Changes in the internet
The internet has changed tremendously in recent years; just consider how, every minute, Google receives about two million requests, Facebook publishes about 2.5 million posts, and YouTube uploads more than seventy-two hours of videos. However, the most surprising fact is that, in just one year, the three web giants have lost the lead because, in 2022, Tik Tok went from being ranked seventh to being the most visited site, mainly due to the younger viewers who watch it for an average of an hour and a half a day. Adding to this unexpected trend is the continued growth of eCommerce, which has exceeded twenty percent annually since the early 2020s.
Up until twenty years ago, websites were basically virtual storefronts of professionals, visited by those seeking information, services, products, and very specific skills. The advent of social and online sales has changed the rules, giving the masses the ability to upload content, while simultaneously creating an audience of people who log on purely for entertainment, with no address or research in mind, but to passively browse through others’ news and uploads.
The need for monitoring
With five billion users online every day, and an average connection time approaching seven hours out of twenty-four, the need for monitoring arises for three basic reasons:
» those who browse aimlessly have riskier behaviors, and, therefore, are more likely to fall victim to cyber criminals.
» those who upload contents are no longer business owners investing in their own sites, but any private individuals who, feeling safe behind a screen, might spread inappropriate or harmful content to others (see, for example, the spread of cyberbullying, revenge porn, and dangerous games among teenagers)
» Internet use for entertainment is addictive, and, if no limits are set, it can cause declines in performance at work or school and even problems in the family.
FlashStart is the ideal solution for filtering content in a professional manner. Its artificial intelligence continuously scans the web and new domains, classifying them into eighty-five categories which can be used as system blacklists. These include primarily illegal and ethically inappropriate activities: from scams to hacking dangers, from arms and drug sales to pornography.
At the same time, FlashStart’s comprehensive classification allows it to block sites that are legally and morally unimpeachable but undesirable. Frequent examples include sources of distraction at work, school, and home, or services that jam the WiFi bandwidth with heavy downloads. The network administrator can prevent access to social networks, online stores and games, as well as streaming, file sharing, and software update services, at given times and for certain types of users or groups.
Being a cloud-based system, it cannot be disabled or circumvented by users, as is often the case with parental filters and free filters provided by various portals. It is easily installed, configurable, customizable, and centrally managed for the entire network, without the need to continually update individual devices.
The benefits of FlashStart
» Advanced cloud-based intelligence for content and threats, continuously updated by machine learning.
» Eighty-five domain categories updated by AI for maximum filter customization.
» Efficiency in work and educational environments thanks to online distraction monitoring.
» Centralized filter management for groups, individuals, machines, and schedules, which cannot be disabled by the user.
» No need for additional hardware or software installations or even upgrades.
» Compatibility with any device or router in the company, institution, school, or home.
» Optional cloud-based filtering of search results on Google, Youtube, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
» Capability to remotely protect all remote connections, just like on-premises, even on smartphones.
» Unique, geographically based blocking capability in order to prevent browsing in high-risk countries.
» Immediate and maintenance-free affordability with updates on devices.
» Detailed historical and real-time reports, which can be scheduled via email, while respecting privacy.
» Regulatory compliance and professional validity in the event of legally mandated internet audits.