Unlimited access to the internet causes more harm than good for both adults and children. That is why content filtering is crucial to all online users at the home, school, or workplace. The benefits of installing this software are evident once you learn how it protects you and then take the necessary measures.
Online Threat Statistics
However, just how bad is the situation for web users? Let us examine statistics concerning online threats. These statistics show how much everyone is at risk from web-based threats whenever using the internet.
• Google’s Transparency Report of February 24, 2019
states that 1.4 million websites were classified as “Sites Deemed Dangerous by Safe Browsing.”
• Dr. Web reveals in the March 2020 report
that there was a 106.76% increase of dangerous URLs compared to February 2020. This was an addition of 186,881 against 90, 385 of February.
• Ropelato (2006)
, explains that in 2006, websites with adult content constituted 12%.
• A survey by Netmums
indicates that 42.1% of children concurred that they watch online pornography. The same survey divulged that 5% of the children said they arranged to meet secretly with strangers they had chatted with online.
• Another Google report
on 4.5 million sites warned that 10% of the websites were dangerous and could expose internet users to hackers.
Benefits of Content Filtering Tools
1. Blocks inappropriate content
The internet is awash with all manner of content, which can pop up when children are in the middle of their research or activities. Even when they have to play online games, blocking violent games is important. It will protect them from being violent because of such exposure.
Filtering inappropriate content also keeps them safe from bad sites including those for gambling, pornography, racism, obscenities, and other illegal activities. Blocking this content preserves children’s innocence. It also shields them from getting addicted to these weird behaviors. This will allow them to grow up into socially upright adults.
2. Improves productivity
By installing content control software, you reduce unnecessary time wastage on online diversions. Employees and children alike see no big deal in wasting time on non-productive work. That is why when parents and school authorities install web-filtering software, children tend to concentrate more on their work.
This makes them more productive. At the work place, productivity significantly improves when workers cannot access non-work related sites. They will also work efficiently as there will be no distractions from mindless browsing on the internet. The filtering tools also enable the company to have better internet management.
3. Protects privacy
Online content filtering tools play a great role in protecting the privacy of individuals who would otherwise be at risk. Children can stumble upon chat rooms and start chatting inappropriately with strangers. It is easy for them to give away private information without knowing the repercussions for it.
Some sites may ask for such information with bad intentions. Children may also expose themselves to cyber bullying. It can affect them throughout their entire life causing them to fall into depression or commit suicide.
In the work environment, web filtering protects the privacy of the company. It controls which sites employees visit by blocking the dangerous ones. This safeguards the business data that would otherwise end up in wrong hands. It also prevents identity theft.
4. Defends infrastructure
Streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube are popular with most internet users. Though it is okay in the home, children should use them with parental controls in place. As for the work environment, streaming uses up a lot of bandwidth and time.
If several employees use these services each day, they will waste company time and cause network overload. Installing content filtering software eliminates such wastage that leads to network congestion. This in turn protects the company infrastructure and employees only access relevant work-related websites.
5. Eliminates cyber-attack threats
The internet is an active ground for all manner of pursuits some of which are harmful. Content control software stops cybercrimes. They do this by preventing access to malicious and dangerous websites on your devices.
It safeguards against viruses and other damaging materials that can harm your computer and cause network loss. These content filters increase web security as they bar the real threat of cyber hacking which can cause untold agony. Cyber hackers can bring down an individual or company by stealing and using personal information for their benefit.
It could be accessing bank accounts, social media accounts, or using blackmail to extort money in exchange for the stolen data. On an individual level, attackers may leave a trail of debt using your stolen identity.
Because of such attacks, a company can soil their reputation. They may end up losing valuable clients who may not understand why precautionary measures were not enforced in the first place.
6. Minimizes company liability
By filtering content, you protect your company from liability arising from employees’ mischievous activities online. Not all employees perform their jobs when they have access to the internet. As such, they can cause serious legal issues for the company if controls are not enforced.
They can download copyrighted materials or pornographic content into the company’s internal networks. Such rogue employees can also misuse company emails, share spiteful posts among other actions.
The company will be liable leading to court cases and reputation damage. The use of filtering software raises the company’s credibility, protects it from such legal problems, and displays commitment to stopping cybercrimes at the workplace.
The internet is an invaluable part of our everyday lives. We need it for our daily activities such as conveying information, marketing products and services, and conducting research. This implies that employing web content filtering tools is a mandatory act.
It guarantees maximum protection for all internet users. This lessens legal hassles in relation to security breaches while protecting your network from hackers. Productivity receives a boost, as there is minimal misuse and wastage of time and resources. Most importantly, children will be safe when using the internet.
Read 'The Dangers of Underage Online Gambling'