Monday, October 31, 2011

Test Web Filtering Without Porn

I know, how can you do anything without porn? Well, let me tell you it's possible (not fun, but possible).

I've been making some changes to Websense lately and have to test whether filtering is working appropriately. Since I have very few sites I'm guaranteed to be blocked from, it's sometimes difficult to think up a test on the fly. For this reason, I always use I know it should be blocked and it's easy to remember, but there's an issue. What if it's not?

With my luck, some VP would stop by my desk "just to see how things are going" right as I hit the site.

So, I came up with the idea of creating this blog post as a "this should be blocked" page.

Just add this URL ( to a custom URL Category called "Test Filtering" (or whatever you want), set it to "Block." You can use it for testing filtering anytime you make a change to Websense or think you may be having problems. Obviously, this could be done with any web filtering system; it's not limited to Websense.

Of course, you could add any site, but the good thing is that by adding a specific page of a little-read blog (trust me, nobody reads this), it's unlikely anybody will be affected by it.

Sure, Websense comes with tools such as WebsensePing that allow you to test whether filtering is working but that has to be run off the server and nothing's as quick as just clicking a bookmark in your browser.