When the first Internet filters were developed to filter web access, it would be fair to say they were rudimentary. Inflexible, difficult to configure and having a high maintenance overhead, these Internet filters were consigned to history many years ago. However, many people – particularly those who experienced filtered web access in schools – are still apprehensive about using an Internet filter.
In their defense, the filters intended to filter web access in schools circa 2003 were the worst of the worst. They blocked access to important educational material, prevented students accessing support groups, and created a two-tier educational system in which students with access to an unfiltered Internet service at home had an advantage over students who had to rely on their school´s service.
Fortunately all that has changed. Internet filters access are more flexible than previously, they have simple-to-operate controls, and have minimal maintenance overheads. Internet filters are now software-based or cloud-based – as opposed to hardware-based – their management is centralized, and software updates are performed in real time by the service provider. Much easier than before.
How Internet Filters to Filter Web Access Work Today
Internet filters use a series of mechanisms to filter web access and protect networks, network users and their devices from web-borne threats. The first level of mechanisms includes blacklists, SURBL filters and antivirus software to prevent users visiting websites known to harbor malware, likely to be phishing websites or with security vulnerabilities that have been exploited by hackers.
In the second level of mechanisms, two million of the world´s most visited websites have been sorted into fifty-three categories (gambling, religion, porn, etc.). Network administrators can prevent users visiting any of these categories with the click of a mouse, or block access to specific topics by keyword when blocking an entire category is excessive or unnecessary.
Further controls to filter web access prevent the use of anonymizer services, stop users accessing P2P file sharing websites and video streaming websites that consume high levels of bandwidth. The controls can be applied to an individual user, one or more user groups or network-wide depending on the user policies in place at the business, school or organization.
Why Ease of Use is of Key Importance
With so many options to filter web access, it is important that network administrators are able to apply filtering parameters quickly and easily. Larger organizations using management tools such as LDAP and Active Directory will find that modern Internet filters integrate seamlessly to enable the application of multiple user policies simultaneously.
Smaller networks will find the management of Internet filters is achieved via a web-based portal with an intuitive interface. Network administrators can apply and adjust user policies quickly and easily from any Internet-connected device – even when they are applying different user policies for different location within the same network of WiFi hotspots.
System administrators can set up automatic notifications to be advised of any attempt to breach a user policy, network web activity can be monitored in real time via the web-based portal, and a comprehensive suite of reports can provide network administrators with details of historic network activity to help in the compilation of risk assessments and to help identify browsing trends.
Easy to Use Internet Filters from SpamTitan
SpamTitan´s Internet filters are branded WebTitan. They have been primarily developed to protect networks, network users and network-connected devices from malware, ransomware and phishing, but also to be flexible and easy to use. As different networks are set up in different ways, WebTitan Internet filters are available with a choice of deployment options:
WebTitan Cloud is undoubtedly the easiest of our Internet filters to install – requiring a redirection of the DNS server´s settings to connect to our cloud-based filtering service.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi
For wireless networks and companies with BYOD policies, WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is the most cost-effective of our solutions to filter web access – delivering a filtered service with imperceptible latency.
Find Out More about How to Filter Web Access the Easy Way
If your recollection of Internet filters to filter web access dates from more than a decade ago, or if you are looking to replace an existing network filtering solution with an easier way to filter web access, we invite you to contact us and discuss your requirements with our team of friendly and experience Sales Technicians. Our team will answer your questions about how best to filter web access and invite you to take a free trial of the most appropriate WebTitan Internet filter for your needs.
Our free trial gives you the opportunity to experience the flexibility and ease of use of a modern Internet filter in your own environment. Throughout your trial, our team of Sales Engineers will be on hand at all times to provide helpful advice about how best to configure your WebTitan Internet filter in order to achieve maximum protection against web-borne threats. Then, should you decide to continue using our service once the free trial has ended, no further configuration will be required to filter web access effectively.