Content filtering is a method companies use to protect their networks and technical assets. When workers use the company network, they potentially expose it to a variety of threats like malware. If one device is infected, it can spread to the entire company.
So, while only one aspect of proper Internet security, there are certain types of web content that you should filter because these websites can contain malware, adware, spyware, dangerous links, and other threats.
While it is typically not necessary to monitor employee activity, there are definitely types of Web content companies should block.
1. Download websites. Whether it’s music, software, games, or other types of media, nothing can land your company in hot water faster than websites that offer “free” downloads of various types of content.
These websites are dangerous for several reasons. Some simply claim they are offering free content, and once the user clicks download they give a nasty hive of malware access to their computer. Even if that’s not the case, let’s not forget that downloading content for free that you would usually pay for is typically considered illegal and not something you want your business to get involved in.
2. File sharing websites. Unless they’re authorized to do so by management, there’s no reason for users to have access to file sharing systems because they might indirectly expose company secrets or files to unsecured connections. Additionally, it’s not a great idea to allow indiscriminate sharing of company resources or unknown file types between users.
3. Adult websites. There’s really no reason something like this should pop up at work. Regardless of what people do, adult websites are not only completely unrelated to work but are also a major source of adware, trackers, and other information-hungry programs. Let’s just be professional.
4. Game websites. Not only are online games attention drains, websites that host them can be riddled with nasty malware, depending on the source. Since a game harms a company by reducing productivity, it’s best to just have these blocked entirely.
5. Web media sites. While YouTube videos can provide you hours of entertainment, they unfortunately are massive drains on both attention and productivity. It’s better to keep websites like these filtered out since they can distract workers from their jobs.
6. Web forums. A Web forum is another type of online content that can lead to unwanted programs on a company network. These sites can also distract employees and reduce efficiency, so it’s better to blacklist them.
While content filtering can seem like an extreme, strict method, it is often done to prevent unnecessary risks to companies. Usually it extends only to the business network and related devices, so users don’t feel as their personal rights are encroached upon.
These six essential types of websites are key areas to block, and doing so will keep your business productive and safe.