Policies, wildcarded terms, Restrictive Mode, and Out of School Mode can all cause some trouble if their configurations aren’t carefully considered. Here’s a workflow for troubleshooting one of the most common scenarios facing admins using GoGuardian!
1. Why is _____.com/____ being blocked for my students?
This is probably the most common type of support ticket or chat question GoGuardian receives on a day-to-day basis regarding GoGuardian Admin. This is a valid question! Here are the steps we take to figure out why a particular site is being blocked.
- Step one is making sure GoGuardian is blocking the web page in question. Start out by searching for the student in GoGuardian Admin and checking their browsing history to find the exact moment the student was blocked. Administrators can do this in Admin V1 or V2. V2 allows administrators to filter student activity by blocked results only. This makes it easier to find the blocked instances.
- After it has been determined that GoGuardian Admin is blocking the web page, take note of what OU the user was in who was blocked, then navigate to the Custom Policies page under Filtering -> Configurations to check and see which policies are applied to that OU ("At School" is the Rule Mode displayed by default).
- From here, open the policies that are applied to that OU and scan the policies to make sure
- ...that the site in question is not on the list of blocked sites in the “Website URLs” tab.
- ...that the URL that was blocked does not contain a wildcarded term in the blocked list in the “Website URLs” tab.
- ...that the policy does not have the “Restrictive Mode” toggle enabled - this will block all sites except those that are added as allowed sites in the “Website URLs” tab.
- ...that the blocked site is not in a category that is blocked in the “Website Categories” tab.
NOTE: The shorter the wildcarded term, the more likely it is to be part of a larger URL. wildcarding *io*, for example, has the potential to trigger blocks for URLs of many legitimate websites like ohio.gov.
2. Testing Filtering Policies
Often times, Admins want to see what exactly is going on from a user’s perspective - this is a great practice but can result in some undesirable situations regarding the test data for the user account. The best practice here would be to create a specific test user login that will not be tied to any actual users in your organization. Use your favorite actor, the school mascot, or a fictional character’s name to test your user experience and filtering policies. Do NOT use an account that already belongs to one of your users.