Why is content filtering important?
In basic terms, content filtering is a process where certain online content is blocked from display, from inappropriate websites to hate/terrorism-related material. There’s definitely a tendency to associate content filtering with education and public bodies (particularly with the implementation of the Prevent Duty, which requires filtering in school), but that’s not where the uses of filtering end.
Businesses can actually see significant benefits from adopting content filtering solutions. In the next section of this page you’ll find a whole range of statistics exploring different sides of these benefits. As a starting point, however, it’s worth considering that the average UK employee spends a full 759 hours a year distracted, with personal Internet use taking up a significant amount of this. About 41% of surveyed HR professionals pointed to the Internet as a major source of wasted time, while others pointed to social media, email and phone use.
Although content filtering won’t cut personal browsing out entirely in the office (at least, without being overly restrictive and morale-affecting), it can help reduce it to a more acceptable level, ensuring that more time gets spent on the work that actually matters.
More points to consider about content filtering
While the amount of time that gets wasted at work is a major issue, there’s a few areas which may be even more concerning.
It’s widely claimed that about 70% of all pornography is used at work - although the study that produced that statistic may be somewhat outdated, there’s little doubt that the use of porn at work is a major issue. Back in 2010, the Nielson Company determined that 29% of American adults watched porn at work in a given month, while more recent stats had 1 in 10 UK employees admitting to watching porn at work.
Regardless of moral perspectives, there’s little doubt that viewing pornography at work is a problem, wasting time, making computers vulnerable to malware, often creating a hostile work environment, and potentially opening your business up to legal liability. Using content filtering lets you completely block online porn from the workplace, cutting out a major issue.
Talking of malware, you’ll almost certainly be aware of the effects that various attacks can have on your business. With ransomware attacks at an all-time high, businesses need to be aware of how malware spreads. One of the more common infection vectors (.pdf link) involves using spam email to distribute seemingly legitimate files which contain ransomware.
Advanced content filtering solutions like our SurfProtect (more on that in the next section) can block certain file types from being downloaded by unapproved staff, cutting out a major vulnerability.
Introducing SurfProtect Content Filtering
If you’re already using our Internet services, you’ve already got access to one of the most advanced and effective options for content filtering available on the market. Our SurfProtect content filtering system is provided entirely free to Exa customers (and is also available for non-customers).
SurfProtect’s built to give you complete control and convenience, letting you easily create a filtering policy which achieves exactly what you’re looking for. From the start, SurfProtect gives you the ability to start cutting down on time wasted at work, blocking inappropriate content and filtering out filetypes, while backing this up with a whole range of powerful features.
Using SurfProtect, you can decide exactly how your filtering policy operates. Block certain categories of site, activate preset umbrella filtering policies in seconds, see changes take effect in real-time, filter on any device connected to your network, apply different policies to different computers and far more.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how SurfProtect can help you, just head over to our SurfProtect website or call us at 0345 145 1234!