Website categories British employers don’t want you to visit

Cybersecurity, News, Work
  • Up to 72% of employers block malware and adult websites.
  • Phishing websites are blocked by 70% of employers, while gambling ones – by 43%.
  • Adult content is blocked by 77% of British employers, while malware websites are blocked by 55%.

According to data collected by the cybersecurity company NordLayer, a significant portion of employers (72%) block malicious and adult websites.

Malicious websites can pose severe security threats by spreading malware, while adult websites are often restricted due to concerns over inappropriate content and potential productivity loss. Gambling sites are blocked by 43% of employers, likely due to concerns over addiction and productivity loss.

Research shows that the Domain Name System (DNS) filtering feature, is also used for blocking phishing, cryptojacking, illegal, and DDoS as a Service (DaaS) websites. This way, employers try to protect their networks and systems from cyber threats and illegal activities.

“In today’s threat landscape, where cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, DNS filtering plays a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive data, maintaining regulatory compliance, and preserving the integrity of organizational networks,” says Carlos Salas, a cybersecurity expert at NordLayer.

Employers seek to maintain professional work environment

Besides blocking adult websites, many managers take a step further to maintain a professional work environment. For example, 30% block dating sites, 28% do not allow access to sex education websites, and about 12% of employers even block lingerie sites.

Information or sales related to drugs websites are blocked by 37% of IT managers. Interestingly, 21% of employers block VPN websites, likely to prevent employees from circumventing network restrictions and accessing blocked content, which could pose security risks or productivity concerns.

“To lower distractions from work and promote productivity, 19% of IT managers restrict access to gaming websites because they can be time-consuming and embedded with ads and hyperlinks to other malicious websites. Additionally, celebrity news websites and social media are blocked by 8% and 7% of employers, respectively,” adds Salas.

British employers more restrictive compared to global data

Policies around restricting employee internet access in the United Kingdom demonstrate some unique trends compared to other countries. Adult content websites emerge as the most regulated category, with a 77% of British employers blocking access to such sites in the workplace.

An intriguing contrast surfaces when it comes to malware-hosting websites, which generally face heavy restrictions globally due to security risks. However, in the UK, only 55% of businesses opt to block access to these potentially harmful sites.The UK also exhibits a stricter stance towards gambling websites, with 53% of employers disabling access, exceeding the global average for this category. Dating websites are another restricted domain, blocked by 34% of British employers.

On the other hand, UK workplaces tend to be more lenient regarding gaming websites, with merely 11% of businesses imposing restrictions, allowing employees freer access to this potential distraction. Access to social media during work is also acceptable for most British employers because only 5% of them chose to block this category.



Chris Price
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