How to Block Websites, Ports, and Apps with BrowseControl (Video)

BrowseControl technical demo, web filtering software

Video Transcription

Hi guys this is Sai from CurrentWare’s technical support team. Today I’ll be showing you how to use BrowseControl to restrict the internet access of your employee’s computer. Let’s begin. So what you’re looking at right now is the CurrentWare console from a manager’s computer. 

CurrentWare console showing the BrowseControl web filter

CurrentWare is a server and client based solution.

  1. You will need to install the CurrentWare client on all the computers you want to manage.
  2. After that, the CurrentWare client is installed, they will connect to your CurrentWare console and show up on the left hand side. 
  3. Put the computers in the right folder that you want to organize them in and apply the internet restrictions to the computers inside folders. 

So there are two ways to block internet access in BrowseControl.

  1. For the first method you can set the internet on and use the URL block list and the category block list to block specific websites.
  2. The second method is to set the internet to off, which will block the internet completely and use the URL allow list to allow your employees to only company authorized websites. 

How To Block Websites Based on URLs and Categories

CurrentWare BrowseControl warning message for blocked URL.

Let me show you how to use the URL block list and category block list. 

  1. First, set the internet to on.
  2. Then click on the URL filter. Add the websites you want to block. In this example we’re going to add Facebook and ESPN to the block list.
  3. Select your URLs, click on the block list, and bring it over to the right hand side.
  4. You want to hit apply to clients. This is going to start blocking the internet on the employee’s computer.

So let’s open up a tab browser and browse to these websites. First we’re going to go to ESPN. You’re going to notice that when your employees try to go to a website that’s not allowed you’re going to get a warning message like this.

How to Allow Only Authorized Websites (Whitelist)

Allow company authorized websites

For the second method we’re going to use the URL allow list to allow company authorized websites. That means if a website is not on the allowed list your employees will not be able to get to that website.

  1. First come up with a list of websites that you allow your employees to go to and then we’re going to add them to the allowed list.
  2. Open up the URL filter. In this example we’re going to type in CurrentWare.com and BrowseControl.com.
  3. After that we’re going to select the URLs
  4. Click on the right arrow button in the middle, and add it to the allow list.
  5. Click on the apply button and now your employees are restricted from going to any websites that are not on the allowed list. 

How to Prevent Employees From Downloading Files

CurrentWare download filter console open with permissions configured for images, layouts, zipped files, audio, video, and executable files.

Other than blocking websites, BrowseControl can also block employees from downloading specific file types.

Let’s open up the download filter. One of the advantages of blocking file types is to reduce unauthorized media consumption in your office. For example, you can block your employees from watching movies or listening to music by setting the permission of audio and videos to always blocked. 

To see what file types are in each group, click on the add button. In the audio group it is blocking popular files such as mp3, mp4s, and WAV. Another advantage of the download filter is to prevent employees from installing unauthorized software. You can block your employees from downloading executable files that are commonly used to install programs.

How to Block Windows Applications

Next we’re going to talk about BrowseControl’s application blocker. BrowseControl lets you block any Windows applications that are running on your employee’s computer. This will prevent your employees from using programs that they shouldn’t be using. For example, you can block employees from downloading malicious files simply by blocking peer-to-peer programs such as uTorrent.

Now let’s add uTorrent to the block list. I’m going to try to launch uTorrent from this computer and you can see that I’m getting an error message when I try to launch this blocked application. Keep in mind that this message can be customized by the manager.

Some employees will try to bypass the app blocker by renaming the file name but BrowseControl uses the original file name to block applications, which is different from the file name that appears on your computer. Therefore, your employees cannot bypass BrowseControl simply by renaming the file. 

How to Block Ports

A screenshot of BrowseControl's port filter

The last filter I’m going to show you guys is the port filter. The port filter lets you completely block internet access from specific ports. There is a list of predefined ports that you can add to the list. Set the ports you want to block and set the filter type to block.

Let’s block your users from using FTP to transfer files over the internet.

  1. First, select FTP from the port type
  2. and then select blocked under filter type.
  3. Once added to the list your users will not be able to use their FTP program to transfer files over.

How to Block Websites When Employees Are Off the Network

The last feature I want to show you today is BrowseControl’s off-site management. Most companies have employees that are remote workers. Once in a while they take your company’s authorized laptop outside the LAN to perform their tasks. For example, employees will very often take your laptops to coffee shops, hotels, and conferences. This is where BrowseControl’s off-site management feature comes into handy.

Now let’s click on the BrowseControl client settings. Under the BrowseControl client settings the option enable internet access with internet filtering is turned on when the CurrentWare server is unavailable. This is the default setting.

And with our CurrentWare client installed on your laptops, employee’s internet activities will still be restricted when they leave the network, ensuring that your laptop is protected from harmful websites and preventing your employees from browsing on non-productive websites on company’s laptop. 

Conclusion

Alright guys that’s it for now. Thank you so much for checking out this video. Be sure to check out our website www.CurrentWare.com to download the 14 day trial. The trial is fully functional and will work on 10 computers. We’ll have more videos published in the near future. Take care for now 

Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland
Dale Strickland is a Marketing Coordinator for CurrentWare, a global provider of endpoint security and employee monitoring software. Dale’s diverse multimedia background allows him the opportunity to produce a variety of content for CurrentWare including blogs, infographics, videos, eBooks, and social media shareables.