Are you browsing the web as safely and securely as possible? Do you want to boost your company’s cybersecurity? How can you reduce the risk of phishing, internet of things (IoT) security issues, and ransomware attacks? Web filtering may be the right solution.
The number of cyberattacks continues to increase yearly, causing massive costs to companies and countries. It’s essential to protect your devices from privacy issues through options like apps with content filtering functionality. Cybersecurity is critical whether you’re accessing the internet for telecommuting, for online marketing business or even when taking online classes.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported in March 2020 that COVID-19 caused nearly 80% of the world’s physical schools to close during the global pandemic.
Today, companies and individuals can take various steps to bolster online security and privacy. Web filtering remains one of the most practical options.
Let’s review some of the most critical ways internet filtering can protect your desktop, laptop, or tablet.
Protect Device from Ransomware
The first computer virus was discovered on a Mac in 1982 and was known as Elk Cloner.
Nearly four decades later, malware has remained a cybersecurity threat to computers. Meanwhile, ransomware has become especially troubling for cybersecurity teams.
This type of cyberattack can be devastating. That’s because it can allow cyberattackers to hijack your device, steal financial information, or engage in identity theft.
Today, ransomware and other malware can cause havoc through means like encrypting company data on several devices.
If that happens, then employees are unable to access critical data. It can cause a logistical disaster if sensitive data becomes encrypted.
Unfortunately, many companies ultimately pay a ransom due to the value of the lost data.
Web filtering is one option individuals or companies have to help avoid ransomware. You should still practice caution when clicking on links and suspicious sites.
Web filtering can prevent end-users from going to malicious websites where they can inadvertently download ransomware. Furthermore, you should avoid clicking on email links unless you’re 100% certain they are safe.
Minimizing Company Liabilities
Employees may underestimate the effects of browsing non-work-related sites using the company’s network. Such misuse of company resources can result in a wide array of liabilities.
For instance, limiting the sites and domains employees can access could help prevent employees from making inappropriate blog posts using company resources.
Protecting a company’s brand and image can occur in various ways. Preventing events like workers downloading copyrighted materials can certainly function as an effective option.
More Efficient Bandwidth Usage
Companies need to streamline resources to increase their efficiency. A company’s network can easily be one of its most valuable resources.
Meanwhile, limiting workers’ access to non-work-related sites can boost the network’s efficiency. Faster connections can thus boost the overall work efficiency of the entire company.
Video-streaming sites are among some of the biggest “bandwidth hogs.” Several employees can use company resources by watching YouTube videos, for instance.
Without web filtering and a network monitoring software, the entire network can get bogged down, which can affect company productivity and profits.
Complement Home or Office Firewall
While a web filter limits the user’s access to specific web content, a firewall protects internal computers and services from external threats.
A packet-filtering firewall is one of the various options for your home or workplace. These firewalls inspect data packets then filter web traffic based on network ports or internet protocol (IP) addresses.
Block Inappropriate Sites and Content
Some of the main options are category, URL (Uniform Resource Locator), and domain filtering. In synergy with antivirus software for businesses, category filtering is particularly effective in a business environment. It limits workers to visiting work-related websites only.
URL filtering is another effective way you can prevent your workers from accessing inappropriate sites.
Here’s how it works. If you visit a site without a secure server, for instance, the network will block your browser if you try to revisit the site.
URL filtering can also include particular web pages instead of the entire website.
For example, you can block your workers from accessing any Facebook links besides your company page. This step can allow workers to make posts on the company’s Facebook page while limiting the risk of privacy issues.
Maintain High Productivity Levels
While your employees may need to access the company Facebook page, they may not need to access their personal Facebook page.
Companies can boost workers’ productivity by using web filtering to prevent them from accessing particular content.
In many cases, “category filtering” can be highly effective. For example, you may want to block social media sites so workers can’t access Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit during office hours.
In recent years, numerous companies have become more stringent in terms of employees' web access.
It’s significantly easier for employees to get focused or “in the zone” when possible internet distractions are limited. Workers will be less likely to spend time playing League of Legends, reading social media posts, and checking out sports scores.
Workers will still likely have the ability to browse non-work-related websites. Meanwhile, limited access sites can keep employees focused.
Protect IT Infrastructure
The possible impact of cyber attacks on IT infrastructures may be surprising. A key potential issue is damage control to determine the extent of the damage to such infrastructures after a cyberattack.
It’s critical to defend individual computers from cyberattacks. Nevertheless, it is also critical to prevent malware and ransomware, for example, from spreading to your company’s IT infrastructure. Such a situation can exponentially worsen the situation.
Any network hardware like servers can become infected once a user downloads malware or ransomware, for instance.
Preventing malware and other threats from getting downloaded onto your computer from the start can stop them from spreading to other computers in your company network.
One type of web filtering your company can implement is DNS (Domain Name System) filtering. This option causes web filtering to take place during the DNS lookup stage.
As a result, a search for a DNS is checked before the network connects to the server providing the web content.
Safeguarding Minors from Inappropriate Content
Households and schools can also use web filtering to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content.
Web filtering can be particularly effective when parents can’t monitor their children’s web browsing activities.
Parents can combine web filtering and the use of a firewall to provide complete control over which sites their kids can access.
Firewall security can provide critical types of protection, including spam, viruses, and malware. Such services can work hand-in-hand with web filtering. In turn, your workers or family can sift out unnecessary and unsafe information.