How to Lock-In Web Addresses on Internet Explorer 5 Mail Me!
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The following method allows you to lock in Internet Explorer 5 to a defined group of web addresses. This method is designed for library workstations that are intended for use with web-based OPACs or Online Database but not for general Internet surfing. By changing the proxy settings in Internet Explorer, your patrons will only be able to access those sites that you allow.

From the menu bar, select Tools and Internet Options. Click on the tab labeled Connections.

At the bottom of the Connections panel is a box labeled LAN Settings. Click on this box.

In the box labeled Local Area Network (LAN) Settings, go to the section labeled Proxy Server and check the box labeled Use a Proxy Server. This will "ungrey" the rest of the settings.

Click on the button labeled Advanced to open the panel labeled Proxy Settings.

In the section labeled Servers, under Proxy Address to use, enter the address into the box next to HTTP: This provides a "dummy" address that will prevent the browser from going out to the Internet. You can also use a message like "Online Catalog".

At the bottom of the section labeled Servers, check the box labeled Use the same proxy server for all protocols. This will automatically complete the other boxes with what you entered in Step 5. This setting will prevent users from accessing FTP and Gopher sites through the web broswer.

In the section labeled Exceptions, enter the domains of the addresses that you DO want patrons to access. For example, I would enter "web2.tln.lib.mi.us" to allow access to our web catalog. Follow the instructions and make sure to use semi-colons between entries if you need to enter more than one domain.

Click on the OK boxes until you return to Internet Explorer. Now test your settings by browsing to your site that you entered in the exceptions. Now, try surfing to a site that is not allowed - the browser should not be able to "find" the site. If you have any questions, first check the FAQ listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I allow access to a single domain [i.e. all ".gov" sites]?
A: Enter in the domain name [gov, edu, etc.] into the exceptions box with a wildcard [*] and a dot [.]before the domain name For example, *.gov This will allow access to all sites ending in ".gov" but no other domains. You can be as general or specific as you want.

Q: I've entered in a the domain name for my database but it won't connect properly. Why not?
A: Many of the online databases use multiple servers with multiple domain names to present the information. Try using a more general domain entry in the exceptions box. For example, instead of using "infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/lom_waterfordtpl", use the more general "galegroup.com" - this will allow the browser to access all sub-domains at "galegroup.com".

Related Resources
• Microsoft provides an alternative method that makes use of the Content Advisory system to limit access. I haven't tried this method but if you are interested, you can view the Knowledge Base article.

Written by Andrew Mutch.
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Last Updated January 30, 2001.
This page was created on November 15, 2001.