You’re surfing the internet, minding your own business, then adware suddenly flashes on your screen. Annoying, right? Or perhaps your kids are binge-watching, enjoying their allowed screen time, then inappropriate content starts playing. Upsetting, right? Or your employees keep on accessing non-work-related sites, while on shift, affecting their productivity.
If you find yourself in one of the aforementioned situations, or a similar one, worry no more as we’ll be sharing with you what to look for in web filters. We’ve also taken the initiative to comb through the virtual market to come up with our top 7 internet filtering software programs and tools.
Internet Filter Software You Can Rely On
Kurupira Web Filter
This is a web filter for Windows that can be installed for free. It uses advanced artificial intelligence to detect and block adult content, inappropriate websites, and fraudulent pages. It also tracks internet activities and simultaneously generates reports.
ContentBarrier software is specifically designed for Mac desktops. It includes 22 filter categories, and it allows you to create multiple accounts where you can apply different filters. Aside from web filtering and content blocking, you could also set a screen time limit.
While this internet filter has predefined age-based rules, you can freely and easily customize these. You can not only monitor the browsing history and social media activities, but you can also track the device’s current location. Safe Eyes is available for Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
K9 Web Protection
Another free web filtering software for Windows, K9 Web Protection offers automatic and manual filtering. You can choose from the readily available settings: Monitor, Minimal, Moderate, Default, High, and Custom, or you could manually input URLs to be filtered or content to be blocked.
This DNS-based content filtering service is an effective tool in screening which sites should and should not be accessed at home, at school, or even at workplaces. CleanBrowsing intercepts domain requests, making it more reliable. Its free filters comprise security, adult, and family. You could, however, access 14 predefined filters and full control should you avail of their paid option.
This monitoring app is effective not only in tracking a cell phone or tablet’s activities but also in blocking inappropriate content. Aside from monitoring features, Auto Forward offers an alert option that you can set should a restricted term be used.
As the name implies, SafeSearch is a software programmed to provide a safe searching experience, blocking explicit and inappropriate results. Though this only works on Google, this could be of great help in ensuring all search results across images, videos, and websites are relevant and wholesome.
Reasons Why You Need to Use Web Filtering Software
An internet filtering software is programmed to sort, screen, and blacklist or whitelist content and websites. Depending on the product or the creator, a web filter offers various features to help ensure that a user’s online surfing is safe and convenient.
Most users install internet filters on their devices to prevent random pop-ups, unnecessary re-directions, and inappropriate notifications. If you’re one of the many internet users who value personal convenience and peace of mind, you surely won’t mind throwing a few bucks for premium and elite software.
Kid-Friendly Virtual Environment
Some brands offer internet filter and parental control software in one, which is a wise investment for parents and guardians. Aside from being able to block sites that promote pornography, gambling, violence, and drugs, you can use web filtering software to limit your child’s screen time and track their online activities – all these to avoid compromising your children’s well-being.
Several factors, both internal and external, can affect an employee’s productivity and performance quality. One of these workplace distractions is the internet. Most business processes have now been digitized; hence, it seems impractical for employers to completely block access to the internet. Filtering software, however, could make it possible to keep online accesses under control.
In this digital age where innovations and enhancements seem to be endless, it’s almost impossible to maintain safety and security for a company or home network. Through web filters, you can prevent malware, phishing links, spam messages, or the like from penetrating your device.
Important Features You Must Consider
With countless brands releasing new versions of their software regularly, it can be challenging to choose which one to trust or to avail of. To help you decide, below are the most important factors you should consider.
The most important feature you must look for is the product’s reliability and efficiency – from its content filtering algorithms to site blocking codes to keyword censoring program. Though the number of filter categories could be convincing, do not just rely on this. Delve deeper into what these filters are, and see to it that the blocking and filtering features you need are included.
Most web filters have a built-in algorithm where there is a readily available list of sites, content, and keywords to block. It won’t hurt to go for those that also offer customization wherein you can manually add specific URLs or keywords.
Of course, you must also consider the installation process and ease of use. Like any other online app or platform you utilize, you wouldn’t want the interface to be too complicated.
Also, it’s more practical if you choose software that could be installed and used on multiple devices. If you need one that’s for child monitoring as well, some are silently running in the background, providing safe online access without your kids knowing about it. Moreover, if you avail of an internet filter that generates reports and statistics, consider the data’s accessibility.
Aside from content filtering and web blocking, there are now more advanced programs that also offer similar features to parental control apps. These additional features could include controlling screen times, monitoring online activities, and tracking browsing histories.
You could also go for web filters that take screenshots of online activities which could be fed to your account or device in real-time. If you’re heavily into reporting or data gathering, you could check the specifics of this feature. Some generate date and URLs only, while others include complete lists of search engine keywords, chats and text messaging details, specific website activities, and more.
Some creators offer free versions or free trials of their software but, of course, all the great features are only available once you purchase their premium package or pay for a lifetime membership fee.
Don’t be discouraged by the upfront expenses though; these premium and elite web filtering apps are usually wise long-term investments. Depending on the features included, you’ll surely get great value for your hard-earned money.
Android or iOS devices, Windows or Mac desktops, tablets or notebooks, laptops or PCs, whatever device you’re using to access the internet, it’s highly advisable that you take precautionary measures. You’ll need all the reputable and reliable programs you can get – from cell phone spy software to internet filtering apps. After all, as they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.