What is a Web Filter and Content Filter?

Web Filter also known as Content Control Software is a kind of software which is installed on a user’s computer to prevent the user from being able to access anonymous/uncategorized websites. It’s the preferred method by which most organizations implement, to protect sensitive information from leaking out to other Internet sites. Social media sites are usually blocked by the Web Filter to protect corporate and other personal data from being leaked out by accident.

Web Filter products are available in multiple options, some can be installed on-premises, while others are cloud-based. Products like Repulsa offer both options – on-premises proxy devices and cloud-based web filtering, which can be customized per client function and need.

Content Filter also known as Information Filter is a program which prevents access to inappropriate links which might cause an undue situation if opened. It filters unwanted web pages and websites to protect the confidentiality and integrity of information.

With the Content Filter, the users can be denied access to certain URLs that are imbedded in their emails, Pop-ups, and websites. It contributes to blocking content, which involves any undesirable content, which when sent through emails, would be considered spam.

Reasons for controlling web content:

  1. To safeguard your IT environment in case employees, access their personal emails or any social sites on a company device.
  2. To help filter unwarranted external websites and links.
  3. To prevent leakage of company information through personal chats and emails.
  4. To diminish the amount of web threats your environment gets exposed to as employees may access non- business related websites where they might unknowingly download an individual file which could be harmful to the organization.
  5. To protect the organization from suffering any loss due to malicious cyberattacks because of their employees using the Internet to browse unknown/unsecure sites, access personal emails, and/or social sites.

Threats that causes damage to organizations include:

  1. Phishing
  2. Unsecure file sharing
  3. Use of instant messaging
  4. Pop-up advertisement

There are certain ways of controlling these access:

  1. Provide an employee handbook with Do’s and Don’ts of Internet access.
  2. Block unwanted sites so that employees will not have access to their personal emails and social sites.
  3. Utilize monitoring tools that record the internet usage by an employee so that you can keep track of which users are taking undue advantage of excessive usage of Internet, for example, streaming from gaming sites.

The difference between Web Filter and Content Filter:

  1. Web filtering programs allow you to block web pages which include irrelevant information to your business or may potentially contain viruses which can cause harm as well as leak company information.

Content filtering programs allow you to block emails as well as any characters that are commonly matched to hacking codes like cross site scripting.

  1. Web filtering allows blocking of websites which are clearly non-work related, such as social sites, online games or any other sites through which employees could access their personal email.

On the other hand, content filtering allows blocking of viruses, attachments of any malicious emails or any pop-ups which might be harmful.

  1. Web filtering protect the users from malicious URLs.

Content filtering protects you from Phishing emails.