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Social Silence is a free to use productivity tool. It gives you quality productive time by disconnecting you from social sites, also it acts as a pop up blocker and DNS changer. Currently in Beta Phase, it is our first take on desktop application.
The hosts file is a computer file used in an operating system to map hostnames to IP addresses. Social Silence uses host file to prevent user from accessing social sites and blocking ads. For more information on host file, check out the following article from Wikipedia
OpenDNS is a free to use DNS resolution service, which in addition to domain name system provides phishing protection, and optional content filtering. Social Silence lets you set your computer DNS to OpenDNS, acting as a DNS changer .Although it is up to the user to change the system DNS or not, we highly recommend using it for added safety.
Social Silence has an easy to use interface. It works as a Social site blocker, and popup & ad blocker. Also you can opt to change the DNS to OpenDNS to protect them from phishing. Inculcate a habit of using Social Silence in your children when online so that they can focus on work and be safe at the same time .The application is also password protect-able, so if you are letting your children use your system then you can set the application up and prevent them from accessing social sites.
We are not done adding features in the application, and there might me some application crashes .But you don't have to be worried about your system health because of the crashes, as the application is inbuilt with the recover option, so that the next time you run the application after application crash you will be prompted to start the recovery maneuvers.
Although there are no system hardware dependencies, social silence needs windows xp and higher to work .Also only .Net version 4 and higher are supported. On installation, Social silence will automatically check for the installed .Net version on your system, and requests an update if supported version is not present.
Any system user with admin rights can use social silence. On starting the application, a prompt will appear asking to start the application with admin rights or not. If no prompt appears, then right click on the application icon and choose, Run as Administrator.
No, it doesn't block all the social sites. Social silence block more than 200 top social sites and about 15 top email services. List of sites to be blocked is completely customizable and user has the option to block all the provided sites or to customize the list.
The application uses the host file to block websites and block pop-up & ads. Many anti-viruses including the Windows Security detect host file modification as a threat to system health and thus show it as a warning. Modifying host file to block access to websites is a safe practice and doesn't pose a threat to system health.
Right now, the application doesn't have the functionality to add sites directly to the list for blocking, but we are working on it. If you want to block certain site you can do so by directly adding that domain to host file. More on adding domain to host file and where to find host file on your system can be found here. Social silence will automatically detect if there are sites present in host file or not. If user have added domains to host file for blocking then the user is prompted with the option to block them along with social sites.
If the application crashes while running or on some action, a message will be displayed about the cause of the crash. You can just start the application again and recovery actions will be started .If the application is crashing multiple times, please drop in a mail @firstname.lastname@example.org stating the message that was displayed or you can past the screen shot of the message. We are working on a dedicated section to report issues and for suggestions.
Most of the modern internet browsers have internal DNS cache which maintains Internet Protocol addresses of domains. The time period, these Internet Protocol are maintained in these cache vary from browser to browser. Restarting the browser clears its internal DNS cache, thus stopping websites which were browsed in that session. After the application has ended, you can restart the browsers manually or you can wait for the internal DNS cache to refresh.