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Should You Use Web Content Filters at Your Business?

By Brett Snider, Esq. on August 05, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Internet use has become commonplace, even for non-Web-related industries, so it has become a priority for businesses to filter the content which their employees view online.

Web-filtering software or an Internet content filter may greatly reduce a small business' exposure to liability and cyberattacks, but it may place a roadblock in the way of employees' productivity.

Takings these concerns into account, should your business use Web content filters?

Protection From Cyberattacks

There are a variety of ways to protect your small business from cyberattacks, but one easy one is to use Web content filters. There are a variety of options in this market, and according to Tech Republic, many of them are suitable for both work and home. By analyzing and categorizing certain kinds of Web traffic, Internet content filters may be able to block potential phishing attempts or other forms of cyberintrusion.

While some enterprise content filters may cost a pretty penny, when weighed against the thousands of dollars you may lose in a cyberattack, the investment seems like a no-brainer.

  • Need legal advice on how your small business should operate? Consult with an experienced business attorney about your options.

Reduce Liability for Employee Misconduct

One of the primary reasons for the birth of content filters was to prevent Web users from reaching sites deemed inappropriate by the administration -- in this case, the small business owner. Employees who view pornographic or explicit material while at work, for example, risk exposing the company to lawsuits for sexual harassment.

Even when employees intend certain content to be viewed as a joke or prank, it can create a hostile work environment -- and even more potential liability.

Limit Social Media Use

You may need to think twice about barring employees from using Facebook at work, but employers can certainly filter out social media sites with their businesses' Web content filters. Unless it is necessary for the employee's position (e.g., social media specialist, marketing, etc.), it might be prudent to filter Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., from your business' network.

Keeping all but select employees off these social media platforms may keep your small business from making a big mistake.

Using these content filters may affect morale at your business and potentially cause workers to question your company's transparency on the issue of Web content. So it may save an employer a few angry emails by having a company-wide meeting explaining the use of an Internet content filter and why it was put in place.

These Web filters have a variety of benefits, but ultimately their use is up to each business owner.

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