The internet is a library of different types of websites and web pages. It has almost all types of content and some can be very inappropriate to the public. Such types of content can be filtered or blocked from the library for public access.
Many websites have been blocked from various countries, offices or schools. Some of them use proxy servers to access the web which is also difficult to filter. In this case, an internet filter is a great choice.
This blocking or filtering of content is known as Internet filtering. It is good to know how does internet filtering software work and what type of content it can filter.
How does Internet Filtering Software work?
No software is perfect and internet filtering software is not excluded from it. Usually, the software either overblock or underblock the contents. But it works quite efficiently in content filtering and it is useful most of the time.
Types of Blocking
There are two types of blocking the internet filtering does. They are word blocking and site blocking.
1. Word blocking
Word blocking is also called keyword blocking which has a list of keywords that matches the words against a webpage and blocks it when there is similarity.
This type of filtering is easy because you can prepare a list of such keywords as a library and use the software to run the words against the library.
But it is not very accurate because it will just block the whole webpage if a single word matches and doesn’t look into the context of the word.
2. Site blocking
Site blocking works by filtering the web pages against a list of websites that are already determined. The library has the site list and the software checks against the library when you try to access the website.
If it is present, it prevents you from sending or accessing data from the site and displays an error code or site blocked message.
Sometimes, the software can enable you to direct towards another website. The list of blocked sites is called stop lists and these are prepared by people employed to review the sites.
Types of filtering Customizations available
While the concept of filtering is the same, there are certain customizations which can be done according to the individual requirement.
The software can be adjusted according to the requirements of the client or a firm or institution. Therefore, according to that, the types of filters available are:
- Client-side filtering
- Server-side Filtering
- Enterprise Filtering
- Personal Filtering
- Malware control
These different types of filtering provide a more specific approach towards the type of content filtered and on which side the filtering should be done. This will avoid the problems arising from the content filtering software and give a more accurate filtering model.
Features of Filtering Software
The software you are choosing for filtering must have the following features so that it can be flexible in applying the restrictions as well as provide more security.
- The Model of Restriction must be Flexible
- Presence of a database with predetermined list of sites that requires filtering and ability to add or remove from the list
- Simple to Use Interface and program
- Full control over the software and the content
- Ability to set periods of filter and access
What are the uses of Internet Filtering Software?
Content filtering is very important because the internet is filled with all kinds of information and it is better to restrict some of the inappropriate ones at particular places.
Internet filtering enables you to block content such as pornography from access in places like companies, schools, libraries, and other government institutions or public places.
It helps to avoid spam sites which can lead to the download of malware or corrupted software that can load a virus into your system.
This is a far more threat because it can steal all your private information and may even hack your computer peripherals like a webcam. Therefore, internet filtering software restricts you from accessing such content.
Sites that spread hate speech or violate social rights can be blocked with the help of this software. This will avoid the unwanted spread of hate and violence around the workplace.
Blocking social networking sites in the workplace will enable workers to be more productive and focused on their job. The software can block such sites and avoid distraction to the employees.
Even parents can make use of this software at home to prevent their children from accessing adult content or violent media from the internet.
List of internet filtering software
Here are some of the best internet filtering software you can get today with excellent features at a good price point.
- DNSFilter – Good Pricing and Best Features
- Cisco Umbrella – Trustworthy service from a reputed brand
- WebTitan Cloud – Better price plans and good for technical businesses
- McAfee Web Gateway cloud service – best cloud-based software with no requirement for hardware
- Untangle NG Firewall Complete – Excellent choice for small companies
What are some of the problems with filtering software?
The filtering software is not highly accurate. It usually blocks more than required or doesn’t block the necessary. Since the blocking is dependent on a library of lists, it can perform poorly when the list is not up to date.
With keyword blocking, you can get a whole webpage as inaccessible due to a single keyword and the software doesn’t look out for the context of usage.
With site blocking, the library has to be updated regularly to avoid being out of date and providing access to malware from malicious websites.
Can I use internet filtering software on all kind of PC?
The Answer is Yes, It is not necessary to install this kind of software on all computers in your office. You can wait until the need arises and then install it.
It is not compulsory to use these filters on laptops or tablets which are used by the employees mainly for personal work. But it would be useful for people who travel a lot and use public computers.
Internet content filtering is very important and a requirement in every institution. This software protects the system from malware attacks and provides content security.
Also, it helps in blocking content that is inappropriate. Use of this software is highly recommended.