- February 17, 2013
Overcoming Workplace Blocks on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace
Access Denied! 3 Simple Methods for Overcoming Workplace Blocks on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.
Social networking sites are massively popular, so popular in fact that many people feel the need to keep in touch, via the various social networking platforms, even when they should be working, or studying. The problem is, most employers, and educational facilities, frown upon this extra distraction and will try their hardest to block employees and students from accessing these sites.
This is usually achieved by restricting access through Intranet servers or by blocking the sites network-wide using a Windows host file. Fortunately, for all the Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Bebo addicts – there are a few simple manipulations that can allow access to your favorite platforms and the administrators and authorities will be none the wiser.
I want to make clear, that I am not preaching that you should waste your employers time on these social networks, but sometime Twitter or Facebook can inspire or even benefit at the work place. So if you need to get your daily social fix, here are 3 tips on how to beat blocked URL Addresses and Access Your Favorite Social Networking Site
Method 1: The Online Proxy Provider
There are websites that now offer a free online proxy URL service, that allow a user to access their favorite social networking platform via the proxy site. What this means is that a work, or school, server will only see a user visiting the proxy website. Any redirection to Facebook, Twitter or MySpace will be completely hidden and will stay under the administrator’s radar. As far as the server is concerned, you will still be on the proxy websites homepage, even when you are happily surfing the pages of Twitter and keeping up-to-date with your best friend’s latest blind date on Facebook.
The proxy website cloaks the URL address, and the red flag that would be the smallest mention of a social networking site URL, is safely masked behind the proxy URL. All that will be displayed in an address bar is the proxy website’s URL and a long string of random letters and numbers.
Simply perform a Google search (or Bing, Yahoo, or whatever search engine provider is used on the Intranet) for “facebook proxy” and you will find an array of free services that will offer a social networking proxy login.
The only factor to be aware of is that from time to time, administrators will become aware of some of these sites and block access to them. Don’t worry, there are new ones appearing daily that you can switch to, if your regular proxy site becomes restricted.
Method 2: Using the Opera Online Mini Browser
The Opera Mini Browser is designed for use on mobile phones. Helpfully, for social networking addicts, there is a free fully-functioning demo version available online and because the website is from a major software manufacturer, it is unlikely to ever be blocked.
Go to opera.com/mini/demo and you will find the demo version of the browser. The downside is that the demo is supposed to replicate a mobile phone, so the image is quite small. That being said, the demo is perfectly readable and has the added advantage of being discreet enough to remain obscured, should any interfering colleague attempt to peek over your shoulder and see what you are looking at.
The demo will display a search box at the top when opened and you can simply type in the website address of your favorite social networking site and be take straight to the home page. Rest assured that your Facebook, or Twitter, surfing will be 100% secret – as with the proxy method, all a server or admin will see is you visiting the Opera.com website.
Method 3: Use an IP Address and Go Direct
If the system administrator has been lazy and just restricted access via a Windows host file you can use this quick method to bypass their weak access-blocking attempts. To use this method you will need to find out the IP address of whatever social networking site you require.
One way is to use the command prompt function. If you have access to the command prompt you can use the following method:
1. Type in ping facebook.com (or twitter.com etc)
2. The IP address for that site will be listed underneath. Type in this IP address directly into the address bar of your browser and hit Enter. Hopefully, your social networking platform of choice will now open.
If you are severely restricted and do not have access to the command prompt, there is a nice little website that will find out any IP address for you. Here’s what to do:
1. Visit hcidata.info/host2ip.cgi and look for the section under the title “Convert Host Name to IP Address or Vice Versa”.
2. Enter the website address of your social networking platform in the Host Name box and click on the “Find IP Address” button underneath.
3. The IP address will be displayed in the box to the right. Enter this IP address into the address bar of your browser and click Enter. You should be taken to the homepage of your social networking site.
Nothing is Ever Truly Blocked
As they say, “When one door closes, another one opens.” Using these methods, anyone should be able to bypass over-zealous Intranet restrictions in the workplace. The key is to be low-key and not draw attention to your online activities – don’t start boasting to colleagues about how you ‘beat the system’ – it will only get back to the system administrators and they will plug the loophole. Keep it to yourself and enjoy unrestricted access to your favourite social networking sites.
Congratulations! You can now enjoy Facebook and Twitter from the comfort of your work desk.