For many companies, the main reason for using Internet content filtering software is to bolster cybersecurity defenses. Internet content filtering software can be used to block access to websites that have been compromised with malware, and stop ransomware, spyware, and adware from being inadvertently downloaded.
Cybercriminals are developing highly sophisticated malware capable of stealing sensitive data, locking files with encryption, and causing a considerable amount of damage. For small businesses, the cost of resolving a malware infection could prove catastrophic.
For businesses in regulated industries such as education, finance, and healthcare, Internet filtering software can help achieve regulatory compliance. The Children´s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) – for example – requires content filtering solutions to be used to block obscene images and other potentially harmful content in schools and libraries, while Internet filtering software can help with HIPAA compliance for the healthcare industry.
Personal use of the Internet – in particular the use of social media, gambling, gaming, and eCommerce websites – can be a major drain on productivity for industry. Blocking access to these websites entirely or at certain times of the day can help organizations to improve the productivity of their workforce. Blocking access to pornography and other inappropriate website content can also prevent HR and legal issues from arising.
The use of Internet radio, P2P file sharing sites, video streaming services, and many web applications takes up valuable bandwidth. Internet filtering software can be used to block these services to help with bandwidth management. With all of these benefits, it is no surprise that so many companies are choosing to filter the Internet.
|Control User Access to Inappropriate Internet Content|
|At Work||At School||In Public|
|Online Shopping||Hate Speech||Child Abuse|
|Job Search Sites||Video Streaming||Violence|
|Travel Websites||Illegal Drugs||Discrimination|
Internet Filtering Software Features
By default, most Internet filtering software includes blacklists provided by the software vendor. Blacklists typically contain lists of websites known to harbor malware and ransomware and, whenever a network user clicks on a link or types in a URL, the request to visit the website is checked against the blacklist. Other types of blacklist are also available – such as blacklists of pornographic sites – and these can easily be uploaded onto the software. Other features to look out for include:
Multiple Internet filtering options
Internet filtering solutions that allow category-based website filtering are the quickest to configure, while keyword filtering offers the greatest control over Internet content. Category-based filtering blocks access to websites by genre – such as pornography, gambling, and gaming. Keyword filtering checks for the presence of banned keywords on a specific page. For most organizations, category-based filtering should be sufficient.
Protection from phishing websites
Protection from phishing websites is an important feature of any web filtering solution. Phishing is one of the primary vectors used by cyberattackers to gain access to networks and email accounts. Blocking access to known phishing websites by implementing Internet filtering software with SURBL filters reduces the reliance on employees’ ability to recognize phishing emails.
Time-based Internet content controls
Allowing employees some time each day for personal Internet use can be beneficial for morale. The option of applying time-based Internet content controls can ensure that Internet access is not abused. Employers can also use time-based controls to restrict Internet use to save bandwidth during normal office hours.
Ability to secure your Wi-Fi hotspots
Many businesses have wired and wireless networks. Using a web filtering solution to control content accessed via Wi-Fi hotspots will ensure that users´ personal devices cannot be used to bypass content controls. The solution can also prevent the Hotspot being compromised by malware-infected routers in the vicinity.
Automatic report generation
The generation of reports on Internet usage can take a considerable amount of an administrator’s time. Check to make sure that a software solution includes pre-defined reports and allows reports to be scheduled. This will save many hours of management time. The ability to set email alerts will ensure system administrators are notified when individuals attempt to view restricted content.
The day-to-day management of Internet content filtering software should not require the time of your most highly trained IT staff. Look for a software solution with a centralized, web-based administration portal, low management overhead and non-technical controls. This will save considerable time and money in the long run.
White label versions of Internet content filtering software for managed service providers allow logos and color schemes to be incorporated. This allows the software to be easily added to existing service packages. Some Internet content filtering software can be hosted in a private cloud or within an MSPs infrastructure.
Reliable customer service
If ever you experience any compatibility issues or have any problems, you will want to get quick answers. Look for an Internet content filtering software provider with an international customer service team that will be available to answer questions and resolve issues around the clock. This will ensure that problems can be rapidly resolved.
Internet Content Filtering Software Solutions from SpamTitan
SpamTitan offers three Internet content filtering software solutions to suit organizations of all types and sizes. All three “WebTitan” solutions offer excellent control of Internet content and will protect users and networks from a wide range of web-borne threats. All three software solutions also have excellent scalability, are cost effective, have a low management overhead, and are easy to implement and configure.
WebTitan Gateway is the most powerful web filtering solution. WebTitan Gateway does not require the purchase of additional appliances and can be installed on your own hardware. If you prefer, you can run WebTitan Gateway in a virtual environment. WebTitan Gateway includes category and keyword-based filtering controls.
WebTitan Cloud is DNS-based web filtering solution. This 100% cloud based solution is quick and easy to implement and requires no software downloads or additional hardware. An intuitive administration panel allows web filtering settings for an entire organization to be accessed from any Internet-connected location. This cloud-based website filtering solution is ideal for ISPs and MSPs, as it can be supplied in white-label format with multiple hosting options.
WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi
WebTitan Cloud for Wi-Fi is a DNS-based content filtering solution for Wi-Fi hotspot providers. This highly scalable solution can be used to protect nationwide networks of Wi-Fi hotspots making it suitable for the largest Wi-Fi network providers, while also being ideal for single hotspots in cafes, coffee shops, bars, hotels, and restaurants.
Try Our Internet Content Filtering Software for Free
If you have responsibility for online security in your organization, and you would like to bolster your cybersecurity defenses, you are invited to contact us and request a free trial of our Internet content filtering software. Our team of Sales Technicians will discuss your requirements with you in order to organize a trial of the most appropriate of our Internet content filtering software solutions, and guide you through the process of registering for your free trial.
The free trial should help you evaluate our Internet content filter software in your own environment and find the optimal configuration for your needs. Then, should you subsequently decide to subscribe to one of our competitively-priced filtering options, no further configuration of the Internet content filtering software will be necessary.
- SpamTitan´s robust filtering and antivirus mechanisms protect networks against malware.
- Malicious URL detection mitigates the threat from phishing and ultimately ransomware.
- Our Internet content filtering software can be configured to increase workplace productivity.
- It is also helps compliance with state and federal legislation such as CIPA, HIPAA, etc.
- Monitor web activity in real-time or historically via a comprehensive reporting suite.
- Restrict bandwidth when necessary and create a more pleasant online environment for all users.
Why is SSL inspection important?
Many websites now use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) and encrypt connections. Without SSL inspection – decrypting, inspecting, then re-encrypting – you do not have visibility into the web pages and cannot check the content. Many phishing sites use HTTPS and malware is often hidden in SSL traffic. It is therefore important to use a web filter that allows SSL inspection.
How can I set different web filtering policies for individual employees and user groups?
With WebTitan Cloud you can assign custom policies for different users and user groups, and the easiest way to do this is through Active Directory. This is a quick and easy process that requires DNS Proxy and the WADA (WebTitan Active Directory Agent) to be installed on the network. Once set up you can create more detailed web filtering policies and reports.
Can I see what websites my employees are accessing?
WebTitan Cloud has an extensive suite of pre-configured reports that provide detailed information on the websites your employees are accessing, the categories of web content being viewed, attempts to view restricted content and much more. The reports can be run on demand or scheduled and will give you total visibility into the online activities of your users, including real-time views of Internet activity.
Does WebTitan work with dynamic IP addresses?
WebTitan works with static and dynamic IP addresses. If you have a dynamic IP location, you will need to install the Dynamic IP Agent on a server or PC on the network. When a dynamic IP address changes, it will be automatically updated in WebTitan Cloud.
How does Internet content filtering work?
Most organizations used category filters. You can block categories of website using a checkbox option in the WebTitan UI. You may wish to supplement this with keyword filtering. You can blacklist certain keywords, so that if they are present in the URL or on the page, the content will be blocked. The third way of filtering Internet content is using blacklists and whitelists. Blacklists are often used to block known malicious URLs and illegal content. Whitelisting ensures a site or URL can always be accessed, even if it contravenes filtering policies.