The Internet is an online encyclopedia of information on virtually all topics. You can access countless articles and images, and share files of information on the Internet. But with all these features, there has also been an increased need of putting a check on activities over the Internet. Internet filtering has emerged as an important way to filter unwanted material. Be it sexual, subversive or whatever you consider as dangerous, you can filter it all.
Meaning of Internet Filtering
Internet filtering refers to blocking undesirable content on the Internet. It helps you filter and deny access to any unwanted material. The person who sets up the filter provides a system to block certain data. It may include advertising, a virus, sexual content, file transfer, or other offensive material. When a user makes a request for a Web page that has been blocked, the Internet filter keeps the request from being completed. It either blocks it completely or redirects it to another location.
Internet Filtering through DNS Poisoning
The simplest way in which Internet filtering is done is by changing the DNS of the Internet Service Provider so that whenever a user types in the URL of a blocked website, the right IP address will not be collected by the Web browser and the user will be directed to some other location. This method of Internet filtering is known as DNS poisoning. However, this method can easily fail if someone knows how to correct the DNS settings and change them back to normal.
This is another way of Internet filtering in which blacklists of undesired URLs are created. When a user tries opening one of these URLs, the request is not completed. As simple as it sounds, it is subject to a lot of debate about which pages should be blocked. For instance, a Web page that is offensive in one person’s view may be completely fine for someone else. Consequently, disputes take place over blacklisted sites because many opinions differ.
Problems with Internet Filtering
Gaining access to blocked sites is possible through modification of the settings of Domain Name System. Therefore, anyone with even a little knowledge of Domain Name System can easily outwit the whole DNS poisoning system. The biggest problem is that there is no way to block a particular Web page using DNS poisoning because the entire domain is filtered out at once.
Uses of Internet Filtering
These days, Internet filtering is being used in various fields. Offices may block online file sharing, college labs may deny access to certain sites, and parents and guardians may limit the online activities of their kids. All this can be done through Internet filtering using filtering software. With it, you can easily put a check on any Internet activity on your computer.
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