DrayTek's Web Content Filtering (WCF) facilities enable you to protect your network and your users from web content according to your preferences. There are many reasons for doing this, for example:
As DrayTek WCF is performed by your router - your point of entry to the Internet - it is far more difficult to circumvent than software solutions installed on each client/PC and applies to guest PCs too (laptops etc.). Blocking/filtering can be selective for certain computers, users or groups too, so that, for example, managers can have less filtering imposed than other users and time schedules can apply these content filtering for specific time periods only (the facilities and granularity of this depends on the specific model of router selected).
Internet Control in the Home
Whilst the Internet can be hugely beneficial to any home, both for adults and children, there is also the opportunity for it to become distractive, over-consuming as well as risky. For children, a common use of control control is to block inappropriate content, such as web sites with sexual, violent or other adult-oriented content. That's the inappropriate content, but even age-appropriate content can be undesirable. Facebook might be great for your teens, and CBeebies for your younger children, but not if they are supposed to be doing something else. Many parents want to control access to the Internet, for example allowing access to acceptable web sites for specified times of day only. For your adult users in the home, you may want to block access to sites which have a high probability of being infected with malware. You may also wish to block your own computers from sending emails in case of trojan/zombie infection. There are infinite combinations of content filtering and firewalling you might want to impose in your home.
Staff Internet Abuse - A real cost to your business
The Internet provides your business with an effective, useful and often essential facility. Your staff can use it to find quick answers, liaise with customers, send and receive emails and many other productive tasks. Unfortunately, the Internet also provides the opportunity for mis-use. DrayTek products can help you restrict, control and monitor staff Internet usage.
Staff using your Internet facility for time-wasteful activities are costing you. Even more importantly these activities can put your businesses computers and network at risk. A recent survey of 10,000 employees indicated that 44% admitted to spending time on the Internet for personal use, for up to 2.1 hours per day.
Most staff are responsible and prudent with their Internet use and we always recommend a suitable AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) to be in place so that staff or any users of your systems know what they are and aren't permitted to use the computers for. This AUP can be re-inforced by DrayTek routers which can block specific content (either at certain times only or all times) and also block potentially harmful file/code types from being installed by rogue web sites. There are some staff who will make severe abuse of the Internet facilities - spending literally hours on personal matters or social networking sites.
Top 5 Personal Internet Uses for Employees
It's easy to let a 'quick visit' become a prolonged stay without realising and losing track of time. All of the above activities can be immensely time consuming and addictive. What doesn't quite make the list but could be even more serious in its consequences is adult or illegal material being accessed in the workplace, as well as the higher likelyhood tht such sites are infected with malware which will then get onto your business network. There is also the potential to 'innocently' download software and install it on local PCs, unwittingly introducing spyware or trojans onto your network.
Introducing DrayTek Web Content FilteringDrayTek Web Filtering allows you to block web content in three main ways:
Features 1,3 and 4 above are included with the router. Feature 2 is included but requires an annual subscription to the external server which keeps a real-time contstantly updated database of web sites. More details of that later.
1. Keyword Matching
In Keyword Matching you can specify a list of either banned (blacklist)) or permitted sites (whitelist). The DrayTek method is 'object' oriented, which means that you create lists of keywords or sites, can then group them and then apply them into specific user groups or time periods
Using a blacklist, all sites would be accessible by your users except those that match the keywords you specify. This would be useful, for example where there are specific sites known to be causing distuption or timewasting in your organsiation such as social networking or webmail. The example below would allow access to all sites except the ones listed:
A whitelist, on the other hand, is much more restrictive on what your users can access as it blocks all web sites by default and then only allows access to web sites which match your keywords. This is useful when you really want to lock down your Internet access to only allow very specific web site access. The example below would block access to all web sites except those listed:
The URL blacklist and whitelist feature is included as standard on all supported DrayTek routers.
2. Web Site Category (DrayTek GlobalView)DrayTek's GlobalView is built into most of our routers and allows you to select specific categories of web site which your router will allow access to. For example, an office may wish to block access to social networking or other company time-wasting sites or a home user might want to block adult sites from their children. In public Internet access facilities, you might want to block various unsuitable categories.
GlobalView covers 64 separate categories which you can select as blocked or permitted. Every time one of your users attempts to access a site, the router's automatically queries the central GlobalView server to ascertain its classification. This takes only milliseconds. If a site is blocked by GlobalView, according to the categories you have selected, instead of the requested web page, a warning message is displayed to the user (you can customise the message).
Globalview uses a unique method of categorisation to ensure the most accurate, relevant and up to date database of web sites. In particular compared to other services, these are some important advantages of Globalview:
3. Digital Content Type
DrayTek's Content filtering allows you to specify particular data types or web content to be blocked by the router. The vigor is pre-set with many different content types or protocols. You can select any or all of them for blocking. There are infinite combinations but some examples of commonly blocked content are:
For detailed list on the protocols and content type which can be blocked, Click Here.
4. IP Filtering
This is a more technically complex method. All data sent across the Internet is sent as a 'data packet' between devices (for example between your PC and a web site) Each device has its own IP address (such as '188.8.131.52'). In addition, each data packet can be one of several data types (TCP, UDP, ICMP etc.) and may also have additional information such as TCP port numbers. Don't worry if this all sounds a bit complicated; the useful factor here is that these packets can be distinguished and therefore rules can be set up on the router to block or pass packets which match parameters you choose.
Examples of useful IP filters might be to block incoming mail from all but known mail servers, or to allow access to your internal web server from all addresses except known remote locations. IP Filters can be nested so that a chain of filters can all be tied together and data passed only if one of, or all of the rule criteria are met. As we said, it's a technically complex feature but immensely powerful.
Note : Although we include IP filtering here, most users actually consider that to be part of the main firewall features as it's not filtering 'by content' as such.
©2009 SEG / DrayTek UK.