Parental control software using API technology is limited to shutting down the offending application; in some cases, a different action like deleting the offending words may be possible depending on how the offending application is programmed. This method has the advantage of using a small list of definitions to conduct filtering; these definitions may be hard-coded or placed in a flat file and loaded into memory at startup.
The next widely utilized technology is the proxy server method. An application such as a browser will communicate with the proxy server and the proxy server will then handle the request and fetch the Web page and return it to the browser. This helps security because the workstation never deals directly with the foreign server but only with the proxy, which can also speed up the connection and alleviate congestion by caching content locally.
Another way security is improved with proxy servers is to inspect the data being sent and received; if by rules of definitions the data is tagged bad, then the proxy server can act like a firewall and deny the communication. In this example the proxy server is an http proxy and receives an http header request for a Web page; the server will parse the host section or the get section of the header and do a search in a database of banned (user-defined) words or banned (user-defined) URLs. If there is a positive match the proxy server never relays the request to the remote server, but instead either returns nothing and leaves the response to the local client application to deal with, or returns an alternative response to the request, such as a custom "denied" page or a redirection header.
The proxy method's major disadvantages are that it requires client applications to be configured to utilize the proxy, which may not be feasible, and it is notoriously easy to bypass by editing the configuration. Savvy students usually find ways to bypass proxy restrictions if they really want to. Some advantages of the proxy method are that the technology/logic behind a proxy is pretty much universally compatible among operating systems and programming languages.
Several methods exist, despite the advent of Internet blocks and similar devices as well as code written to keep the user on the filtered end from bypassing the software by way of a proxy server. If the filtering software is located locally on the computer, all Internet software can be easily bypassed by booting up the computer in question with a Live CD or similar method of alternate booting for a different operating system, provided that boot CD operates solely in RAM. Thus it doesn't even interact with the hard drive or the carrier of the computer's installed OS and so the Internet block will fail to stop this method of bypass.
There are also several new ways to bypass the controls on the "next-gen" video game consoles, such as the PlayStation 3 and the XBOX 360. This involves using the Folding@Home application (presently only on the PS3 and PC) with a certain workaround contained right inside of it.
However, if the computer's BIOS is configured to disallow booting from removable media, and if changes to the BIOS are prohibited without proper authentication, then a proxy server (local or remote) can be effective.
That has changed with the advent of web based bypass. In this format programmers provide children with a web based search and display engine, in effect bypassing the local proxy by creating a remote proxy. It is not clear if this method will work with remote parental control proxy servers.
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