4 Reasons content filtering is a more important IT tool than you realize

4 Reasons content filtering is a more important IT tool than you realize

According to Sprout Social, almost 20% of employees spend at least an hour every day using social media. That could cost you a lot of money, but stunted productivity isn’t the only cost of infamous distractions like Facebook.

Filtering out certain websites and other online services also prevents inappropriate, objectionable, or even dangerous content from reaching your employees’ screens. Content filters are one way to achieve this, but they do far more than just whitelist or blacklist certain web addresses.

Today’s content filtering software works by identifying patterns and screening content in real time, though the processes used are similar in many ways to those of email spam filters. Many businesses include content filtering as part of their network firewalls to enforce company policies. In this week’s post, we’ll be exploring some of the outstanding benefits of this practice.

Increased productivity levels

The modern world is chock-full of distractions, some of which lead to full-blown addictions. Social media is one of the biggest culprits of stifled productivity in the workplace, but it’s certainly not the only one.

If employees aren’t monitored or restricted in some way, many of them will waste time checking Facebook feeds, browsing the latest cat GIFs on Reddit, or even going so far as to sit at work watching Netflix.

Email and instant messaging apps are also major distractions. However, it’s hardly reasonable to monitor every little thing your employees do on their computers. Make sure to be open and transparent about what is filtered and why. Doing so will avoid turning the workplace into a dystopian horror the likes of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Better network protection

Cybercrime gets worse every year, and most data breaches stem from human error or even outright maliciousness. With insider threats being a major problem when it comes to information security, it’s more important than ever that employees understand what they can and cannot do online.

Social media, email, instant messaging and online collaboration platforms are all potential attack vectors that criminals use to carry out targeted social engineering scams, spread malware, and more. By blocking high-risk websites and objectionable content, you can protect your business and your staff better, while eliminating annoying things like junk mail and web spam.

Bandwidth usage reduction

Internet speeds might be getting faster all the time, but bandwidth usage is always playing catchup as businesses struggle to allocate their resources optimally. If employees are using up bandwidth for downloading non-work-related files or streaming videos, then your entire network will suffer.

The last thing you want is for a video conference to stall just because an employee is watching Netflix in 4K or downloading all eight seasons of the Walking Dead. Content filtering is a key enabler of better bandwidth management, since it ensures that there’s always enough bandwidth available for mission-critical tasks like customer relationship management (CRM), internet-based calling (VoIP), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools.

Reduced company liability

Perhaps the most important reason for using content filtering is to reduce company liability by blocking objectionable content. For example, an employee may take advantage of having a faster internet connection at work than at home by downloading pirated content. The company, rather than the employee, however, will be held liable in such cases.

Similarly, hate sites and other resources containing inappropriate, illegal, or objectionable content can detract from the company’s image and, in worst-case scenarios, even lead to litigation. Proactively monitoring web content will also help protect your brand from employees who might unwittingly or intentionally publish derogatory content online while at work.

Binatech Systems provides a full range of network security services to businesses in Hamilton, Mississauga, and Buffalo. If you need business-grade firewalls, antivirus solutions, orcontent-filtering software, contact us today to secure your IT infrastructure.