Content filtering involves the deliberate of blocking access to problematic online resources and information including web pages, email and other information.
Why would you want to do that?
It Protects Your Network From Malware
Malware and other malicious content can be delivered to your network by simply clicking a link or opening an attachment. Adults in general are cautious about what they do online especially when on the road network.
Other people that use your network, kids in particular, are much less likely to show the same caution. It’s surprising how indiscriminate kids are in terms of what they click and what they open and that puts you at real risk.
It Protects You From Lawsuits Over Pirated Content
You might think it’s okay to share music movies and TV shows online but the people that produce that content do not and they are becoming more aggressive about protecting it.
The film The Expendables 3 is one recent example. Leaked online before it premiered in theaters the producers believe that widespread filesharing of the movie contributed heavily to lacklustre performance at the box office. As a result they are going after everyone who downloaded the movie.
The problem is they can’t know exactly who downloaded it. What they do know is what Internet accounts were involved. that means that they aren’t really going after the people who did the downloads. They’re going after the people that pay for the Internet accounts that were used for the downloads. That makes the account holder responsible for the actions of everyone that uses the network.
It Protects Your Kids And Their Friends From Inappropriate Content
The internet is full of material that is not suitable for children or even teenagers. You may not be familiar with this material it doesn’t mean that it’s not just a few clicks away. Even relatively innocent searches can lead to some truly disturbing content very quickly. You probably don’t want your kids accessing this kind of material, or provide a network that their friends can use to access it.
It Protects Your Reputation
Remember the example of the pirated movie – a lot of online activity gets traced back to the account holder, not the person that actually involved.
A teenager might search for a young celebrity and stumble across leaked or faked photos that were inappropriate in nature. They might look at racy photos of their peers.
Whatever your feelings about that may be would you be comfortable about that activity being traced back to you as the account holder?
In each of these cases content filtering protects you by allowing you to block access to the kinds of dangerous content mentioned above.
Mark Anderson is a software developer, small business owner and parent. More information on digital security and protecting your family online can be found on his personal blog.