked me if there was a way to prevent some of their employees from accessing the internet. Sure there are different ways I thought, as a matter of fact we implement those security settings in may businesses but they had a unique need for a special temporary solution. They had hired a temporary accountant and filing person who were working unsupervised and the owner wanted to make sure they use the company time for work related activities.

This is was a special case for us because the company didn’t want nor have the need to invest in a web content filter solutions such as the one from McAfee, they don’t have Microsoft Active Directory in their environment either so any configuration would have to be done at the local level. Our solution was simple but effective considering that it was to be applied just to two temporary employees.

The same principle can be applied by anyone who’d like to prevent another user account on the same computer from accessing the web.

  • Logon to your administrator account and assign administrative rights to the user for whom you want to block the Internet (these rights will be removed later)Start>Right click Computer>Manage>Local Users and Groups>Users>Double click the user> Member of 'Tab' > Add> type "Administrators">Check Names>Okay>Apply

  • Logon to that User Account for which you want to block the Internet Access and Open the Internet Explorer

  • In Internet Explorer > Internet Options > Connections Tab

LAN Settings

Change the proxy setting to the loopback address: 127.0.0.1 and a non-web browsing port, I used 10000 as an example.

That’s basically it but if the user is technically savvy and part of the administrators group it will be very easy to revert the changes.

In that case you need to do the following to prevent the users from changing your settings:

  • Make sure the user is a regular user and not a member of the Administrators group.

  • Use GPO to disable the connection settings.

  • > Start > Search gpedit.msc > UserConfiguration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Internet control Panel>

Select "Disable the Connections Page" on the right side as shown below

Enable setting:

You are done. Now that specific user will not be able to access the internet. Again, this is a simple fix that will stop web browsing, it’s by any mean a real security measure and should not be used as a content filter solution. As a matter of fact, the customer I configured this for is forecasting business growth by the second quarter of 2015 and we are planning in implement a real web content filter solution for his business, we will be implementing McAfee solutions including web content filter and email security.

We provide technical and information security to small and mid-sized companies, we provide fortune 100 grade technical services, and our solutions are reliable and cost effective for small organizations. Contact us for more details about our technical services and solutions in Northern NJ and New York City.

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