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Block Facebook Chat Without Blocking Facebook Access

Posted by Geraldine Hunt on Mon, Nov 28th, 2016

Following on from our recent guide on how to manage non work related internet usage during worktime without blocking internet access. Faced with this drain on productivity, organizations do have options. There are ways to block specific sites. Organisations can block specific domains or IP Address at the network or at the individual browser level. However it’s important to take into account that an overly strict internet blocking policy can have a demoralising effect and make the company a less attractive place to work.

Implementing a content filter is now crucial for businesses.  Social media websites can be a drain on productivity. Some employees may spend hours of each day browsing and updating Facebook, this is time spent not working. Blocking social media or Facebook is too extreme a measure; however every company must protect itself from the potential liability of employees browsing to undesirable material while at work, as well as blocking the malware that arrives through illegal, malware laden and inappropriate sites.

Why Block Facebook Chat at Work?

In relation to managing Facebook usage in the workplace, one of the most common questions we’re asked is how to block Facebook chat at work without blocking access to Facebook entirely. There are many reasons why an organization would want to prevent employees from accessing Facebook.

In terms of security Facebook chat is a particular cause for concern. Many organisations believe Facebook Chat is a security risk,  believing it increases the risk of malware infections. The chat function also makes it too easy for employees to share sensitive corporate data. Use of Facebook chat is difficult to police.

How to Block Facebook Chat Without Blocking Facebook Access

With WebTitan Cloud it is easy to block Facebook chat at work without blocking Facebook access entirely. The process takes a few seconds and is detailed in the video presentation below.

 

 To block Facebook chat at work, open your WebTitan Cloud administration panel and navigate to “Filtering URL keywords.”

  • You need to add in two blacklisted keywords. Enter in the first keyword:
  • ajax/updatestatus.php
  • Set filter options to ‘find keyword in entire URL’
  • The second keyword that must be blocked is:ajax/mercury/send_messages.php
  • As before, set filter options to ‘find keyword in entire URL. These two files are used by Facebook chat and if the files are blocked, the Facebook chat will not function, although the Facebook website will still be accessible.
  • In order for URL keywords to work correctly it is necessary to have the SSL certificate pushed out to the browsers.

Further information on how to do this via GPO or manually can be found in the help section on the WebTitan website.

Visit this page for detailed instructions on how you can download and push out the SSL certificate to browsers.
 

Are you an IT professional that wants to block Facebook chat and ensure company and staff data are protected?  Talk to a specialist or  Email us at info@titanhq.com with any questions.

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