You can block Facebook from your children or any other website you do not want them to have access to by using some of the following techniques. We will use the Hosts file in Windows, block Facebook at the router level, and also block Facebook at the DNS level. It is important to realize children and teens are resourceful and often find methods to circumvent parental controls in web browsers and software. Using these methods, in addition to securing email accounts and passwords from your children will help you maintain blocks on Facebook or sites you deem inappropriate for your kids.
Block Facebook Using The Hosts File
If you’re running the Windows Operating System on your computer, you can edit the “Hosts” file to block website requests before they even get to the router. Your computer consults what’s in the Hosts file before going out on the Internet to find the address, so sites blocked in the hosts file are an efficient way to prevent access to websites you do not want your children to visit.
Note: If your child has access to the Hosts file and knows how to change it, this method of blocking Facebook will fail. Restrict access to the file by setting up a standard user account for the children.
The hosts file is located in C:WINDOWS>system32>drivers>etc>hosts. You can navigate there by starting at the C drive under My Computer.
Click on the hosts file and it will launch with your default text editor, usually notepad.
Type the following under 127.0.0.1 localhost
- 127.0.0.1 login.facebook.com
- 127.0.0.1 www.facebook.com
- 127.0.0.1 blog.facebook.com
- 127.0.0.1 apps.facebook.com
Save and close the Hosts file and then reboot your computer to apply the changes.
Block Facebook By Changing The Router Configurations
You can also block Facebook from your children at the router level. Depending on the make of your router, you will have options to block websites under the Parental Controls section or other similar security configuration methods. Below are examples of a few popular router manufacturers.
Block Facebook With ActionTec Router
To block a website under the Actiontec router provided by Verizon FiOS, log in to the router by typing http://192.168.1.1 into your browser’s address bar. Provide your username and password.
Next, navigate to the Parental Controls tab. In the diagram above, you will see all of the devices listed. We can select all of these to block Facebook, or we can select individual computers and devices from accessing Facebook. Highlight and click the Add button to move them into the blocked column.
In step 2, leave the default option selected that says “Block the following Websites and Embedded Keywords within a Website.”
You can then modify a specific time in which you want Facebook blocked, or you can leave the default times set to keep it blocked 24 hours a day.
In the final step, you will name this rule whatever you choose and then save the settings. If you try and access Facebook from any computer, it should now be blocked.
Block Facebook with a Linksys Router
If you have a Linksys router, log in to the router by typing http://192.168.1.1 into your browser’s address bar. Provide your username and password.
Navigate to the Access Restrictions tab and do the following:
- Set the status to Enable
- Name the Policy
- You can choose specific computers using the Edit List of PCs button.
- Under Blocked Services, select “http” from the dropdown.
- Under Website Blocking By URL Address, type in facebook.com
- Click Save Settings.
Block Facebook With a D-Link Router
If you have a D-link router, log in to the router by typing 192.168.0.1 into your browser’s address bar. Provide your username and password.
Navigate to the Advanced tab, then select Filters from the column on the left, and then do the following:
- Tick the URL Blocking radio button.
- Set URL Blocking to Enabled.
- Type in facebook.com
- Click Apply
Router Blocking Conclusion
Obviously, the method to logging into your router and some of the settings will differ based on your model. Search the manufacture’s website and download the manual for your specific router model. But the gist of blocking URLs at the router level is the same. Unfortunately, this can also be circumvented by anyone who knows how to edit the DNS settings on their computer, therefore, we also recommend changing the router’s DNS settings to a third-party.
Blocking Facbook At The DNS Level
A Domain Name Service (DNS) is the Internet phone book a device uses to match the IP address of a website to the URL name we type into the address bar. For instance, the real destination to Facebook might be IP address 18.104.22.168. Your ISP uses the DNS lookup to match Facebook.com to 22.214.171.124 . Otherwise, you’d never find their service. By default, your router uses your Internet provider’s DNS servers. Unfortunately, you cannot access that DNS to control how computers and devices on your network access the Internet. By using a third-party DNS service like OpenDNS, you can create an account, and then log in and setup restrictions to your network.
To begin, setup an account at opendns.com. You will then need to modify your router’s DNS settings and change them to the OpenDNS name servers, which are 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52. Again, the method for doing this will differ based on your make and model of router. But you can often find the DNS settings under the main network settings within your router’s configuration area.
Once you do that, log into your OpenDNS account and select the Dashboard link at the top. Next, click the Settings tab. Add your current network by clicking the Add This Network button. You will then see your network’s IP address below. Click that IP address to make changes to the configuration.
You can set block based on category or URLs. If you want to block Facebook, add that URL to the Manage Individual Domains area and select the Always Block option. Type in facebook.com and then click Add Domain to complete the process.
Block Facebook From Portable Devices
After you have gone through the exhaustive process of blocking Facebook from your children at the computer and router level, you now have to address portable devices. You will have to block Facebook apps on the iPhone, iPad, iTouch or any other phone or device that has access to an app store, as they will still generally have access to the Facebook despite the restrictions you have placed on your network. Take control of your App store by changing the password. Remove apps that give access to Facebook and other social media platforms you want to block. Only once all of this is done can you block Facebook from your children.
If you have other questions about blocking Facebook, or if you have suggestions of your own, please let us know.