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Internet Filtering

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Internet Filtering

The internet is now commonplace to get solutions to almost every need, communicate with the world, and make money. But just as it has its good, the internet could become a dangerous place if care is not taken. Information obtained could be harmful if not carefully handled. 

Filtering out the content one consumes is essential in this day and age. As the internet becomes more accessible and familiar to everyone, especially the young ones, the need for a filtering mechanism has become more necessary than ever. 

What is Internet Filtering?

Nowadays, many internet software providers provide a filter for the internet, which can control the kind of content available. This mechanism, called Internet Filter, has become readily available. But what is the Internet Filter?

Internet Filter is a tool applied by anyone who wants to control the amount of information and content accessed through any internet-enabled device. This tool comes in the form of firewall software which can be tailored or designed for one device, router, or any other means of information. This software can be installed or used as an add-on (a tool added as a supplement). 

The internet Filter can be designed to restrict access to certain websites or even specific internet services. A precise instance of this is access to the Web but restrictions in File Transfer Protocol (FTP).

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Why is Internet Filtering Important? 

It may not look like much, but the world is becoming open to new trends which may sound revolutionary. Most of this information is transmitted via the Web. While some people are okay with the new trend, others may find it hard to adjust. Here are some benefits of the Internet Filter.

Prevention of Data Leakage

Data privacy has never been as crucial as it is today. Confidential information, especially for businesses, is a big market on the dark Web. A data leak can put numerous customers' lives in danger since they are usually for sale to the highest bidder on the other side of the internet. 

Internet filtering becomes necessary to restrict access to potential sites which could be malicious. A business that uses Internet Filtering will control the access granted to its employees on the network.

Increase in Productivity and Efficiency

The internet is a big marketplace with lots of exciting and entertaining content. This content can be detrimental and make one spend hours in one spot, thus reducing productivity, especially in the workplace. Research has determined that up to 85% of employees are actively distracted at work due to activities of online "window-shopping." 

The Internet Filter allows businesses to block off access to sites not relevant to their business. Popular among these websites include social media platforms, entertainment websites, and other channels of inappropriate information to the company. 

A company that uses the Internet Filter restricts its employees to work-related channels on the network, which will channel their focus to achieving its goals.

Increased Security

Cybersecurity theft has become rampant on today's internet. One way businesses ensure safety is the education of responsible use of the internet and dangers associated with visits of malicious sites and how to identify them. However, this may not be enough.

Most cybercriminals infiltrate a company's network through an "Exploit Kit." This kit can enter the internet structure of the company without anyone clicking on any suspicious link or website. This kit is usually designed as a multi-purpose tool that looks for flaws in a computer application. 

While an anti-virus can get them, they usually work as a reactive measure. On the other hand, Internet Filters are proactive measures because they prevent this toolkit from accessing the network in the first place.

Internet Filters are also essential to block phishing. Phishing is the act of deceiving an organization about identity to get information. An internet Filter can protect against access to personal email during work hours, a common trick used by internet fraudsters.

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Facts about Internet Filtering you Should Know

Here are some facts about using an Internet filter:

  • Some filters are designed to record information about internet usage. These filters can be as detailed as recording the time, date, sites visited, and the machine used. 
  • There are different categories of Internet filters. The most common is the client-side filters and the server-based filters. The Client-side filter can be installed and used by an individual. They are usually restricted to just one internet-enabled device. The other category is the server-based filter firewall, which is installed and controlled by a system administrator.
  • The server-side filter will relay all information to the administrator. Some software is as detailed as taking a photo of the person accessing sites restricted on the network. 
  • The internet filter can work in two ways, depending on how the administrator or controller tailors the software. The filter can work based on "Word Blocking" or "Site Blocking." 

Different Types of Internet Filters

There are different types of Filters, each having its function. While it may be possible to differentiate which one works for you, you'll need to consult a cybersecurity expert for advice on choosing which one is best for the company.

Browser-Based Internet Filters

Some of the most common internet filters are classed under the browser category. They include add-ons for browsers, extensions, and even standalone applications to be installed. 

An example is Blocksi, a program designed for Chrome and Firefox which restricts access to sites users want to access through these browsers. "Kardashian Filter" is another type that blocks users from viewing content related to the Kardashian family. 

Although this type of filter is not thorough, they are easy to use and familiar. A disadvantage of using the browser-based filter is that a user can easily switch to another browser and bypass the restrictions.

Filters for Search Engines

The search engine filters remove restricted content when users search for them using the search engine of interest. 

It is also familiar and easy to use since a majority of the search engines already come pre-installed with one, called "Safe Search." 

However, one does not need administrator privileges to turn the filters off and allow the regular viewing of search results. Additionally, a user can bypass the filter if they know the URL of the website and can directly input it on the address tab.

Network-based Filters

Network-based filters are web filters typically installed at the application post or transport of a network. 

These filters are usually used by large organizations to control the IP addresses of the systems in their network. It comes either as a web proxy or a transport to control activities on the network. They usually guard incoming and outgoing network requests. 

Other types of Internet Filters include:

  • Client-side filters
  • Server-side filters.

What is the Best Internet Filtering tool?

There are many Filters on the internet today. However, the best ones should come with essential features to help you.

Some of these features include:

  • Screen time limits for kids 
  • Ability to generate reports on internet activity monthly or weekly.
  • It should be affordable.

Learn More about Internet Filtering

Internet filtering is an essential piece of safer and more responsible internet usage. The internet filter has become more valuable to control home and workplace activities. There is more to learn about using these filters, especially how to use and program them, not to take much information that could harm you and your loved ones/company. 

You can enlist the help of a cybersecurity company to enlighten you on the pros and cons of using an internet filter and how to choose the right one in the market for your business place.

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