All Avast antivirus products (including the free version) have a very useful, but pretty unknown feature called Site Blocking. This feature will block any specified website, URL or page. So it can be used as a manual parental control.
For example you can add adult keywords like “porn” and Avast will automatically block all sites and pages containing “porn” in the URL (i.e. www.porn.com but also www.google.com/?q=porn). Similarly you can use Site Blocking to block time-wasters like Facebook or YouTube so you can focus on work.
Unfortunately Site Blocking doesn’t scan for the actual content of the site. So for example if you enter keyword “gta” the page www.trustedreviews.com/gta-5-review will be blocked, but www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto_(series) will still load because the keyword is not present in the URL, while it is many times on the actual page.
Using the Site Blocking feature itself is really easy. See the following three steps for more details.
1. Customize Web Shied Settings
Open Avast and go to Settings » Active Protection » Web Shield » Customize.
Using Avast Site Blocking Feature – Customizing the Web Shield Settings
2. Add List Of Keywords/Sites To Be Blocked
In the Web Shield Settings go to item Site Blocking and enable the feature by checking “Enable site blocking“. Then you can add keywords, domains, URLs or websites to be blocked. You can also use wildcards so for example if you want to block any URL containing keyword “test”, add it as *test*.
Once you’re done with the list, simply click on the OK button.
Using Avast Site Blocking Feature – Creating A List Of Blocked Keywords/Sites
3. Test If The Desired Site Is Blocked
Open your web browser and enter the URL you wanted to be blocked. If you have setup the list correctly, you should get the message “Avast Web Shield Warning. SITE BLOCKED”.
Using Avast Site Blocking Feature – Testing If The Desired Site Is Being Blocked
Although we have used Avast Free Antivirus 2018 screenshots in this article, these steps are also applicable for all Avast Antivirus solutions (i.e. also for Avast Pro Antivirus, Avast Internet Security, or Avast Premier) running the latest version available.
Steps are relevant for all Windows versions – Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (including Anniversary Update).