Using the Website Categories section, thousands of websites can be instantly blocked by category or subcategory. When a parent category is selected, all sub-categories will be checked initially, but individual subcategories can be excluded by clicking the down arrow and unchecking the desired subcategory.
You can access the Website Categories section of a policy by clicking on Configuration under Filtering from the left sidebar menu, clicking on My Policies, and then clicking on the pencil icon on the top right corner of a policy tile. Once the Policy opens up for editing, you will see Website Categories on the left, below Website URLs.
An example of a popular category to block is "Archives" which includes websites such as the Wayback Machine Internet Archive, which can let users access older editions of websites in an iFrame.
Categories Blocked in the Default Policy
When you are configuring category filters in your Default policy for the first time, a number of categories will be blocked by default. These are:
- Controlled Substances
- Malicious Sites
Check a Website
Use the "Check a URL" search bar to see if a website belongs to a category or subcategory.
Overriding Category Blocks
When a website is unintentionally blocked by a selected category, the block can be overridden by adding an Allow Rule for the site in the Website URLs section. We recommend overriding category blocks on the same policy in which the category is selected.
For example, if you have the "Academic Dishonesty" category blocked but would like to allow access to SparkNotes, you can verify that the site belongs to that category, and then add sparknotes.com as an allowed site in the Website URLs section of a policy.
When multiple policies are applied to an OU, the selected categories across each policy are combined. To see the result of selected categories of multiple policies, use the policy comparison tool, then select the Website Categories section (shown below).
As locally applied policies take precedence over inherited policies, selected categories can override inherited "allow rules."
For example, for an OU that has two policies applied:
- facebook.com is allowed on an inherited policy
- The social category is blocked on the locally applied policy
- The category block on the locally applied policy overrides the allow rule
- facebook.com is blocked for this OU
To override this behavior, an allow rule for facebook.com must be added to the locally applied policy where the social category was blocked.