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Kudos1

Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

I'm getting TONS of notification emails about sites my daughter has supposedly tried to visit, but she's not even going to these sites.  It's even sending me blocked site notifications when we're not even home, so nobody is even on the computer.  I've seen the posts about a program trying to access a particular site or domain, but I'm getting alerts from a wide variety of sites--mostly advertising.  This is really annoying, since it means so many emails.  I got 73 notifications in less than 6 hours, and we weren't even home.  I'm getting notifications while I'm sitting here watching her play Webkinz!  She's not trying to access anything!  But I've gotten 14 alerts in the last 20 minutes while she plays!  How can I stop this?  I'm wondering if it's even worth having this software if it's going to be so frustrating and annoying to have.

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

I'm getting TONS of notification emails about sites my daughter has supposedly tried to visit, but she's not even going to these sites.  It's even sending me blocked site notifications when we're not even home, so nobody is even on the computer.  I've seen the posts about a program trying to access a particular site or domain, but I'm getting alerts from a wide variety of sites--mostly advertising.  This is really annoying, since it means so many emails.  I got 73 notifications in less than 6 hours, and we weren't even home.  I'm getting notifications while I'm sitting here watching her play Webkinz!  She's not trying to access anything!  But I've gotten 14 alerts in the last 20 minutes while she plays!  How can I stop this?  I'm wondering if it's even worth having this software if it's going to be so frustrating and annoying to have.

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

Hi CDWhite74,

We have heard several users with similar experiences.  One of the possibilities is the Web page with flash games is open on the PC (with the kid playing the game or not).  The website pings back to the server and checks with the server. Norton Safety Minder records these activities as it should.

Please show us a screen shot of the Activity page where shows the blocked sites.

Thanks,

Katie 

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

Hi,

 I'm having the same problem.  I am getting " Family computer is blocked from visiting website http://z0g7ya1i0.com" and we are not going to that site.  Any ideas? 

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

H Dadof5,

One of the possibilities is the link is embedded in a Web page which the kid visited and the embedded link was being blocked.

Thanks,

Katie

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

I am having the same problem.  I was about to remove online privileges for the computer from my teenager after receiving 14 alerts about blocked sites when I got home today.  The sites were mostly viagra.com and porno.com (not sure if those names will be blocked).  We then as an entire family went out for dinner tonight so nobody was home and I came home to about 7 more emails about blocked sites.  I just installed this online family and was very excited about it and now am concerned that perhaps we have a virus on our computer or there is some type of problem with your program.

(In fact one just popped up now and I physically looked and nobody is anywhere near the computer.  I'm on my laptop, but desktop is in view.)

I am linking a screen shot since you asked for one in the post above.  I did a quick google search to see if anyone else was having this problem which is what led me to this post.  screenshot of norton online recent alerts

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

Hi supermama73,

I checked with our QA and development team on this and it sounds like it is the behavior of an infected machine.  There could be be a rogue program on this PC that is generating the web traffic. 

Thanks,

Katie

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

This type of behavior does not necessarily indicate an infected machine.  I saw the same type of thing earlier--I got a slew of alerts that my daughter was visiting blocked web sites.  It immediately raised an eyebrow because the sites were the same ones I use to automatically check for news updates.

The sites were being visited, but not by my daughter.  I use a couple different RSS feed readers (namely, WebSite-Watcher and the Brief Firefox extension).  What happens is that if my daughter is logged on when these RSS readers check URLs in the background, running in my user context, Online Family Safety thinks they're being visited by my daughter, and flags them as such.  This is blatantly erroneous behavior.

Online Family Safety seems to only check (1) Which user is currently active, and (2) What network activity is going on.  It does not care which user account a process is running under when that process accesses web sites or other remote resources.  For example, if a process is running under the user context of "Dad", and it checks a URL while "Dad" is logged in but is not in an active user session, Online Family Safety will assign that network activity to whichever user happens to be active at the time (if any).

I wonder how many arguments this ridiculous program design has caused!

Fortunately, not all parental control software is designed this way.

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

Hi entropy,

Thanks for the input.  I'll report this to the QA and development team and check into it.

Thanks,

Katie

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

entropy,

We will add this to our enhancement list.

Thanks,

Katie

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

I am experiencing a similar symptom set. I have several children who share a computer. I have noticed that I get alerts on some of their accounts for sites that I have gone to and alerts that mysteriously cross accounts. Adding to the complexity, multiple accounts can be logged on at the same time. Entropy's theory would begin to explain how NSM may be getting confused.

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

For the record (and I am not being argumentative), I have verified the behavior I pointed out above.  I didn't post it as just a guess.  Anyone can verify it; it is easy to do:

1. Download the free console application named http-ping.

2. Log on as a user that Online Family Safety is not configured to monitor, then open a command prompt and navigate to the directory where http-ping.exe resides, and issue this command:

http-ping -t -i 10 google.com

This will simply cause google.com to be accessed every 10 seconds (with an extremely small transmission of data) until the program is stopped.  You can change 10 to 30, 60, or whatever you want, as long as you don't mind waiting that long.

3. Keep http-ping.exe running, then switch users.  Log on as a user that Online Family Safety is configured to monitor, then wait a minute or so.

4. Look at the Online Family Safety logs (it may take quite awhile for them to update).  You will see google.com accessed, and it will appear to have been accessed by the monitored account, even though it was not.

You can also do this using a site that you know is blocked.  To do this, you would replace "google.com" with whatever site you wouldn't want your kids visiting (and which you have blocked, of course).  It doesn't matter; the point is that the site will appear to have been accessed by the monitored account, and not the account that actually accessed it (i.e. the account under which http-ping.exe is actually running).

Kudos0

Re: Blocked website notifications for sites not visited

Hi entropy,

Thanks for the update.  We appreciate  your input (we know you're not being argumentative )

We were able to reproduce what you described in your previous post using Web-Watcher and Brief Firebox Extension.  We will add it to the product enhancement list.

Thanks,

Katie

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