I would like to block all chat roulette type sites. Omegle, chatroulette, chatrandom etc. Unless I am missing something it is not as simple as it should/could be. They don;t seem to be "applications" and there is not a URL category.
Any suggestions? One only has to look at a couple of these "random chat sites" to realize why they should be blocked.
I think the issue with these sites is that they have such varying degrees of unsuitability. I've just checked the three URLs you mentioned and they were categorised as follows: [if only for the benefit of other readers if you have already checked them]
Adult and Pornography
The first two are cleary more adult orientated and so I would have thought blocking "Adult and Poronography" along with "Nudity" would have been acceptable for many companies. I'm aware that sometimes more innocent sites can get caught up in the Nudity sites so you could ask BrightCloud, who Palo Alto use, to recategorise the URL. I've had a great experience with BrightCloud who have got back to me within 24hrs whenever I've suggested a change.
With regards to Omegle, it's not clear that it's going to lead to anythin unsavoury. What's the difference between that site and say MSN Web Messenger or Google Chat, Facebook chat etc etc. Many harmless sites could be used to have adult chat on but they wouldn't be blocked unless it was the main use as is seen with the first couple of URLs you suggested.
In terms of application blocking - they all use so many different types of technologies to operate so I'd think it would be tough to block them.
For the sites you wish to block, what common attribute do they have that doesn't include harmless sites? And finally, if you don't want to block the adult categories, aren't you letting users access far worse sites?
I agree it is a bit difficult. However, there is no business reasons to allow any of these sites. Let alone a school.
The necessity of block these random chat sites is a necessity as any of these sites, regardless of their classifications, all have nude strangers showing their...well you get the idea. The difference between these and other chat programs is there is no accountability for the strangers as the is no need for an invite, relationship or even a password or name. If you try a couple of these sites, don't do it where others can see the results.
I too had an excellent experience with brightcloud changing a classification. I guess I will start with them.
Perhaps the proper solution in these cases would be education, which I thought schools was meant for :-) ?
You can find adult stuff in ANY category out there. Instead of trying to block them all you could have block or continue pages for the stuff thats already categorized as "adult-and-pornography" and such but at the same time educate the youngsters that they will find bad stuff on the Internet and for that reason how they should behave while they are out there (dont click on any link you get from "friends" and so on) but at the same time that there are grownups available at the school if they need someone to speak to (in case they cant do this at home).
I personally find it to be the wrong way to go by blocking and then sticking your head into the sand and imagine that everything is fine as long as you have blocked "adult-and-pornography" and similar categories.
"Perhaps the proper solution in these cases would be education, which I thought schools was meant for :-) ?"
I agree. The educators are certainly working on it on their side, I am just trying to help from the IT side. I have never worked in a school, mostly law offices but that is another story. I soon realized that filtering the internet in quite important in this environment, at the very least to make me feel better. I get the feeling this stuff is going to keep me busy and I am probably worrying too much.
Thanks for all of your replies,
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