b2ap3_thumbnail_content_filtering_400.jpgWith all of the inappropriate content festering in the gutters of the Internet, you need a solution that will protect you, your family, and your office. Implementing a content filtering solution is a great start, but it’s not going to shield you 100 percent from what’s out there. In addition to having a content filter, you need to take an active role in monitoring who’s doing what on the Internet.

Now, you might think that your content filtering solution is adequate to keep all of the bad stuff out, but the fact of the matter is that even the best content filter will only keep most of the bad stuff out, not all of it. There’s a reality that you need to take into consideration; a user who’s determined to find a way around your content filtering solution, will be able to do so.

One of the clearest examples of this comes from the home where studies show that technologically-savvy kids these days are figuring out how to bypass parental controls to view inappropriate content on the Internet. Net Nanny cites a survey where, “30 percent of teenagers admitted that they know how to delete their browsing history.” And, “12 percent of teenagers have deleted their browsing history in the past year.”

Granted, knowing how to delete browsing history and bypassing a content filter are two different skill sets. Regardless, the connection here is that a user would most likely only delete their browsing history if they felt like they’ve got something to hide, like the viewing of inappropriate content. Parents are suspicious of this. The survey cites, “Of parents that had content filters on their computer, 24 percent believe that their children could access blocked content.”

Clearly there’s a need for content filtering solutions in homes with kids, but what about the office? Surely you don’t have to worry about adult workers accessing adult content while on the clock. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you would think. Consider these statistics from CNBC:

  • 70 percent of all online porn access happens during business hours. – Message Labs
  • Of 61 million unique U.S. visitors logged into pornographic web sites in March of 2006, every fifth visitor was from an office workstation. – Comscore Media Matrix
  • Two-thirds of 474 human resources professionals said in a survey they’ve discovered pornography on employee computers. Nearly half of those, 43 percent, said they had found such material more than once. — Associated Press
  • Half of the Fortune 500 companies have dealt with at least one incident related to computer porn over a 12 month period, offenders were fired in 44 percent of the incidents and disciplined in a further 41 percent of cases. – Computerworld

Of these companies that experience problems with workers accessing porn at work, how many of them have a content filtering solution in place? It’s likely that many of them do, yet, either it’s not adequate enough to block problematic sites, or workers are crafty enough to find ways around the filter.

For example, if a user knows exactly what causes a website to be flagged by a content filter (like a keyword in the URL), they can then access the content if they locate it on a site that they know won’t get flagged. Also, an employee with a mobile device will be able to access content via their mobile provider, which wouldn’t be subject to your network’s content filtering solution.

The lesson here is that, if you want to effectively keep users from viewing inappropriate content (in both your home and office), you need something more involved than just a content filter. You will also need a way to monitor Internet traffic so you can keep users accountable for the sites they visit. Of course, the ramifications for this extend beyond pornography. It also includes the whole gamut of time-wasting websites that your employees are easily drawn to, like Facebook, YouTube, Buzzfeed, gaming sites, etc.

To equip your company with a comprehensive security solution that both blocks problematic websites and monitors online activity, give Iron Edge a call at 832-910-9222.

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