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What is a Content Filter?
A Content Filter helps decide which content is acceptable for viewing and access through a given system. Software that controls content, which is also known as web-filtering programs or censorware, is a term used for applications created and developed for managing what information or media is allowed to be seen by the end user (specifically content from the Internet).
Why is a Content Filter needed?
It is important to control the content on your network and know how your resources are being used. Often, employees will tend to do private or illegal things in the work hours, due to boredom or other reasons. This will waste valuable work hours and can possibly put you at risk if your network is being abused for downloading copyrighted materials.
What does the Content Filter consist off?
Included modules in the SecPoint Content Filter are:
- Anti-Free Mail: This blocks access to official free email providers such as Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Google's Gmail, and so on. The use of free email providers can often indicate employees checking their private email during working hours
- Anti-Game: It is often a tempting to play network games such as Counterstrike or other addictive games during work hours.
- Instant Message Recording: This provides monitoring of the usage of MSN Instant Messaging to see if your employees are communicating with your business customers or with their friends.
- Anti-Instant Message: If your security policy disallows all sorts of instant messengers, then this module can be used to block programs such as MSN Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Chat, Skype Chat, and so forth.
- Anti-VoIP: This allows the blocking of services like Skype, Yahoo Talk, Google Talk, VoIP usage, and lots more. Employees can be talking to non-work-related contacts during work hours or even leak sensitive information without your knowledge.
- Anti-P2P: If your security policy requires you to block all P2P file sharing services like BitTorrent, eDonkey2000, Emule, Kazaa, and Napster, then you should enable this module. Those programs are often used to share copyrighted materials such as music or movies. If this is done in your corporate perimeter, you will become responsible for this dilemma once a raid is started. In some countries, ISPs will outright close down the Internet connection of a guilty business, so such a case can become a very costly affair.
- File Filter: This option blocks downloading of specific file formats such as *.exe, *.zip, or *.rar files depending on the supervisor’s choice. This applies to emails, web browsing, and other protocols.
- Protocol Filter: This allows blocking of specific protocols in your network. In some locations, POP3 traffic is forbidden since this is often used by employees to check their private email in working hours. You can customize which protocols to block as well.
- Block Websites: This allows blocking of websites of your choice. Often, employees will spend hours daily to read news sites, gossips, and websites of personal interest during working hours.