Online filtering software has become increasingly popular in recent years, with technology seeing steady improvements and increased levels of customization. Despite this, some people still see internet filters as just “blocking” content that you don’t want people to see. In truth, there are plenty of reasons to buy internet filtering software, from cybersecurity to personal accountability.

Here are just eight examples of why you should consider using an internet filter.

1. Keeping Your Network Safe From Outside Threats

Whether you’re a business owner or a parent (or both for that matter), it always pays to make sure that the people using the internet in your home or business aren’t accidentally leaving you open to potential cyberattacks. Many websites are riddled with viruses and malware, not to mention that cybercriminals have several methods to reach out and fool users into giving them access to their network or private information. Internet filtering adds a layer of security, blocking out websites that are known to harbor viruses and preventing suspicious downloads.

2. Keeping Your Business Safe From Internal Threats

When we talk about internet filtering software and protecting systems from harm, we’re usually talking about cyber criminals tricking you into revealing vital information or someone accidentally downloading malware. However, you never know when a disgruntled employee might feel the need to retaliate against your business from the inside. The spread of insider information can cause monumental damage to a company, but an internet filter can block unnecessary employee communications and online activities to minimize this risk.

3. Preventing Exposure to Inappropriate Content

The most obvious reason that people tend to buy internet filtering software is that it allows you to navigate the internet without worrying about all of the inappropriate and harmful content you can find online. While there are age restrictions on certain apps and many websites have age restrictions in place, it is easy for kids to slip through unnoticed and come across material that they aren’t emotionally mature enough for.

4. Blocking Pornography

On the internet, you can find porn with ease, to the point where you can often stumble upon it even if you weren’t looking for it. Plus, many porn websites do very little actually confirm the age of their visitors, so if your children want to access it, they can do so easily and without permission from you. Internet filtering blocks websites with pornographic material by default, stopping kids from finding it, whether or not they were looking for it in the first place. An internet filter is also good for some looking to give up on porn, adding an extra layer of accountability.

5. Protecting Kids from Predators & Cyberbullies

There are a worrying number of predatory strangers online, from hackers and scammers to identity thieves and sexual predators. These types of people target young and vulnerable internet users, whether to glean personal information for a scam or soliciting provocative photos. There are cyberbullies lurking in comment sections, personal messages, and online games, cyberbullies can use their relative anonymity to harass and belittle others while avoiding direct consequences for their actions. Thankfully, many websites have implemented options to make reporting and getting rid of these bullies and predators, but internet filtering eliminates the need by preventing access altogether.

6. Staying Productive

The internet contains a million distractions that you can access within a matter of seconds, which can be an absolute disaster for productivity. This isn’t just the case with kids either: it is easy to hop on social media to check your messages and end up scrolling an hour or more. The worst thing about it is that we often don’t realize how much of a problem it is until we’ve wasted a bunch of time that should have gone towards something more important. Setting up an internet filter can allow you to cut out potential distractions from the beginning.

7. Promoting Screen Time Management

Something that a lot of people misunderstand about internet filtering is that they assume that parents who use it don’t want their kids to experience the internet. Not true! The internet can be an amazing place, with lots of opportunities for education and entertainment, not to mention ways to keep in touch with friends and family. Yet good parents know there needs to be a balance between online and real-life experiences. Internet filtering not only keeps kids away from the seedier side of the internet, but it can also limit their access during certain times of the day to ensure that they take a break from their screens and enjoy the things the internet cannot provide.

8. Giving You Peace of Mind

There are so many potential dangers online and it can be stressful and time-consuming to monitor your children’s activities to keep them out of harm’s way. Filtering software ensures that children are protected from the worst of the internet without having to constantly keep track of how they spend their time online. It gives them a degree of freedom to explore as they please, while also giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are safe.