The Internet revolution has changed the way we live. It has changed the way people interact, socialize and contact each other. It has made business efficient and as a result, life has become much easier for everyone who uses it. However, there is a certain catch to this goldmine. Human reliance on using websites and apps has become the norm. Before we even know it, we become powerless and dependent on this digital world to the point where other aspects of life begin to be compromised. For this, it is very essential to block certain websites and applications that consume more human time than usual before they become harmful.
There are several ways to block online websites and apps using the tools we have on our computers and smartphones, and we’ll dive into the main ones below. Additionally, there are self-exclusion programs available in many countries around the world that block your access to websites. For example, in the UK, all regulated betting sites are compatible with Gamstop, the local gambling self-exclusion scheme. You can however rest assured that there are several websites where you can try sports betting, not Gamstop as well.
Using Blocklist and Allowlist for Basic URL Management on Your Internet Browser
This method is one of the easiest ways to only allow access to certain internet content on your devices. The Internet browser used can be modified to block prohibited websites and applications.
Allow the Internet browser used to open applications and websites only from that browser where permission to access content is taken beforehand.
We can use the URL block list to block all URLs and then use the allow list to access certain domains and subdomains that follow a pattern or algorithm that matches the usage preference of the administrator.
It can also be done if we only block the URLs that we do not want to access and the rest of the websites and applications can work in the usual way.
Editing your hosts file
Hosts file is that file used by a personal device to access the internet. By altering this file, a user can manually stop the launch of certain files. This can easily be done personally without having to buy an extension or subscription to block websites and apps, although it does come with the extra work of having to edit your computer’s hosts file.
For Microsoft Windows, we will open Notepad and use the directory: folder Windows/ System32/ drivers/ etc. on our hard drive. Below the last line we will type “127.0.0.1” followed by a space. The URL of the website we want to block will then be added. If we want to add new websites to block, we will add new lines below and then finally save the file. Then we will restart the computer and see that our changes have been established with the websites that are no longer accessible.
We will type “sudo nano /etc./hosts” and press Enter, then enter our macOS account password to open the hosts file. Similarly, like Windows, you can then add new websites to the end of the file, one site per line, using the format “127.0.0.1 www.websiteurl.com”. We then need to type “sudo dscacheutil -flushcache” and press enter to apply the changes.
Use of extensions on your internet browser
There are thousands of tools available on the internet that can be used to block websites and apps that a user no longer wants to access. They are either free or offered in different packages that can be monthly or annual. This is the most widely accepted form of banning websites and apps on devices.
- Block-Site: It is one of the most used browser extensions, compatible with all kinds of browsers and is also available as an app for Android and IOS smartphones. Using this tool is convenient and widely accepted as one of the easiest ways to block websites. either categorically or individually. This tool also provides reports to users on how they use their devices, while also being able to sync their computer and mobile phones with each other, allowing greater control over access to websites and applications.
- Cold-Turkey: As the name suggests, this application provides users with the ability to block certain websites, sometimes everything on the Internet or the entire Internet except for certain websites. It is a desktop application for Microsoft and macOS. This app also helps in keeping an eye on the user’s activities by providing statistics on the number of times they tried to access the blocked website or app. Once the cold-turkey app is activated, the website to be blocked is really away from the user. This application can be used for free and if a certain user wants to opt for the paid version then he can get some very useful additional features to supervise the user’s internet access.
- Freedom: The great part of this program is that it allows users to program options to access websites and applications. It also syncs different devices and then forms a block preference from the user’s choice, where everything related to blocked content is removed from the internet for the user. Another special feature of this program is locked mode, a form of restriction that is impossible to undo until a certain window of time. Moreover, the program also comes with peaceful sounds that help the users in their work and bring them into focus. The program can be used for free for one week, after which it costs seven dollars per month, which is considered by many as an investment to make if they really want to ban the use of certain websites or applications.
- LeechBlock: This is a very compatible tool with all internet browsers and the best thing about it is that it is free. Just like most blocking extensions, Leech block helps in scheduling the blocking time of certain websites and apps on the internet for the user. It is, however, only an extension, not an application, so it is less effective if a user activates another internet browser where the extension is not applied.
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