Internet means a network of millions of computers. The amount of good and bad content it carries is beyond anybodys perception. There are occasions when the content needs to be channelized based on its appropriateness. Moral policing doesnt work at this scale, rather what can salvage the situation is content filters placed strategically on the network constantly monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic.
Internet is full of unwanted content that needs filtering for various reasons. In offices, content filters are required to ensure productivity, while at home they are an optimum method of providing controlled internet access to children. There are many content filtering software in the market which filter different types of online content.
Types of Content Filters
Internet is a complex system of networks that are responsible for carrying huge amounts of data between different IP addresses. Internet on the whole is global network, but at the grass root level, it is a connection of small and simple networks that are relaying and downloading data at a very fast rate. Checking all this content and ensuring only the right ones reach to an intended audience is a very difficult task. That is why, Internet needs content filters at every level of the system.
Browser Based Filter
Browser based filters provide very basic content filtering and is apt for security at home. These filters are capable of blocking access to certain websites and can also monitor unwanted keywords for incoming links.
Email filters check emails for their content before delivering them to the inbox. Filters can be set to block email from a particular id and also to ensure that particular kind of files are never accepted.
Network Based Filter
Network level filters are installed at the network level instead of individual computers. These filters are efficient in blocking the defined content from entering a complete network. This secures multiple computers with a single installation.
Search Engine Filter
Search engine filters block searches for explicitly defined content. This option stores the keywords and ensures that no result with that keyword is listed. Many popular search engines have developed kid friendly version which have preset search filters.
Permutations for Home and Office Network
Given the vastness of internet and the number of safety issues that arise because of it, installing only one filter is not enough. Proper content filtering needs multiple systems installed to ensure 360 degree protection. That does not mean that every network should employ all these security systems. A combination of 2-3 of them can provide optimum filtering on any kind of network.
Home networks usually dont have much traffic and all the activity is related to searches and emails. Hence, browser based filters combined with search engine filters are enough for safe browsing experience at home.
Office networks have multiple levels to them and might have different filtering needs as well. These networks cannot be protected only with software filters; they need hardware firewalls to protect the internal network. On the software level, they need all the filters in place with the strong backup of hardware firewalls.
Keeping an eye on browsing habits manually is practically impossible. A better option is to install content which are both logical and efficient in blocking content deemed unfit for browsers. In home network filters can be used to block, pornographic and violent content while at work, they can be used to block social media platforms to improve efficiency and safety.