Category-Based Filters and Why Your Business Needs Them



Imagine this: An employee visits a piracy website to download an episode of their favorite TV show to watch during their lunch break. Another employee finds out and asks for the link. Then another. Next thing you know, seven of your employees are illegally downloading an episode of Game of Thrones, installing an insidious malware onto their computers in the process. Yes, they had no idea. Sure, they probably feel bad. But, that doesn’t change that you now have a potential data breach or compliance violation on your hands. This could spell all sorts of trouble: fines, reputational damage, downtime, etc. Fact is, it’s best to be proactive in these situations and prevent employees from accessing potentially harmful sites from the get-go. Especially when 70% of all data center incidents are caused by human error.

Enter category-based filters.

How Category-Based Filters Work

These filters categorize different websites based content and type, allowing your firewall to block the sites that you deem unsafe. This helps to prevent employees from visiting (and then sharing) links to unsecure sites that may infect your business machines with malware.

A few different categories of sites you can block include:


These sites operate by providing applications that allow users to share media of various kinds with one another. Sometimes, users end up downloading malware instead of, or along with, the media they hoped to access. Common peer-to-peer site applications include BitTorrent, uTorrent, eMule, FrostWire, etc.


Often found in spam emails, these websites contain unsavory or offensive content and have the potential to infect your network with malware when links are clicked.


Phony sites that emulate actual businesses or organizations in order to gain financial, personal, or other sensitive information from those who visit them.


These are sites that, unbeknownst to the user, download malware (i.e. spyware, ransomware, viruses, trojan horses, etc.) onto their machine and collect user activity when visited.

Social Networking

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter… you know them. These are the sites your employees are constantly checking into via their phones and desktops. Users on these networks can share just about anything. If your employee clicks into something harmful on your business network, they’re putting your data, reputation, and productivity at risk.  

Work Inappropriate

This category can mean a lot of different things to different people. Some business owners don’t want their employees accessing any non-work related sites during workday hours (i.e. sports, entertainment, news), anything that may hinder productivity. However, for others, it’s potentially offensive sites containing sexual content, graphic violence, or discussion of illegal substances. Either way, category-based filters will prevent employees from visiting whatever kind of websites your business deems inappropriate.


Next Steps

There are many different kinds of sites you can prevent your employees from accessing while on your business network. If you are interested in doing so, reach out. AnchorSix can help your company be proactive and set up category-based filters that work to keep your organization from suffering the consequences of a malware infection.