Ensure your employees focus strictly on work-related stuff while still on the clock by putting content filtering measures in place on the company network!
What is Content Filtering?
Content filtering is a process of exclusion of access and screening web pages or emails that are unwanted. These solutions look for specific content patterns, and if those requirements are met, the software will block the content or flag it.
Content filtering is also known as web content filtering. It is a set of various solutions that closely monitor and restrict access to inappropriate, risky, or offensive content if required. Some organizations use content filtering through a firewall. People who use a computer from home also use content filtering solutions, but that is not as common. In the case of home use, content filtering is usually used to protect children from adult content. In contrast, organizations use it to block access to specific content that could harm the company.
How does it work?
Several firewalls offer built-in content filters as a feature, whether that’s as software or hardware. Content filtering has dual advantages. One is cybersecurity, and the other is the implementation of policies related to corporate information systems usage. For example, these filters can block harmful sites, which are a part of cybersecurity, and unsuitable social websites, as a part of the company policy.
Corporations want to create a safe work environment with the lowest disruptions nowadays. Content filters have an essential role in the achievement of that. Illegal or inappropriate content should not be accessible at the workplace because this can create a liability for the organization and potentially compromise employees or, even worse, the system.
Adult content, such as pornography, could easily lead to sexual harassment, which is unacceptable in any workplace, and a demeaning or hostile work environment. On the other hand, spam websites have a high chance of transferring viruses onto company computers. Websites with violent or hateful content that could potentially compromise the safety of the employees and the company’s image could also be another example of content filtering.
Content filtering solutions clearly distinguish company policy around these issues by restricting access to websites that could be harmful at the workplace. This can also show that the organization doesn’t tolerate anything illegal or inappropriate content in general.
Content filtering channels
Content filtering can have a much more significant efficacy by deploying solutions across channels, some of which are:
- Email: Email has become a primary method of communication for most organizations nowadays, considering most of the work is done remotely. Emails have become a primary target of spammers and also malicious or undesired content. By using content filters, you can maximize the safety of your emails. These solutions will scan the email and any attachments or something else in the mail and place the email in the spam folder or even bounce it back if the software decides it’s the right decision.
- Web: Organizations all around the world depend on the Internet, and content filtering helps them to keep the company and its resources secure by restricting traffic according to rules that were predefined.
- Program files: You have to consider that not everyone is as familiar with technology as you would want. Employees will sometimes try to download and run malicious programs without even realizing what they are about to do. Content filtering will prevent them from doing so, meaning they won’t be able to harm the system by making a big mistake by trusting an unknown source.
The main goal behind the implementation of content filters is to block or restrict access to content that might be considered inappropriate or malicious. These restrictions can be applied to only one home computer or a whole nation, for example.
Content Filtering types
The Internet is the main source of information and is used for all transfers across networks. However, it was never really a secure place for transfers. A casual user will constantly be exposed to wrong information, harmful elements, and malware. Because of that, content filters must be put in place to protect systems and people while browsing the Internet.
Employers, governments, system administrators, and personal users can protect themselves from unwanted content thanks to content filters. Different types of content filters exist due to the wide scope of applications, most of which can be customized for your own needs.
These filters manage traffic on the Internet for users of a network. The administrator or a provider can install a server-side content filter on a server that will link to every computer on the same network. These content filtering solutions have been useful to large organizations for monitoring internet usage.
Administrators are allowed to create sets of rules regarding content filtering and apply them to all users on the network since these solutions are server-based. The company will have complete control, making the customization straightforward and dynamic. Server-side content filters
make the process of assigning different levels of access to users very easy. Most providers prebuild the content filters, meaning they require minor or no adjustments.
This type of content filter is installed directly on the user’s system. The downside of this is that the user might be unable to uninstall or modify it. This is done by using a password-protected program or simply by not allowing users to have these capabilities through the admin.
The administrator makes sure that the client won’t be able to get around the restrictions by using this type of content filtering. These filters are the best for home use.
Even though these content filters can be used for business environments, they become really hard to manage once the organization’s size increases.
In the case of content filtering that is far-reaching, ISP (internet service provider) might restrict certain web traffic based on the rules put in place by the organization or the government. Every user is affected by restrictions made by the ISP.
Your ISP can restrict access to inappropriate content, as well as monitor emails and other types of communication. Also, ISPs can lift the restrictions or restrict even more content if the guidelines get changed. On top of that, ISPs can allow their users to pick the types of content they want to block for certain users.
You should be aware that in the case of ISP filtering, you won’t have any direct control, and the modification process won’t be as easy as expected.
Search engine filtration
Remote work has become common during the pandemic, which is why organizations have started using applications that allow them to control users’ activity without the need for client-side software or VPN. Employers can implement an additional layer of security remotely by restricting employees from accessing certain websites.
While these filters are on, search engines won’t display anything outside the guidelines set by the company. Inappropriate content that might not have been restricted by the company but is considered harmful can also be blocked in the future.
Search engine filtering is not the same thing as URL filtering because there is a workaround. For example, suppose an employee already knows the URL of a website that is considered harmful. In that case, he can access it by typing the URL directly and bypassing the search engine
Some search engines offer content filtering that is explicitly meant for kids. This type of protection is commonly used at the home level. Providers will set certain restrictions in advance for content that is not considered appropriate for children. These content filters are helpful
because they allow kids to use the internet without adult supervision. Also, they ensure that kids will stay away from websites that are considered inappropriate or unsafe for them.
The benefits of content filtering
Since most organizations prefer remote work even after the pandemic, some restrictions should be implemented even if employees work from home. Once the employees connect to the company server, they can cause damage by accessing inappropriate sites or downloading programs that have malware. They might not be aware that they can hurt the company by doing something from their home computer.
Suppose you want to protect your organization as much as possible. In that case, our security team at TechProComp can offer you the highest level of security available, ensuring that employees will have restricted access to inappropriate or harmful content while connected to the company server. If you have any additional questions about this topic, feel free to contact our support team, which is available 24/7.