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WiFi Filtering: One of the main reasons for an organization implementing web filtering for guest WiFi is online security. A web content filter for guest WiFi helps to protect computer networks and the devices that connect to them from online threats such as malware and ransomware.
Depending on the nature of the business in which the organization is engaged, web filtering for guest WiFi can also help to attract customers, increase productivity in the workplace, conserve bandwidth and aid compliance with industry regulations.
Many organizations now provide a wireless Internet service for guests who want to stay connected. You will find a guest WiFi service in bars, restaurants and hotels, in modes of public transport, and in shopping malls. Many businesses offer a wireless Internet service for the convenience of their employees; while schools, libraries and hospitals provide guest WiFi for students, patients and visitors.
However, providing an unfiltered WiFi service can have issues. Both the provider of the WiFi service and the guests who use it are at risk from online threats. With no control over what material Internet users can access, minors can be exposed to inappropriate content, employees can waste time in non-work related activities, and a few customers live streaming videos can deny Internet access to everyone else.
Implementing a wifi filter can help overcome these issues. By providing a safe and secure, controlled online environment, organizations in the retail industry can gain an advantage over competitors who still offer unfiltered Internet access, employers can restrict non-work related Internet access to enhance productivity, and public service organizations can comply with industry regulations.
A web content filter for guest WiFi works by filtering out online threats and unwanted content. It does this through a series of filters that can be configured according to the organization´s needs. The filters are constantly updated by the filtering service provider to protect against the most recently identified online threats and typically include:
Blacklists are lists of websites that are known to harbor online threats or who hide behind a proxy IP address to disguise their true identity.
Category filters block or allow access to specific categories of website. Many organizations use category filters to blanket block access to websites containing pornography and racial hatred.
Keyword filters can be used to block access to websites containing specific words or downloads with specific file extensions that are often infected with malware.
Whenever a request to visit a website - or to download a file from a website - is received by the filter, it checks the request against its parameters. Provided that access to the website has not been blocked, the filter allows the request to proceed. If the Internet user is attempting to visit an unsafe or prohibited website, they receive a message saying that access is denied with an explanation why.
Web filtering for guest WiFi is usually sufficiently versatile to allow different privilege levels within the same organization. For example, you may want to allow your marketing department access to social media channels, but not other employees. Filtering parameters can usually be set by individual user, group or department, and within a certain time range.
One key consideration when evaluating web filtering for guest WiFi is SSL inspection. Unfortunately, many supposedly secure websites (those whose URLs begin with https://) have been found to have security vulnerabilities that a hacker could exploit. A web content filter for guest WiFi with SSL inspection de-crypts the secure website, reads its content to check for malware and then - if the website is risk-free - re-encrypts the website before delivering it to the Internet user.
A significant number of Internet users visit locations offering a public WiFi service in order to view Internet content they would be unable to watch in their own home. By using a public WiFi service, they have a degree of anonymity and their IP address cannot be traced. Children, whose parents have imposed controls at home on their Internet usage, can also take advantage of unfiltered public WiFi services to access adult content on their mobile devices.
This potentially leads to Internet users publicly exposing guests, colleagues, customers and other visitors to pornography and other objectionable material. Inasmuch as the provision of an unfiltered WiFi service may attract a certain number of customers, it can be to an organization´s advantage to restrict what content can be accessed with a web content filter for guest WiFi to provide a safe and secure, controlled online environment.
Furthermore, a web content filter for guest WiFi has reporting options that can reveal guests´ browsing activities. With this information, businesses can develop marketing strategies and promotions that are tailored to their existing customer database and most likely to appeal to new customers. Most customers will appreciate being in an environment where their mobile devices are unlikely to be infected, where they and their children are not exposed to objectionable material, and where the business caters for their interests.
The issue regarding employees wasting time in non-work related activities has already been discussed, but a wi fi filter can have further workplace benefits. By blocking access to objectionable material with a wifi filtering/content filter soltuion, many potential HR issues can be avoided and the workplace becomes a less hostile environment for employees threatened by unsavory, racially abusive or sexually demeaning online content.
A web content filter for guest WiFi can also be used to impose limitations on bandwidth-hogging activities during periods of peak traffic. Time controls can be used to limit video streaming and the downloading of large files until traffic has subsided and, in some cases, bandwidth monitoring can also reveal the presence of an infected device - malware often using up more bandwidth than regular Internet activity.
Web filtering for guest WiFi can also help organizations comply with industry regulation. Healthcare organizations are less likely to experience a HIPAA data breach with a web content filter for guest WiFi; while schools and libraries looking to comply with CIPA as a condition of their federal funding can implement wifi filtering in order to protect children from harmful online content.
WebTitan for Cloud for WiFi from TitanHQ is a simple-to-implement web content filter for guest WiFi that has all the features required to provide a safe and secure, controlled online environment. Being 100% cloud-based, organizations do not have to purchase expensive hardware or download complicated software. All that is required to start filtering the Internet is for the organization to redirect its router´s DNS to WebTitan´s servers.
Thereafter, web filtering for guest WiFi could not be any easier. A web-based portal allows system administrators to set and adjust filtering parameters as necessary. Highly granular controls via the intuitive interface allow for the fine tuning of the filter´s parameters, with plug-ins available for back-end integration with Active Directory, LDAP and NetIQ.
Multiple WiFi hotspots can be managed from a single location, and there is no limit to the number of devices - or type of devices - that can be connected to the web content filter for guest WiFi at any one time. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi supports multi-lingual filtering and SSL inspection with no perceptible loss of speed to the Internet user.
Speak with TitanHQ about web filtering for guest WiFi today and you could be filtering the Internet within minutes. Our experienced and friendly sales engineers will answer any questions you may have about WebTitan Cloud for WiFi and will offer you a trial to test our industry-leading web content filter for guest WiFi for free. Test TitanHQ's Wifi filter today.
There are no upfront fees to pay or commitments required. You simply try WebTitan Cloud for WiFi for free and, if you decide to continue with our filtering service after your trial, several inexpensive subscription options are available for you to choose from. Call us today to protect your computer network from online threats, and the devices used by your guests, customers and employees.