Web filtering is one way that employers can use employee monitoring software to protect their company. But what is web filtering, and how does it help protect your organization’s networks and devices? Take a look at some of the things that you should know about web filtering and how it can improve cybersecurity in your workplace.
What is Web Filtering?
Put simply, web filtering prevents your employees from accessing insecure sites.
If you have children at home, you may think of web filtering as the parental controls that you can use to block objectionable content from your children’s eyes when they’re browsing the internet. Enterprise web filtering solutions for businesses are similar, in that they do block certain sites from being accessed by your employees.
However, the aims of web filtering in a business context are somewhat different than web filtering at home. While it is common for businesses to block obscene or vulgar content, they may also block sites that are correlated with a loss of productivity, including social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Web filtering in the workplace can also be used to prevent employees from accessing sites that may contain viruses or malware, including personal webmail services.
How Web Filtering Can Increase Productivity
Many employees spend time on non-work-related websites. Removing access to those sites increases productivity.
Web filtering is often implemented in order to deal with the issue of cyberloafing – that is, browsing non-work-related sites during working hours. Cyberloafing hurts productivity and costs organizations money as they pay employees for perusing social media sites, checking their email, or shopping online when they should be working.
Experts suggest that in organizations that do not block any internet activity, 58 percent of employees spend over four hours per week on sites that aren’t related to workplace activity. This means that blocking sites that employees turn to instead of doing work can raise productivity for more than half of workers.
How Web Filtering Can Increase Cybersecurity
While increasing productivity is a real concern, it’s not the only thing that employers need to worry about, and it’s not necessarily even the most important thing. Data breaches can be a serious risk for any organization, with costly consequences if they are not prevented. And insecure websites, phishing attempts, and malware sent through email, messaging, or other means are just some of the ways in which hackers can try to get into your organization’s network.
Filtering out illegal or unethical sites, social media sites, personal webmail sites, streaming sites, online dating sites, and instant messaging apps can cut down drastically on the number of opportunities that outsiders have to infiltrate your network or contact your employees.
Data breaches that are caused by malware, viruses, phishing attempts, and social engineering attacks can cost your business not only in money but also in loss of clients and public trust. Web filtering is an easy way to prevent many attempts at these types of data breaches.
Web filtering is only one of many tools that can help protect your organization. To find out more about web filtering, click here.