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How to block access to my online college account, even for me?
January 4, 2007 10:55 AM   Subscribe

Ok, so my college grades weren't the best. Is there any way to disable access to my online grades?

My dad has been nagging me for my grades, which are terrible for a myriad of reasons I won't bore you with. He is a very explosively angry man. I would rather avoid the screaming match until Sunday, when I will be safely back on the opposite coast and I can clean up my mess a little bit. Calmly explaining why I did so poorly (one C, one W, and one no pass) is out of the question.

Is there any way to temporarily disable access to my online account (my.pcc.edu)? Maybe some kind of blocker that will make the website look broken from the home's IP?

I would like to be able to hangout with my dad without the hive inducing anxiety that he will discover my grades.

Please no "you dug your own grave" responses. I will tell him, but at a time when my progress is evident and not seemingly empty promises.
posted by Betty_effn_White to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Don't you have to log in to your online account? Why not just change the password and not tell him what it is? You can attempt to log in with the wrong password, and pretend that the failure is some kind of mistake, then pretend to email the university for tech support, if you need a bit of theater.
posted by redfoxtail at 10:59 AM on January 4, 2007


You can modify the Hosts file on the computer to make *.pcc.edu resolve to something like 127.0.0.1 which will make the site seem unavailable.
posted by vacapinta at 11:03 AM on January 4, 2007


I'm trying to figure out how to do that now. Would I have to do it for each individual user profile on the family computer?
posted by Betty_effn_White at 11:15 AM on January 4, 2007


nope, the hosts file should be shared across all accounts, since it's stuck way down in C:\Windows and not C:\Documents and Settings.
posted by soma lkzx at 11:20 AM on January 4, 2007


No, you just put something like the following in the HOSTS file:

127.0.0.1 my.pcc.edu

On Windows XP, the HOSTS file is stored in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC
posted by dcjd at 11:20 AM on January 4, 2007


What vacapinta said. Here's more info.
Some windows security software can prevent you from doing this.

This is totally not an answer to your question, but I was in the same situation you were as a college sophomore. I completely understand what you're going through, and everyone should be allowed at least one shite semester at school.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:22 AM on January 4, 2007


Yes. What they said. Dont use wildcards like I did above. I dont think hosts files support them. So add any domains that might be used to access your account: my.pcc.edu and any others.
posted by vacapinta at 11:26 AM on January 4, 2007


Another thing you could possibly do would be to disable most/all of the school's websites. Then when he tries to access it, you could claim something like: "oh, the network/IT/whomever people sent something out about having to take down the network for a few days for maintenance" or something to that extent.
posted by sperose at 11:32 AM on January 4, 2007


Also, set a reminder for yourself to change it all back before you leave. If he can never ever access that site again that will look pretty suspicious...
posted by vacapinta at 11:37 AM on January 4, 2007


How does he have this access to begin with? My son's college grades are NOT available to me unless he signs a paper. (He just tells me, which is fine.) Aren't you over 18?
posted by konolia at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2007


Or you could hire the attrition.org hackers to change your grades for you. That's what one Republican congressional staffer tried to do until it backfired on him in the most amusing way.
posted by camworld at 12:02 PM on January 4, 2007


"How does he have this access to begin with? My son's college grades are NOT available to me unless he signs a paper. (He just tells me, which is fine.) Aren't you over 18?"

They are easily available online to me, and I can't very well tell him he can't see them when I'm home. The rights of being over 18 are trumped by that whole paying for my college thing.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:36 PM on January 4, 2007


"Another thing you could possibly do would be to disable most/all of the school's websites. Then when he tries to access it, you could claim something like: "oh, the network/IT/whomever people sent something out about having to take down the network for a few days for maintenance" or something to that extent."

The plan is to tell him the student network is down. Portland Community College is ghetto enough that this happens by itself anyway.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:38 PM on January 4, 2007


"This is totally not an answer to your question, but I was in the same situation you were as a college sophomore. I completely understand what you're going through, and everyone should be allowed at least one shite semester at school."

I don't have the best track record at school, which is why a cover up is so necessary. One of my 100 level classes had insane amounts of work (like four four-page essatyish things due one one day), and in an attempt to salvage that class I dropped the other, then couldn't salvage it anyway because my professor's brother died and I never got a chance to turn in my work. This, coupled with not having therapy for my anxiety/add until the middle of the term, made for a terrible trainwreck.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:48 PM on January 4, 2007


konolia: I think the OP is saying that Dad wants to see the grades, and knows that Betty can read them online. So if the webpage is inaccessible, oops, can't read them Dad, sorry, we'll see when I get back to school.
posted by that girl at 1:02 PM on January 4, 2007


konolia : "How does he have this access to begin with? My son's college grades are NOT available to me unless he signs a paper."

How about "Hey, you lazy idiot, turn on your computer and show me your lousy grades, NOW! I want to see how you're throwing my hard-earned money in the garbage this term." Remember the question text, "He is a very explosively angry man."
posted by nkyad at 1:29 PM on January 4, 2007


I feel your pain. Just to be sure, there is no chance your dad would try to access the site from another computer?
posted by jchgf at 2:00 PM on January 4, 2007


And how about not keeping your metafilter account logged on all the time on the home computer, or your laptop. It would totally suck to have your cover blown when pops gets bored and decides to see what websites you use when you're not studying.

This comes to mind because my metafilter is logged on all the time in my computer.
posted by bilabial at 2:52 PM on January 4, 2007


I only graduated from college 5 years ago, but it was enough that I could tell my parents that either my grades weren't available online or that I couldn't figure out how to get them online, but it sounds like you can't pull that with your dad.

Goodluck, I am glad you have such wonderful technology to pull this off.

Derail: It looks like PCC is about 876 per semester with fees, with another 100 for books. The best thing I did was tell my dad I would pay for school and got Stafford loans. Just told him my grades were "fine" after that.
posted by stormygrey at 2:52 PM on January 4, 2007


If you're running Firefox you could try writing a greasemonkey script to make appear as if your grades haven't been posted yet.
posted by bgraves at 2:43 AM on January 5, 2007


Hopefully this isn't too much of a derail, but I'd like to add that (depending on the individual campus) PCC is actually really, really top-notch by community college standards and has lots of resources available for people with learning disabilities and whatnot. I enjoyed my experience on the Sylvania campus a lot more than my experiences at other, much more expensive universities.

That being said, please, please, please utilize PCC's accommodations for students with ADD and test anxiety. Go straight to the counseling office and explain your case. I have a friend who attended PCC for years and years and she was too wussy to ask for the accommodations that she both needed and qualified for and she has nothing to show for her time. She also has a controlling asshat of a father, come to think of it.

Also, if you haven't worked out your therapy situation yet, both the Portland YWCA and the William Temple House have great access to low-income, sliding scale counseling. IIRC, William Temple House limits you to a finite number of sessions and the YWCA does not.

I'd also add that free money with parental emotional control strings attached isn't always worth the paper it's printed on. PCC has an upcoming financial aid day (Jan 20, all campuses). At the very least, you could get help getting all the paperwork filled out, see what kind of loans and aid you qualify for, never sign a promissory note, but always keep the knowledge in the back of your mind that it's not the end of the world if you get cut off. More information is here.

Good luck.
posted by Skwirl at 1:01 PM on January 5, 2007


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