Computers at work are installed for the purpose of completing tasks assigned to employees. However, due to boredom, drowsiness, or lack of focus, workers tend to do unnecessary things on their computers. Some of these are browsing through social media sites, downloading unsafe files, interacting with online communities, and even accessing adult content. Such actions are not only unbecoming, they also tend to waste important work hours, damage the company’s reputation, and may even cause harm to the entire computer network. This is where content filters come in.
Risks For Computer Networks
In general, inappropriate, illegal, and objectionable content from the Internet are very risky in any computer network. If pornographic content is unregulated in the workplace, it increases the chance of creating a hostile work environment where claims of sexual harassment may also increase.
Allowing the workers to download just about anything, e.g. executable files, will risk installing malware into the system. Unless you are using a private proxy, you may also risk exposing private or company data to hackers.
Using social media at work diminishes work productivity and is a huge distraction for those who have important tasks to do or deadlines to meet.
How Content Filters Can Help
Basically, by filtering the content that goes in and out of the network, you are able to restrict and control what data is allowed. Screening emails for spam content will lessen the risk of having malware. Websites with violent, pornographic, and questionable content may be restricted to protect the reputation of the company. Screening executable files or restricting the employees from downloading them will remove the risk of malicious software being unknowingly installed.
How Does it Work?
Depending on what type of content filtering module is used, there are several types of protection for networks. First is website blocking in which the administrator can specify which websites are allowed or not. Another is by having a file filter so the admin can block downloading of potentially harmful files. Anti-VoIP may also be used to block call services that are not allowed within the company. There are also blocking modules for emails, instant messaging, and online gaming sites. All of these content filtering methods will be effective in providing an extra ounce of security for the network.
All in all, content filtering is simply about gaining control over your computer network instead of being vulnerable to all kinds of risks on the Internet. This can be achieved when, along with content filtering, other solutions such as strengthening Internet security, reviewing the network firewall, and having trusted providers are also considered.
Simply put, the company can choose what websites employees can access, who can access which sites, and put a stop to non-work related activities during office hours. This way, the employees get to be more productive and your files stay protected.