K9 – Net Content Filter for Website Filtering
Internet Parenting and Significance of Website Filtering
Internet is one of the biggest revolutions in the history of humanity. It has changed the way we live, we communicate and we learn the things.
But the darker side of Internet is that it has also opened numerous ways to cheat others, to commit frauds and take advantage of the others’ vulnerabilities. And children are most vulnerable. As a responsible parent, it is in the best interest of you family that you provide adequate measures to your family and kids, which make them safe, secure and keep them at a distance from Internet Content, that may be harmful to them. This includes access to pornographic contents, keeping a watch on the websites they use and visit, guiding them about the potential hazards of in-discriminate use of chat and IM clients and things like that.
There is no denial of the fact that the best way to Internet parenting is counseling; talking to your kids, helping them understand the potential threats lurking on Internet and help them clarify things. But still, use of additional Net Content Filters, which can block and filter websites based upon their content, as an additional layer of defense cannot be downplayed.
An important aspect with the use of these web content filter software is that you should inform your children about the use of these content filters and clarify to them that it is in their larger interests, otherwise they might take it in a negative manner, once they discover that such content blocking filter is installed on their computers.
K9 Web Protection
There are lots of algorithms and mechanisms used to restrict and block the objectionable content reaching your computer. Some of them use black-lists to block harmful websites, some of them use white-lists to allow only the safe websites and many of them use dynamic content scanning to find out which of the content may be safe for your kids to see and browse.
K9 is a popular family content filter for homes,which divides Internet content into 60 distinct categories. These categories are stored in the master Blue Coat database, through which they maintain and update more than 15 million ratings of websites and domains. A Web site will fall into one or more of these categories, based on the content of the site. To meet your particular needs and preferences, you can configure the software to block or allow specific categories.
The administration is done through a web-based control panel, which you can access from anywhere. You still have to download a small piece of code into your computer. You also have to register your computer at their website, which send you a download link to your email address.
How K9 Net Content Filter Actually Operates
The following steps describes best its operation.
- When a web requests is sent by your browser, K9 says, “Have I asked about this website before?” K9 consults a local cache (sitting on the PC) for a rating for that site. If there’s a match, K9 doesn’t bother to query BCWF.
- If there is no match in the local cache, K9 sends a query to BCWF: “What’s this URL rated?” BCWF consults its internal database to see if there’s a match. If so, it sends a category back to K9. (NOTE: It’s the URL, NOT the page, that gets examined at this point. Also, BCWF doesn’t know or care whether that particular instance of K9 will block or allow that site).
- If there is no match in BCWF’s database, BCWF will fetch the page that the URL references, and do an intelligent scan on the page. Very proprietary, very cool (and completely NOT keyword-based). We call this process DRTR (Dynamic Real-Time Rating). IF DRTR can, with high confidence, determine the probable category of the site, it returns that rating.
- If DRTR cannot with high confidence return a category, the response back to K9 is “unrated”.
Concerns about K9
There are always a few concerns about the privacy and speed of browsing. Many user have a concern about sharing the data related to their online behavior with a third party. K9 has a very clear policy in this regard and they claim that they do not record anything related to your online behavior except to the panel, where you yourself are given the details. And regarding slow speed of browsing with K9 Net content filter installed on your computer, you can be assured that it will make a very little impact of your computer’s performance, to an extent that you will not even be able to notice it.
Following a nice YouTube video, which gives details about how to download and use K9 Web Protection.