Once upon a time, we covered K9 Web Protection, a nifty utility that allows you to filter the Internet. Many of you may be thinking that only children need a filter in place so they don’t arrive at inappropriate websites, however, K9 may also be able to help you curtail your productivity problems by blocking time-wasting websites, maintaining Internet time schedules, and also keeping you safe from online threats. As you can probably see now, K9 Web Protection possesses some very powerful features. Luckily, it works across all Internet browsers, so if you’re ready, let’s explore!
If this is the first time you’ve heard about K9 Web Protection, but you’re interested, then check out our previous tip to help get K9 up and running on your computer.
To begin, click the Start button in the lower left-hand corner, and enter “K9”. Select Blue Coat K9 Web Protection Admin when it appears.
You will be greeted by the following interface. To see all of the features K9 has to offer, click on Setup.
Enter your K9 administrator password which you created at setup followed by OK.
Previously, we showed you how K9 blocks websites based on categories . They have five presets to choose from, ranging from High level to Minimal level blocking. Alternatively, you can choose Custom to pick and choose from categories, or select Monitor to simply keep records of your family’s web traffic. Choose what’s best for you.
Next up, on the sidebar click Time Restrictions. K9 has three settings for Internet traffic based on time: Unrestricted, NightGuard, and Custom. NightGuard disallows all traffic during the night hours that you can customize. The Custom feature is also very powerful; it lets you select certain hours which all Internet access can be allowed or blocked. I use Custom to block Internet activity during work hours (9-5), with some exceptions which I’ll show you in just a moment.
Web Site Exceptions is very self-explanatory. Simply select websites you always need blocked or allowed, no matter what. For example, I always need to be able to access my email account, so I added gmail.com to the Always Allow list.
If you need flexibility, on the Blocking Effects page you can select Show Admin Options so that if K9 blocks a page, you can override if necessary (using your admin password). I strongly recommend enabling this option.
For example, sometimes I like to take a break from my work and check my Facebook account. When the K9 block page appears, I can allow the website for a minimum of 5 minutes up to as much as 60 minutes.
If you need to stop all K9 filtering for a period of time, simply enable Supervisor Mode. Be careful, because K9 will not block any websites in Supervisor Mode, including one’s that may pose a security threat.
Finally, the last feature I’d like to share with you today is the logging feature of K9. If you select View Internet Activity, you get a categorical breakdown of the web activity of the computer. You can select a category to get further details such as exactly which websites were accessed.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that K9 is a hidden gem in filtering and monitoring your Internet adventures.
Have fun and stay safe!
~ Jay Neil Patel