What is an Internet Filter? A Guide to Internet Filtering & Access Monitoring Software Packages

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Those looking to monitor how they, & other people, access the Internet may consider using Internet filters. These tools can promote safe surfing & help protect computers.

The World Wide Web may be a wonderful place but it also comes with some downsides. For many parents the worry is that their kids will access inappropriate sites. The Internet is unregulated and even an apparently innocent web search can throw up some disturbing results.

Many parents want kids to stay away inappropriate sites – image theheadteacher.com

Many employers also worry about the time their staff spend on personal surfing when they should be working. In both cases Internet filtering software solutions may be worth considering.

What are Internet Filters?

These tools are purely designed to prevent an individual from accessing certain types of websites or web content. So, for example, a filter could be set up to block content from gambling or porn sites by a parent who wants to keep an eye on what their child is doing online. An employer could set their filters up to exclude chat or games sites.

Many parents want kids to stay away inappropriate sites – image by gcfglobal.org

The point here is that the filtering software will prevent the user from getting into these kinds of sites. Kids will often look for inappropriate web content because they are curious or find it in searches by mistake. A filter could stop blocked sites showing in search results or could bring up a “site blocked” notice if a site is found, searched for or clicked on.

image by 43webseo.com

How does Internet Filtering Software Work?

There are many different types of Internet filters and access monitoring programs that can be used. These may all offer different features and solutions. Common ways of filtering used here include:

  • Filters that work by type/genre (i.e the program may be set up to block all chat sites and so on).
  • Filters that work by individual site (i.e. the user may be able to add individual sites for the program to block).
Blocking individual websites
  • Filters that can be customised (i.e. the user can allow certain URLs that would normally be type/genre blocked to be accessed).
  • Filters by password (i.e. the user can set up a series of passwords for people that will use a computer with varying filters set for each of them).

Consumers have various options when it comes to choosing what kind of access monitoring to use.

You can choose access monitoring – image by networklifegroup.com

For example, they could:

  • Use filters that are already loaded on to their computers by enabling them in their browser or other software packages.
  • Find freeware filters on the Internet and download them.
  • Buy off the shelf software packages.
  • Get filters as part of a broader parental control software package.
Protect your computer with internet filtering – image by techexplorist.com

Internet access monitoring can be useful for many people that worry about the dangers and problems of surfing. Used either as a stand-alone protective measure or as part of a complete access monitoring package, Internet filters may well be worth considering.

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