FAQ Topics: General/Home - Purchasing - Installation - Operation - Compatibility - Advanced - Tips

Most people think Internet filter programs are basically just lists of web sites. That is true for other Internet filtering products, but this is where our 15+ years of experience help set CYBERsitter apart from everyone else. We built in a lot of very powerful capabilities that we use to create the filters for each category. In CYBERsitter 11, we decided to give users the ability to use some of these capabilities too. We can't stress enough however, that these should only be used by users who have a good understanding of how Internet protocols work. A little programming experience wouldn't hurt either.

How to tell CYBERsitter not to apply filtering and ignore specific programs.

In CYBERsitter, add a line to the Always Allowable Sites like this:

P program.exe

All you need is the actual name of the executable program, not the full file path. You can also block programs from accessing the Internet by adding the same line to the Always Blocked list.

Creating powerful custom filter expressions (ADVANCED USERS ONLY).

If you know something about web site design and have ever worked with Regular Expressions, you can create some extremely powerful and useful filter patterns for customizing your "Always Blocked Sites" list. Please don't try this unless you consider yourself an advanced computer user. This is really beyond the scope of technical assistance we normally provide, so if you try using regular expressions in your Always Blocked Sites list, you will need to have a good understanding of the topic

You can use regular expressions to block almost anything. To add one to your Always Blocked list, you must start the line with a capital U followed by a space, then your regular expression. The U stands for User defined. When using a User defined regular expression, CYBERsitter will check the following sections of the web page for a match: The URL you see in the browser address box, The page title, the page description (hidden), and the page keywords (hidden).

The following example will block an American phone number, in any format.

U \(?\b[0-9]{3}\)?[-. ]?[0-9]{3}[-. ]?[0-9]{4}\b

The following example will block any IP address such as 123.123.123.123:

U \b(?:(?:25[0-5]|2[0-4][0-9]|[01]?[0-9][0-9]?)\.){3}(?:25[0-5]|2[0-4][0-9]|[01]?[0-9][0-9]?)\b

The following example will block a Social Security Number:

U \b[0-9]{3}-[0-9]{2}-[0-9]{4}\b

As you can see, this is not for amateurs. However, if you have special filtering requirements, this functionality can accommodate just about anything. If you want to learn more about regular expressions, here is a great site to help you. The same folks that maintain this web site also publish a great program called RegexBuddy that will help you create and test regular expressions. We have used this program for years and it is a must have utility for anyone who uses regular expressions. There is also a free web site called RegexPal.com where you can test your regular expressions on-line.

Protecting against sending personal information to scam web sites using regular expressions.

Using regular expressions looks really complicated, but there are some real good uses for it. If you have ever heard of Phishing, you know that they are scams that usually come in email messages that try to trick you into sending personal and financial information by making their web site look like a legitimate banking or financial web site. You will usually see a form displayed and it will ask you to supply and submit information. Let's say you get an email from your telephone company saying you need to re-supply your bank account number for automatic billing. You click on a link and go to a web site that looks 100% legitimate. It asks you for your checking account number. Of course, if it is a phishing scam, they will probably take your money. Legitimate sites like this will always be secure, but illegitimate sites will not. Here is how you can make sure you never accidentally submit your checking account number to an unsecured site:

Let's say your account number is 123456789. You will add this line to your "Always Blocked Sites" list.

U \b123456789\b

If you ever accidentally submit your account number to an unsecured web site, CYBERsitter will block it and you will be safe. If you submit it to a legitimate secure site, CYBERsitter will allow it. You can do this with anything like account and routing numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, anything.

Here is how you would do the same thing to block any legitimate credit card number from being sent (this must all be on one line):

U (?:4[0-9]{12}(?:[0-9]{3})?|5[1-5][0-9]{14}|6(?:011|5[0-9][0-9])[0-9]{12}|3[47][0-9]{13}|3(?:0[0-5]|[68][0-9])[0-9]{11}|(?:2131|1800|35\d{3})\d{11})$

For tips on protecting against on-line fraud and identity theft using CYBERsitter click here.