Why Is Facebook Coming Up As a Restricted Site?

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Getting a "restricted site" message when trying to log into Facebook could be a sign that it's blocked by security settings — but could also be a sign of malware.
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If your browser isn't letting you see Facebook, there could be a few reasons at work. Often, browser security settings that have been set to restrict Facebook might be at fault. If you access the Internet through a business network or a public Wi-Fi hotspot, Facebook might be blocked by the system administrator. It's also possible that malware has taken control of your browser, often in an attempt to get you to purchase bogus security software. Fortunately, there are various ways to identify the reason why Facebook is appearing as a restricted site.


Browser Security Settings

Some browsers allow the user to define a list of restricted sites. Once set, the browser will generate some kind of error message to indicate that it will not take you to that site. This kind of security setting is frequently used by parents who don't want their children straying into objectionable or dangerous areas of the Internet; it's also sometimes used by by employers who don't want workers spending time on social networking sites or other non-productive activities.The fastest way to eliminate the possibility that your computer's security settings have been changed is simply to look at your blocked sites. In Internet Explorer, for instance, these will be listed under Security tab of the Internet Options dialog box, which is accessed through the Tools drop-down menu. Other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, don't have a built-in option but do support a range of third-party extensions that will block content; check "Extensions" in their respective file menus to identify whether site-blocking extensions have been installed that may be preventing your access to Facebook.

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Business Network Restrictions

If you're unable to access Facebook at work, it's likely that the site has been restricted in your employer's network settings. Companies will often restrict access to social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in order to keep their workers on-task. These restrictions are placed on the company's network server, or Domain Name System server, which controls all security settings for users accessing Web content through the company's IP address. If you have a legitimate reason to access Facebook at work (for instance, if you're in charge of posting to the company's page), check with the network administrator to see if there's a network block on the site, and if your user account can be exempted from it.


Wireless Hotspot Blocks

Public Wi-Fi hotspots, or widely-used secure hotspots such as those in schools and libraries, may also restrict access to Facebook. Often, this is to keep a lid on wireless bandwidth demands; scores of users accessing videos or music files posted on their Facebook news feeds can bring a Wi-Fi network to a crawl. Most public hotspots require you to log on through a website, where you'll typically find an FAQ page that explains any user restrictions.



Malware Redirects

If Facebook isn't actually blocked by your security settings, chances are you've contracted one form of a common type of malware. This is particularly likely if the site restriction message is accompanied by a warning that also states, "your system is infected," or similar. What's actually happening is that a small program is preventing your browser from actually reaching websites, and is directing it to these warning messages instead. If your browser begins behaving in this way, do not follow any redirect links that pop up on the page. Instead, use a trusted virus-removal software product to remove the malware.



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