Internet filter is a software tool that allows parents and system administrators to control the list of permitted and blocked websites and programs.
Initially, Internet filters were used in homes and public schools and libraries. As time progressed, the Internet filters became incorporated into businesses to control Internet use in the workplace.
This served the dual purpose of preventing employees from wasting work time and protecting the corporate network from malicious content.
It is also used to prevent citizens from accessing specific websites in certain countries. There are various kinds of filtering techniques:
- Host-based filtering: Through this technique, the administrator installs software on the system, and rules are configured according to the administrator’s needs. Activity attempted outside those rules is prohibited.
- Server-side filtering: Companies and organizations at the gateway level typically adopt this method. The company can install hardware or software capable of filtering traffic at the gateway level, and rules would be configured that would apply to all users inside the company network.
- Content filtering at the ISP level: Many Internet service providers provide this service at an additional cost. Companies and organizations who do not wish to invest in their gateway-level content filtering device can opt for this option and notify the ISP of their content filtering conditions. This method is not as effective as the other three options because users can bypass the filtering by changing the browser settings.
List of some well-known Internet filters.