If you see referrals from http://<some-ip-address>/cgi-bin/blockOptions.cgi in your Google Analytics Reports or WordPress reports, do not be alarmed. Many webmasters have experienced this and this may not always be your fault. Referrals from blockOptions.cgi are usually not a cause for worry unless they form the majority of your visits.
blockOptions.cgi, afterworkOptions.cgi and others are requests from visitors who have tried to access your website from behind WebSense content filters and were likely blocked. The causes for such blocks to occur could be from among one of the below:
- A school blocking students from accessing your site.
- A company blocking its employees from seeing your blog/site.
- An ISP or government agency blocking its users from viewing your website.
There are multiple reasons that your site ended up in the WebSense firewall blocklist:
- A manually created or automated blacklist
- Triggering a content filter due to words or phrases contained on any of your pages
- Your shared webhost (most webservers host multiple sites) also hosts another site which triggered the filter causing all sites on that host to be blocked.
Solution to blockOptions.cgi Referral Issue
There is very little you can do as a webmaster to have your site unblocked. The first thing you can do is review your site’s content for any offensive or hate words in the content or comments. Such words are more likely to slip in the comments section, especially if you do not moderate your comments. Once you have removed the offending content, you can try to contact the webmaster of the IP address by doing a hostname lookup of the IP address mentioned in the referrer URL. In case, the IP address is from a private network (10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x) then the hostname lookup won’t work.
If there are no offensive comments or content found, your site was probably automatically blocked by a company or school trying to ensure that employees and students do not access the general internet from the company or school network. These users, in most cases, they should be willing to come back to your site from their home network. In such cases, referrals from blockOptions.cgi should not be a cause for concern.
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