The original purpose of internet filtering software was to protect people, especially children, from being exposed to pornography on the internet. Several years ago it was easy for anyone to accidentally stumble upon pornographic materials online. In fact, one of the biggest problems was if children needed to do school assignments and tried to look up information on the White House.
If a child went to whitehouse dot gov all was well, but if they accidentally used a .com, .org or .net extension instead, it brought them to a pornographic website. As a result of similar incidents to that, there was a huge demand for internet filtering software.
Unfortunately, since internet filtering software depends on filtering for certain keywords, there were problems. Any search containing bad words was blocked. That included such searches as breast cancer and Superbowl XXX, as well as many others.
One of the major cases involving such a problem was at the University of Kansas Medical Center library. They installed internet filtering software on all of their computers, only to discover that their own website was entirely blocked by it. The reason was that it is called Dykes Library. On top of that, as it was a medical library, it had lots of materials that internet filtering software blocked. In that particular instance, internet filtering software was a waste of money.
Aside from that, many internet filtering software companies took their filtering quite a bit too far. One even went so far as to block the website for the National Organization of Women. Also, as a general rule, many times such companies blocked the websites of their competitors, as well.
These days it is very hard for a child, or even an adult, to accidentally find pornography online, while looking for something innocent. Most search engines are filtered these days. They are not as easily fooled as they once were.
The major exception to that is if a person is on a website such as crackz or warez. Those are websites which are used to illegally downloading software. Many websites, such as those, gain income by allowing pornographic websites to advertise on them. So, if your child is trying to illegally download software, they may accidentally find pornography.
If internet filtering software is not always accurate and isn’t really needed in the same ways it was, you may be wondering why you still need it. Well, it still offers many benefits. For example, it is capable of blocking pop-up ads. It can also filter your e-mail. You can even use it to filter or block IM ports, newsgroups, and chat rooms. You can even use internet filtering software to set up individual, password protected profiles on your computer. That way, certain family members have access to certain things. Some even come with the ability to monitor someones online behavior without their knowledge, which can be helpful if you are a concerned parent.
So, you may want to invest in such software. If you do decide to use internet filtering software, though, be sure to research it and find exactly the right software to suit your individual needs.