Today we are going to have a short discussion on Content Advisor and it’s intended use.
Content Advisor is a tool for controlling the types of content that your computer can access on the Internet. After you turn on Content Advisor, only rated content that meets or exceeds your criteria can be viewed. You can adjust the settings to suit your preferences.
Content Advisor controls the following settings:
View and adjust the ratings settings to restrict or allow content in each of the following categories: language, nudity, sex, and violence.
Create a list of web sites that should always be blocked, regardless of how their content is rated.
Create a list of web sites that can always be viewed, regardless of how their content is rated.
View and change the ratings systems Content Advisor uses.
As you can see, Content Advisor allows you to control the types of Internet content that can be viewed on your computer. Depending on how you configure it, Content Advisor uses ratings that web sites voluntarily provide to block or allow certain content. Because not all web sites are rated, un-rated web sites are automatically blocked (but you can choose to allow them). Once you’ve adjusted the settings and turn Content Advisor on, it checks web sites as you visit them.
Today, many companies use Content Advisor as their primary method of blocking web content. Unfortunately, this is not the intended design of Content Advisor. This component of IE was originally intended to be used on stand-alone machines in a home environment. It’s design was not intended to handle the security concerns at the level needed within a Corporate Environment. There are multiple sites that provide step-by-step details on how to by-pass the Supervisor Password set with Content Advisors User Interface.
So what’s the solution for a Corporate Customers to properly control employees from going to external web sites and viewing unapproved web content?
The simple answer is to control the view of web content, not from the client machine, but from some type of intelligent firewall software/hardware where rules can be put into place to only allow “approved” web content to be viewed within Internet Explorer. There are many products available today to choose from and they do not rely on web sites to be part of any “rating system” that requires client-side filtering.
To be clear, Content Advisor is a supported component of Internet Explorer. However, it’s design is severely limited and there are no plans to update it to the security needs of today’s Internet.
The IE Supprt Team