This article will explain some advanced filtering techniques. We’ll go over how to use wildcards and how to filter certain sites on a domain.
Wildcards are a very useful tool for filtering. When you add a "wildcard term" or domain to filter, it will result in all URLs containing that wildcarded term to be allowed. In GoGuardian, asterisks are used to denote wildcards.
Here are some examples of how you can use wildcards on your block/allow list:
- Keyword blocks: if you add *potions* to your block list, this will block any site that has the word “potions” in the URL
- Multi-word keywords: if you add *harry%20potter* AND *harry+potter* to your blacklist, this will block any Google searches for these terms
- Top-level domain blocks: if you add *.io to your blacklist, this will block any site that ends in “.io” (many game sites use .io domains)
- Sub-domain blocks: if you add *.mlb.com to your blacklist, users would be able to access mlb.com, but would be blocked from sub-domains such as yankees.mlb.com or dodgers.mlb.com
Pro Tip: Be careful blocking short keywords! Many URLs contain long strings of random letters and this could cause unexpected blocks. Example: *room* will block access to classrooms.google.com.
Here is a list of wildcards that we recommend adding to the block list on your default profile
Note: Blocking sites with wildcard terms can cause some pages to be blocked unintentionally. If you find sites are being blocked unexpectedly, check your wildcard block rules. If they are too general, you may want to remove them, otherwise, you can override the block rule with an allow rule for the page or domain.
The words proxy and VPN may appear in URLs for some Google services, such as drive.google.com and docs.google.com. If you find these services are being blocked unexpectedly, check the URL for the term. This can be fixed by adding an Allow Rule for the URL that was blocked.
Blocking/Allowing Domains and Subdomains
Sometimes you only want students to be able to access certain parts of a website/domain. Keep in mind that the allow list will always override the block list (including category blocks).
1) Let’s say you want students to be able to access docs.google.com (a subdomain), but not Google.com (a domain) or any other Google subdomains (such as sheets.google.com):
- Add “google.com” to your block list (this will also block all subdomains)
- Add “docs.google.com” to your allow list (this will override the block list for this subdomain only)
2) If you wanted to allow Google.com but didn’t want students to be able to get to sheets.google.com:
- Add sheets.google.com to the block list
* Don’t add google.com to the allow list, as students should be able to access it already (unless they have a restrictive mode policy)
Blocking Google Images
Want to block Google Images, without blocking Google.com searches? Add *tbm=isch* to your block list. Please note that Google.com cannot be on the allow list in order for this to work.