Block websites that fall into these categories

 2017-01-25 11:50 AM by
Block websites that fall into these categories

NSFW - if you don't know by now, this is an abbreviation for 'Not Safe for Work'. The main reason for a website being classified as NSFW is because the content is pornographic or illegal in nature.

I've written quite extensively about the need to block websites as well as the repercussions of not blocking undesirable or productivity-killing websites. Check out a recent blog about why you should block websites here. In a nutshell, undesirable content found on websites or social media networks are often riddled with viruses and can leave your business devastated.

When it comes to productivity killers, you need to block websites that fall into the following categories - or at least limit employees' access to specific times:

Social media
Social media networks are huge time wasters. Limit employees' access to social media sites to after-hours only.

Pornography
Pornography is not only a productivity killer, it can also expose a corporation to the risk of litigation. Access to pornographic websites must be completely blocked at all times.

Online games and casinos
Block this category of websites 100% of the time. The best-case scenario of allowing access to gaming sites is reduced productivity, while the worst-case scenario includes theft by a compromised employee who needs to pay a gambling debt, litigation and extreme workplace disruption.

Online shopping
Online shopping is another big productivity killer. Access to online shopping portals should be limited to specific times.

Torrents and other download sites
Torrents are mostly illegal sources of content. Besides killing corporate bandwidth - a problem that's especially relevant in South Africa - torrents are potential litigation triggers. These kinds of websites need to be blocked at all times.

Consider the need to block even the most benign website categories; the productivity killer categories that don't even expose your company to the serious threat of litigation, data and identity theft. Imagine for a minute that a bunch of your employees spent a few hours every day at the local shopping mall browsing the stores and chatting with friends rather than coming to work, but still expected to be paid a full salary every month. Unimaginable, right? Well, the effect of not blocking website categories such as social media and online shopping portals is the same. Some employees will actually spend the better part of the day browsing the web and chatting online.

So, aside from the categories listed above, which unique websites should be blocked? A study done last year in the US by Mashable and Statista found Facebook to be the number one blocked website. Interestingly, Gmail and other forms of free 'personal' email were also blocked. See image below:

Whilst it's impossible to reduce the list to a few individual websites (hence the need to block website categories as described above), I would suggest that the following sites should have limited access rights during work hours:

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
YouTube
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Cloud-hosted office protection solutions usually encompass:

Web filtering functionality: the ability to block websites and website categories at multiple levels of the organisational hierarchy
Effective antivirus, malware and spam-ware protection
Device control to prevent unauthorised copying of corporate data for the purpose of taking the data off-site
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