Filtering Software

Filtering software attempts to block access to Internet sites which have harmful or illegal content. The effectiveness depends on the sophistication of the software and how up-to-date the blocking lists, on which they generally rely, are kept. There are two categories of filtering systems, software packages that you install and manage on your computer and filtering services that may be offered as service option by your Internet Service Provider.

You should check with your Internet Service Provider to see if they have filtering or parental controls integrated in one of their service options. If you enable such an ISP service there is no need for additional filtering packages to be installed on your computer. Please be aware that filtering/parental control software, whether provided by your ISP or installed on your computer, does not protect you from computer viruses and other malware. You must have up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer to protect yourself as effectively as possible.

The European Commission, through the Safer Internet Programme, has funded a project called "SIP-Benchmark" which has benchmarked many filtering packages currently on the market. These have been tested and a rating awarded for the effectiveness and user-friendliness of the various solutions. Click here for the SIP-Benchmark website.

Below is a list of software packages available on the Irish market, some for home use, others for business organisations. Neither nor ISPAI endorse any filtering package and its inclusion on this list should not be regarded as an endorsement.

UPC Magic Desktop
Magic Desktop creates a safe PC Playground for 2 to 10 year olds. It has been made available to the entire community nationwide by UPC (an ISPAI member and supporter of Magic Desktop provides early educational skills development coupled with parental supervision of computer use. It includes a special safe internet browser that allows children visit only websites approved by the parent.

KidSafe is an Irish developed solution to protect children online. It has advanced features which enable you to protect children of all ages on the internet.

Net Nanny
Net Nanny offers software it states will stop illicit material being available on a computer by filtering and blocking web content while surfing online.

CyberPatrol is an Internet safety software from SurfControl, a world leading Internet Security Company. Launched in 1995, CyberPatrol is specifically developed for Windows-based standalone PCs to help protect children and adults from the many online dangers that exist.

ESET Smart Security
ESET Smart Security combines parental control filtering facilities with anti-virus and malware protection. The parental control feature protects your family from potentially offensive web content by blocking various website categories.

Pearl Echo is an enterprise-class employee Internet monitoring, filtering and control software program designed to monitor and control the Internet activity of multiple PCs and thin clients from a central location.

Safetica Endpoint Security
Safetica Technologies is a pioneer on the market with internal IT security - protection from employee negligence and malicious actions. The company's flagship is Safetica Endpoint Security, the world's first software providing a complete protection from threats resulting from inattentive behavior and harmful intents of employees.

Websense is an enterprise web filtering solution. Websense Enterprise offers to protect organizations from the productivity, legal liability, and bandwidth risks of the internet, combining powerful flexibility with rich functionality.

SafeScreen offered by PixAlert is a real time image monitoring solution for home and business PCs. It identifies and obscures pornographic images on the screen whether from the Internet or other sources such as CD-ROMs, USB keys, etc.

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