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Web filtering - frequently asked questions

How to block and unblock websites

Recognising a web filtering block

Other technical issues

General web filtering information

How to block and unblock websites

How do I submit a request to block or unblock websites?

The blocking and unblocking process differs between students and staff.

For student information, head to the Web Filtering for Students page.

For staff, any request to block URLs should be sent to the MIS Administrator for review.

Information is also available on the new unblock process for staff, including the new look block pages.

How can I block student or staff access to particular websites for our school only?

Through the MIS Portal's filtering application, schools can restrict access to websites by blocking specific:

  • website URLs
  • search terms
  • categories
  • file extensions

Schools are able to:

  • block or restrict access to websites for certain year levels. For example, block Year 8 access to
  • unblock a list of users against a group or school blocked website. For example, one student in Year 8 is allowed to while Year 8 remains blocked.
  • apply start and end dates for filtering rules.

I'm not a school staff member, and my business website is blocked at schools. What can I do?

If schools report your business website is blocked, you should ask the school to submit a request to the department's Filtering team via the Service Centre, who will review the site and action the request.

Recognising a web filtering block

My block pages have changed - what's happening?

Information is available on the unblock process for staff, which includes the different types of block pages.

I tried to access a website and some of the content is not appearing, why?

When accessing a website some content may remain inaccessible because the website developers have provided insufficient information within the site about its content and purpose.

As a result, the website and content may only be partially displayed.

I tried to access a website and some of the content is now appearing, why?

I'm not seeing a DETE block page but I still can't access the webpage, why?

Access to websites is not always restricted by the web filtering system.

Often you are presented with other error messages; some of the more common messages are listed below.

Take a screen shot of the web page and error message, log a Service Centre job, upload the screen shot as an attachment and ask them to investigate.




Network Access Message: The page cannot be displayed

You have been denied access to the webpage due to a technical/permission issue.

DETE Network Access Denied messages.

Follow the instructions provided on the page.

Network Access Message: The page cannot be displayed

Error 401 and Error 403 - Unauthorised

You cannot access a website because you are not on the guest list, your password is invalid or you have entered your password incorrectly.

Become a member or check you have typed your password correctly.

Error 503 - Service not available

Your Internet service provider (ISP) or your Internet connection may be down.

The internet service is down so log a call through Service Centre Web.

Why are some websites being blocked between 8am-4pm at school?

This is called Timed Access. This was recently introduced to cut down on unnecessary bandwidth usage to make key curriculum resources available at a faster internet speed.

I want access to

While staff can access YouTube, students cannot. If you are a teacher and cannot access YouTube, see your MIS administrator as it may be blocked at the school level.

Students can access YouTube when they connect outside the school grounds over a private or public internet connection - provided they have medium level filtering and parental consent.

The schoolies website is not available to students. This follows a Director-General directive.

The schoolies website is accessible to staff. When necessary, a teacher can copy the required material to the school server so that the students can access it.

Other technical issues

Why can't I download media files?

Ask your school's MIS administrator or ICT technician to check:

  • that you have the right media player installed
  • the category is not blocked at the school level
  • a word string is not preventing access (e.g. *mp3*; *swf*; *fla*)
  • other controls are downloaded as required such as Active X, QuickTime or Java.

How do I change a device's filtering level to high or medium?

Once parental permission has been granted, the MIS Administrator can make this change to the device's filtering level in the MIS Portal.

Using the MIS Portal:

  • go to Administration tab
  • Manage User tab
  • Change details tab

At the bottom of this page you will see 'Proxy Client Filter Level' with radio buttons for Medium and High.

Select the level of filtering that you require.

changing filtering level

When you have made your selection in the MIS Portal, the desired filter level will be automatically retrieved by the device when it next checks in for a policy.

To verify the change has been applied to the device after you have made your selection in the MIS Portal follow the steps below:

1. If the setting was applied in Operational Asset Management Provisioning System (OAMPS), allow 15 minutes for the change to be available on the device. If set in the MIS portal, it is not necessary to wait.

2. Have the student log onto the device using their credentials (the change will not take effect if the student credentials are not used for this step).

3. On the right-hand side of the Windows task bar, click on the 'show hidden icons' button and select Unified Agent: Web Filter Active icon

Blue Coat Proxy Client

4. Note the client manager address in the Unified Agent Software under the Advanced tab (pcm-medium or pcm-high). This indicates the filtering level currently on the device.

5. Select Check for configuration update in Unified Agent Software under the Advanced tab. The device will download the appropriate filtering policy.

How to check for configuration updates

6. Restart the device

7. Again, note the client manager address in Unified Agent Software (pcm-medium or pcm-high). This filtering level will continue to be applied to the device until either the filter level is changed in MIS Portal or OAMPS, or a user with a different filtering level logs into the device.

Checking client manager address

If the student exists in OAMPS, the filter level in OAMPS will be updated to reflect the level set in the MIS Portal. Likewise, if the filtering level is changed in OAMPS, the filter level will be updated in the MIS Portal.

How do I give 'temporary access' to staff at my school?

Once the principal has given permission for a staff member to have 'temporary access', the MIS administrator can action this by accessing MIS Portal and following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the Administration tab
  2. Click the Manager User tab
  3. Select the Change details tab
  4. Tick the box next to Content Filtering Temporary Access
temporary allow access

Google Safe Search

Google 'Safe Search' is enforced across our network.

General web filtering information

Proxy websites

If you identify a proxy site that slips through the filter system, request that the proxy site is blocked globally by sending the website URL to the Service Centre using the Request to block a website form.

Purchasing website subscriptions

Before buying a subscription to a website or obtaining this subscription as part of a bundled product purchase, ensure the website is accessible within the MIS filtering environment and that the software it uses is accredited by the Government Information Technology Conditions (GITC). To do that, contact the Service Centre (DETE staff only).

Personal webpages and web hosting sites

Some staff and students are using free or purchased web hosting sites to upload files, lessons and course materials outside the DETE firewalls.

The department cannot guarantee the security of materials uploaded on these websites. All Education Queensland teachers should use the web space provided inside the MIS or the Learning Place to host files, lessons and course materials.

Staff and student users with permission to have personal web space inside the MIS are allocated 5MB of space by default. These permissions are managed by schools. Each school's MIS administrator can increase the size of the space allocation if required.

If school web space requirements exceed the new quotas, schools may purchase additional space. Use the "request something" form in Service Centre Online (DETE staff only) to arrange an increase in web quota for your school.

Creative Commons License - Attribution CC BY

Last reviewed
19 December 2012
Last updated
19 December 2012
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