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Your Business And Web Filtering

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By Author: Carolyn Clayton
Total Articles: 174
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Web filtering is one of the most controversial subjects in relation to Internet use. However with 52% of businesses reporting a misuse of Internet resources in the work environment is web filtering an essential to ensure productivity?

Web filtering, also known as content control software, determines what content will be available on a particular machine/network. It is all about access control and ensuring that users only get access to content that they need whilst stopping potentially offensive material.
It stops wasted working hours that are spent browsing the internet for personal use rather than working.

Web filtering software Access policies can be set to individual user level and applied by time, date and location. Millions of URLs are categorised in 7 main categories and 70 sub categories. This continuously updated database ensures accurate control. Detailed reports also allow organisations to accurately monitor internet use. Real-time logs display which sites and downloads users have attempted to access and if they were allowed or not.

With a web filtering software HTTP and FTP requests are also scanned for viruses and spyware, allowing your business to feel secure as threats are stopped before they reach your network. It also stops the downloading of music and films meaning there is no burden on internal IT systems and more available bandwidth.

Many companies point to legal liability, productivity, and bandwidth usage as concerns that arise when employees view inappropriate web sites, shop online incessantly before the holidays, or download and play MP3 files throughout the day.

So can't employers talk to employees instead of censoring everything? There is a potential for backlash to businesses that use web filtering. A business must identify goals while paying attention to employee concerns, only then can a company create an effective policy for acceptable web filtering use.

However many businesses will simply argue that the ability to restrict access to suspicious or malicious web sites is imperative to network security. Companies have an obligation to prevent access to offensive materials, but also need to be concerned with blocking access to malicious sites that may download malicious software, exploit vulnerabilities, host a phishing attack, or pose some other security threat to the network. Businesses argue that they need web filtering for:

• Protection against web based threats
• Protection from inappropriate or illegal web content
• Restriction of personal web access
• Complete peace of mind
• Reduced risk of illegal content entering networks
• Reduced bandwidth use
• Improved performance for legitimate Internet access

Employees may feel too pressured by web filtering; what if internet research is needed to complete a piece of work but the site has been censored by a web filter. A relaxed work environment will create better working results as your employees will be less stressed when undergoing their work tasks.

I feel that web filtering works to an extent. It does improve productivity and improves bandwidth use. For some businesses web filtering might just be the key to their success and keep them growing.

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