A website filtering service can help to improve your online defenses against viruses and malware, and to monitor acceptable use policies in order to that the Internet is used as intended by all users. In addition to these beneficial features, services for filtering websites can also be used to reduce bandwidth wastage and ensure adequate bandwidth is available to users at all times.
Improve Your Online Defenses against Viruses and Malware
A website filtering service is an important element of an organization´s online defenses. By enabling control over the content that can be accessed by Internet users, an organization can reduce the risk of malware downloads as the result of phishing or whaling, and the installation of viruses, infections and ransomware.
Even website visitors trained on Internet security are likely to be unaware that a website harbors malware until it is too late. Recent research conducted by Internet security firms suggest that up to three-quarters of websites contain security vulnerabilities that could be taken advantage of by hackers to install exploit kits infected with malware.
Services for filtering websites prevent malware downloads by restricting access to websites suspected of harboring malware and blocking certain file types when they try to download. For maximum protection against viruses and malware, a website filtering service should have SSL inspection that decrypts, reads and re-encrypts websites using https:// prefixes.
How a Website Filtering Service Can Be Used to Monitor Acceptable Use Policies
An acceptable use policy is intended to guide employees and visitors/clients on the rules for accessing the Internet. For employers, this generally means that employees should only use the Internet for work-related purposes during working hours, while visitors/clients should adhere to any ban placed on viewing pornography or other content that might be considered objectionable.
A website filtering service can help monitor and enforce acceptable use policies by blocking access to non-work related websites and sites that contain objectionable content. Using a combination of blacklists, category filters and keyword filters, an organization can fine-tune services for filtering websites to ensure that employees and visitors/clients adhere to its rules.
Most services for filtering websites block access to anonymizer sites to prevent users from attempting to circumnavigate filter parameters. They also provide reports on Internet usage in order that system administrators can identify when a user has attempted to access a prohibited website. These tools can help increase productivity in the workplace and prevent HR issues.
Services for Filtering Websites Can Reduce Bandwidth Wastage
A third reason for implementing a website filtering service is to reduce bandwidth wastage. Many organizations do not have unlimited bandwidth and, at peak periods, bandwidth availability may be limited. Without adequate bandwidth, Internet access is intermittent and some Internet users may be prevented from being able to connect to the Internet.
The options for organizations experiencing these issues are to pay for more bandwidth or reduce bandwidth wastage. Most bandwidth wastage comes from Internet users accessing video streaming sites such as Netflix and YouTube, using certain web applications or gaming websites. By restricting access to these sites and applications, organizations can avoid purchasing additional bandwidth.
A website filtering service often has the facility to set time-based restrictions by user, user group or department. Therefore organizations have a considerable amount of flexibility about what Internet access is allowed at certain times of the day – allowing organizations to take a more relaxed attitude to certain online activities at times when bandwidth availability is not an issue.
The Advantages of Implementing a Website Content Filtering Service for Customers
If your organization is in the retail or catering industries, you will understand the importance of providing a free Internet service for customers. Consumer decisions on where to shop, eat, travel, and spend time are frequently based on whether services to access the Internet, email, and messaging services are provided.
However, providing a free but unprotected Internet service for customers can lead to problems. Customers who inadvertently download malware when using your service are more likely to blame the service rather than their unsafe browsing activities, while you may lose trade due to customers openly viewing pornography via their mobile devices. Both of these issues can be avoided with a website content filtering service.
As services for filtering websites also produce reports into Internet usage, this gives you an insight into your customers´ browsing activities. With this information, your organization has the opportunity to deliver targeted products or marketing – potentially attracting new customers to your business and increasing your sales.
Guidelines when Evaluating Services for Filtering Websites
Not all services for filtering websites are the same. With a hardware-based website filtering service, you may be required to invest a considerable amount of money in the hardware – only to see your organization expand and have to invest more money in more hardware. Conversely, some software-based services for filtering websites have high operational costs.
Evaluating the most suitable website content filtering service for your organization can be a time-consuming business. To save time – and possibly raise some points you may not have otherwise considered – we have compiled a list of the most important features that should be included in a website filtering service:
In order to avoid implementing a website content filtering service that might not be compatible with existing hardware or software, choose a universally-compatible solution. These operate by a simple redirection of the organization´s DNS, rather than the organization having to invest in expensive hardware or commit IT resources to maintain a software program.
As mentioned above, it is important to consider that your organization may expand over time. By choosing a website filtering service that suits your current requirements, but that also has the flexibility to expand with your organization, you will save time and money – and potential headaches – in the future.
The term “granularity” relates to the level of fine-tuning the website content filtering service is capable of. The best services for website filtering have blacklists, category filters and keyword filters maintained by the service provider, time-control mechanisms and access keys in the event that there is a justifiable cause for an individual to override the parameter settings.
The ideal website filtering service should be user-friendly in order that parameter settings can be set and adjusted by an administrators, rather than take your most experienced IT staff from critical day-to-day tasks. Look for a website content filtering service with intuitive controls and a web-based interface to allow parameter settings to be applied and adjusted from any location.
Speak with WebTitan about our Website Filtering Services
WebTitan Cloud is a DNS-based website filtering service that has been developed with easy implementation, quick configuration, and low-management overheads in mind. Our cost-effective website content filtering service can be used to protect wired and WiFi networks against viruses and malware regardless of the number of users or access points.
WebTitan Cloud Features
- No software downloads
- No hardware to purchase
- Imperceptible latency
- No bandwidth restrictions
- No limits on the number of users or devices
- Highly granular and intuitive controls
- A web-based interface
- Time-based filtering options
- Automated reporting
- Available in white-label format for MSPs and re-sellers
Contact the WebTitan team today to find out more about our services for filtering websites and for details of our thirty-day free trial so that you can witness the WebTitan Cloud website content filtering service in action.