5 benefits of web content filtering for small and midsize businesses

By Emma Miller

Although people working in small and midsize companies might be used to a little more freedom than those working for large corporations, if their non-work-related internet browsing is causing productivity problems and presents a potential security threat, you need to act swiftly. Having in mind that the most optimal solution is web content filtering, let’s take a look at how it can help your small or midsize business.

Exerting control over inappropriate content

When it comes to phishing scams and malware, the first step is educating your employees. They might receive an alarming-looking email that their business-related account was accessed a moment ago and that they need to confirm their identity – many rush to click on the link from that email and enter their information, and by the time they realize that the email doesn’t make any sense, the hacker already has their login data.

However, there are also people who may actively wish to harm your network or reputation by accessing or downloading inappropriate content. URL filtering is one way to prevent all employees from intentionally or unintentionally visiting certain websites. That way, your business will be protected from legal issues related to pornographic material or copyrighted content.

Boosting employee efficiency

We are aware that a lot of people are addicted to social media to such a degree that they aren’t even aware of their own addiction or the need to constantly check their social media feeds. With that in mind, it would be pointless to forbid them from visiting social media during their work hours, not only because they could still do that via their smartphones, but also because sometimes it is necessary for their work.

So, instead of banning social media, you should focus on entertainment and online shopping websites because they cause unnecessary distractions and have no work-related purpose, apart from specific professions. By limiting your employees’ access that way, you would be helping them be more productive and improve their focus, which is something newer generations have a problem with due to many distractions the Internet provides.

Increasing system security

One of the most important elements to businesses of all sizes is the security of their data. Many small businesses believe that their size makes them uninteresting to hackers. However, due to this belief, they often eschew any serious protection, and that is what eventually draws cyber attacks. No matter the size of your business, cyber security is something you need to think about at all times.

As opposed to just intercepting certain domain names, optimal web filtering should block entry to suspicious websites and identify portions within a web page that are likely to present a threat to the internal network. Such highly-effective web filter solutions can also offer comprehensive data recording that can prevent core information leakage and provide log traceability for network sensitive incidents, which allows you to determine what exactly happened and to make informed decisions in the future.

Decreasing business liability

Web content filtering’s significance goes beyond security and efficiency. In case one of your employees posts offensive content on social media, misuses their workplace Internet access, or uses the company’s resources illegally, your business will have problems with the law. You may not end up financially bruised but your reputation might, and you may find yourself losing customers as well as suppliers with whom you have previously successfully collaborated.

The saying, a pinch of prevention is worth a pound of cure, rings true, especially in this regard because smart web filtering allows you to mitigate disasters by proactively monitoring web usage. You will be able to fine-une everything that takes place to make sure your operational data, personal data on customers or any other piece of information are well protected. In this manner, you will also avoid potential legal issues and any stains to your business reputation.

Improving network bandwidth efficiency

It’s not just your employees’ efficiency that can be improved via employing web filtering; the network bandwidth can be similarly affected. Regardless of the education and experience level of your employees, many might not be aware that, for instance, YouTube can put a strain on the network, and they might use it on a daily basis while they are working. They get frustrated that the network is slow, not knowing that they are partially to blame without knowing about other less demanding music-streaming services.

Besides letting them know about such tips and tricks, and asking them to be mindful of them so they all can use the internet without hassle, it is also good to limit access to high-bandwidth websites. After all, not everyone will respect that recommendation and faster connections is something that all the employees can benefit from. In addition, you can always encourage them to use company intranet to boost efficiency and reduce the need for external bandwidth.

Wrapping up

Web content filtering does more than just ensure data security and reduce workplace distractions; it also protects your small or midsize business from legal liability by its proactive monitoring of web usage. This is not about not trusting your employees, but about helping them be more focused and ensuring they avoid disastrous errors. It also gives business owners peace of mind thanks to its comprehensive internet access control strategies.


Emma Miller is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.

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