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Too much slacking around? How to block Facebook effectively

Employers are often alarmed to find out just how much time their staff are spending on Facebook. If left unchecked it can be a huge time sink, and may even begin to affect productivity.

Because of that offices tend to look for ways to block Facebook, hoping to stop their employees from spending so much time on it. Unfortunately as you may have already found out – that is a lot easier said than done.

Limitations of Conventional Facebook Blocks

Most of the conventional methods of blocking Facebook involve browser restrictions. On Internet Explorer websites can be restricted, effectively blocking them. Similarly Google Chrome has several extensions that will allow you to do the same.

Unfortunately the main limitation of browser restrictions is the fact you’ll have to set up individual blocks for each browser that you wish to cover. On top of that even if you cover Chrome, and Internet Explorer – there are countless other browsers that users can use, and blocking all of them individually isn’t really feasible.

Another common method of blocking Facebook is to edit the hosts file in the Windows system directory. Once however this method is limited, seeing as you’ll have to edit the hosts file on every single computer in the office, and ensure that it is protected by administrative privileges so that users can’t simply edit it and remove the block.

Simply put these methods of blocking Facebook aren’t effective, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to rely on them – especially in an office environment.

Blocking Facebook Using WorkExaminer

Instead of relying on conventional methods that are limited and tend to be ineffective, you could use WorkExaminer to block Facebook instead. It has the ability to filter and block any websites across an entire network of computers, making it perfect for offices.

It will just take a few clicks for you to capture and block any and all connections to Facebook using WorkExaminer. Additionally you could set up the filter to apply the rule only during specific days or hours, or to allow users to access Facebook for a fixed duration daily.

Once you block Facebook using WorkExaminer, it will be inaccessible on any networked computers. In fact you can even track any attempts to access Facebook and get it to notify you via email.

Suffice to say you should be able to stem the use of Facebook effectively, and will have options that allow you to fully control how that block is implemented.

Challenges of Blocking Facebook

While software blocking such as WorkExaminer can help you to effectively block Facebook across workstations in your office’s network – there are still challenges associated with it. In particular you need to be aware that while your block may extend to all workstations on your office’s network, your employees will still be able to access it on their own devices.

Simply put no filter or method of blocking Facebook can stop employees from using their personal mobile devices with their own internet connections from accessing Facebook. As a result despite your best efforts, your employees will still be able to access it if they really want to.

That is why rather than instituting a blanket ban, it tends to be more effective if you limit the time available to access Facebook. By allowing employees to freely access Facebook and other social media for a certain amount of time, you will be able to track that access and ensure that it doesn’t exceed reasonable limits. If it does and it impacts productivity, you can take steps to address the problem on a case by case basis.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.