Sophos Web Security and Control

This page lists the website categories that may be used by Sophos web filtering


A Web page that has a significant focus on selling, promoting, or advocating the use of alcohol. Alcohol includes beer, wine, and hard liquors.

This category also includes cocktail recipes and home brewing instructions.


Web pages that operate proxy services, or offer proxy software, with the specific intent of defeating security and control. Web pages that purposefully allow users to browse the Web by hiding their IP address, or other personal identification information, in order to bypass local filtering policies and access any Web page. Anonymizer Web pages will also block any tracking technologies, such as cookies or browser history. Some methods also prevent OS version and Web page history from being forwarded to the Web page. Pages that provide free proxy IP addresses or detail how to bypass filtering are included in this category. Web pages that do not intend to hide a user are not included in this category; see "Anonymizing Utilities".

Anonymizing Utilities

Web pages that result in anonymous Web browsing without the explicit intent to provide such a service.

This category includes URL translators, Web page caching, or other utilities that may function as anonymizers, but without the express purpose of bypassing filtering software. URL translation and text translation are different: Text translation requires a user to enter a word, phrase, or block of text into an input field for translation, not a URL. Text translation is categorized as Text Translators.


Web pages that contain virtual art galleries, artist sites (including sculpture and photography), museums, ethnic customs, and country customs. Online photo albums are not included; see "Media Sharing".


Web pages providing online bidding and selling of items or services. Web pages in this category focus on bidding and sales; therefore, they do not cover classified ads such as real estate postings, personals, or companies marketing their auctions.


Web pages containing dynamic content that changes frequently because users are allowed to post or edit content at any time.

This category is designed to cover the risks associated with dynamic content that may range from harmless to offensive.

Browser Exploits

Web pages containing browser exploits. A browser exploit is a piece of code that exploits a software bug in a web browser so that the code makes the browser do something unexpected, including stop running, read or write local files, propagate a virus or install spyware. Malicious code may exploit HTML, JavaScript, Images, ActiveX, Java and other web technologies. Exploits, sometimes called drive-by-downloads, can install themselves on unprotected computers often without a consumer's knowledge, where the code can install keystroke loggers (to steal passwords) and Trojan programs (to turn a computer into a 'bot’ or ‘slave machine').

This category includes URLs that distribute or execute any browser exploit.


Web pages that provide business-related information, such as corporate overviews or business planning and strategies. Also included is information, services, or products that help other businesses plan, manage, and market their enterprises. Multi-level marketing ventures are included when the focus is on running the business. Personal pages and Web hosting Web pages are not included.


Web pages of web-based chat and instant message servers. Web pages that provide Web-based, real-time social messaging in public and private chat rooms. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is included in this category. While instant messaging has some of the same risks, it includes additional risks and is not Web based, see "Instant Messaging" for additional information.

Computing / Internet

Includes sites of reviews, information, buyer's guides of computers, computer parts and accessories, computer software and internet companies, industry news and magazines, and pay-to-surf sites.

Consumer Protection

Websites that try to rob or cheat consumers. Some examples of their activities include selling counterfeit products, selling products that were originally provided for free, or improperly using the brand of another company.

This category includes websites that exploit kindness or ignorance such as fraudulently collecting money for a charity, or running fraudulent investment schemes. This category also includes sites where many consumers reported being cheated or not receiving services. This category does not include phishing, which tries to perpetrate fraud or theft by stealing account information.

Content Server

URLs for servers that host images, media files, or JavaScript for one or more sites and are intended to speed up content retrieval for existing Web servers, such as Apache. Content servers generally do not have content posted or through-site navigation for Web surfers. Content servers hosting images do not allow users to browse the photos.

This category includes domain-level and sub-domain-level URLs that function as content servers.

The following are not included in this category: Web pages for businesses that provide the content servers; Web pages that allow users to browse photos (see "Media Sharing"); URLs for ad servers serving only ads (see "Web Ads").

Controversal Opinions

Web pages that contain opinions that are likely to offend political or social sensibilities and incite controversy. Much of this content is at the extremes of public opinion. Examples include suicide pacts, pro-anorexia, xenophobic, ethnocentric, fundamentalist viewpoints, disinformation, or critical examination of one group of people.

This category does not include opinion or language clearly intended to promote hate or discrimination.

Criminal Activities

Web pages that provide instructions to commit illegal or criminal activities. Instructions include committing murder or suicide, sabotage, bomb-making, lock-picking, service theft, evading law enforcement, or spoofing drug tests. Information on how to distribute illegal content, perpetrate fraud, or consumer scams may be also included. Computer-related fraud is not included in this category; see "Hacking/Computer Crime".


This category includes Web pages that provide networking for online dating, matchmaking, escort services, or introductions to potential spouses. These sites provide personal or group profiles and facilitate interaction among their members through real-time communication, message posting, public bulletins, and media sharing. Sites that provide social networking that may include dating, but are not specific to dating, are covered under Social Networking.

Dating/Social Networking

This category includes URLs that focus on social interaction such as online dating, friendship, school reunions, pen-pals, escort services, or introductions to potential spouses. Many of these sites facilitate social interaction among their members through real-time message posting.

This category does not include wedding-related content, dating tips, or related marketing.

Digital Postcards

Web pages that allow people to send and receive digital postcards and greeting cards via the Internet. Digital postcards feature messages of greeting or sentiment, usually for special occasions such as birthdays or other holidays.


Sites in this category provide information on the purchase, manufacture, and use of illegal or recreational drugs. This includes displaying, selling, or detailing the use of drug paraphernalia, as well as tips on legal highs, such as glue sniffing, the misuse of prescription drugs, or the abuse of other legal substances.

This category is not used for sites with exclusive health or political themes.


Web pages devoted to academic-related content such as academic subjects (math, history), school or university Web pages, as well as education administration pages (school boards, teacher curriculum).


Web pages about television, movies, music and video programming guides; online magazines and reviews of the entertainment industry; celebrity fan sites; broadcasting firms and technologies (satellite, cable, etc.); horoscopes; jokes, comics, comic books, comedians, or any site designed to be funny or satirical; online greeting cards; and amusement and theme park sites. Web pages that provide information about cinema, theater, music, television, infotainment, entertainment industry gossip-news, and sites about celebrities such as actors and musicians. This also includes sites where the content is devoted to providing entertainment on the Web, such as horoscopes or fan clubs.


Web pages providing content considered gory, perverse, or horrific in nature.


Web pages that market clothing, cosmetics, jewelry, and other fashion oriented products, accessories, or services. This also includes product reviews, comparisons, and general consumer information, as well as services such as hair salons, tanning salons, tattoo studios, and body piercing studios.

This category does not include fashion-related content such as modeling or celebrity fashion unless there is a focus on marketing the product line.


Web pages that provide financial information or access to online financial accounts. Web pages that provide financial information include news or services that deal with the management of money, but do not provide access to sensitive financial account information, such as financial statistics, or consultation in areas such as taxes, mortgage, insurance, accreditation, or investment. Access to online financial accounts include personal or business related banking, money management, tax consulting, mutual funds, credit cards, credit unions, insurance, other financial publications and services.

For Kids

Family-safe Web pages that are designed specifically for children (approximate ages ten and under).

Forum/Bulletin Boards

Web pages that hold discussions and post user-generated content, such as real-time message posting for a particular interest group. This excludes message forums with a business or technical support focus (see Technical/Business Forums).


Web pages of online gambling or lottery web sites that invite the use of real or virtual money; information or advice for placing wagers, participating in lotteries, gambling, or running numbers; virtual casinos and offshore gambling ventures; sports picks and betting pools; and virtual sports and fantasy leagues that offer large rewards or request significant wagers.

Note: Casino, hotel, and resort sites that do not feature online gambling or provide gaming tips are categorized under Travel. Web pages that allow users to wager or place bets online or provide gambling software that allows online betting; for example, casino games, betting pools, sports betting, and lotteries.

This category includes lotteries if you can buy the tickets or play online. Web pages related to gambling that do not allow betting online are not included: see "Gambling Related".

Gambling Related

Web pages that offer information relevant to gambling, without providing the means to do so. Examples include gambling links, tips, sports picks, lottery results, as well as horse, car, or boat racing. Casino-related Web pages will fall under this site if they do not offer online gambling.

Game/Cartoon Violence

Web pages providing fantasy or fictitious representations of violence within the context of games, comics, cartoons, or graphic novels. This includes images and textual descriptions of physical assaults or hand-to-hand combat, as well as grave injury and destruction caused by weapons or explosives.


Web pages that offer online games and related information such as cheats, codes, demos, emulators, online contests or role-playing games, gaming clans, game manufacturer sites, fantasy or virtual sports leagues, and other gaming sites without chances of profit. Gaming consoles, such as X-Box and PlayStation, are included in this category.

General News

Web pages that provide online news media, such as international or regional news broadcasting and publication. Portal sites that provide news content are covered under this category.


Web pages that contain content maintained by governmental or military organizations, such as government branches or agencies, police departments, fire departments, civil defense, counterterrorism organizations, or supranational organizations, such as the United Nations or the European Union. Military and veterans medical facilities are included in this category.

Gruesome Content

Web pages with content that can be considered tasteless, gross, shocking, or gruesome. Some examples include tasteless humor, bodily excretory functions, graphic medical or accident scene photos (containing blood or wounds), extreme forms of body modification (cutting, branding, or genital piercing), or shocking depictions of inhumane animal treatment.

This category does not contain Web pages with content pertaining to physical assault; see "Violence").

Hacking/Computer Crime

Web pages that provide "how-to" directions, or otherwise enable, fraud, crime, or malicious activity that is computer oriented. Web pages related to computer crime include malicious hacking information or tools that help individuals gain unauthorized access to computers and networks (root kits, kiddy scripts). Also included are other areas of electronic fraud such as dialer scams and illegal manipulation of electronic devices. Illegal software does not fall under this category; see "Illegal Software".


Web pages that provide information that would encourage the oppression of a specific group of individuals. This includes promoting, explicitly or implicitly, an agenda against groups based on race, religion, nationality, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Political parties with a specific hate-based agenda may be included. If involving jokes or humor, the focus of the entire site must be considered hateful or discriminatory to fall under this category.


This category is intended to cover all health related information and health care services. Health information includes topics designed to improve an individual's well-being, whether it be physical or mental health (diet, nutrition, fitness, or parenting). Health care services include health care providers such as health insurance, hospitals, clinics, and independent physicians.

This category does not include cosmetic surgery, marketing/selling pharmaceuticals, or animal-related medical services.

Historical Revisionism

Content that denounces or offers different interpretations of significant historical facts, such as holocaust denial. Some sites in this category may have a legitimate academic value, however many of these sites include illegitimate manipulation of history for political purposes.

This category is not intended to include all reexamination of historical facts, but is limited to historical events that are highly sensitive.


Web pages providing content about historical facts.

This category is designed for content suitable for higher education, while the Education category is designed for primary education. For example, a site with Holocaust photos may be offensive, yet have academic value.


Web pages providing content intended to be comical or funny. These sites include jokes, sketches, comics, and satire pages.

This category may also apply to graphic novel content, which is often associated with comics.

Illegal Software

Web pages that offer information to pirate or illegally distribute software or electronic media, such as copyrighted music or film, distribution of illegal license key generators, software cracks, and serial numbers. Peer-to-Peer Web pages are not included in this category; see "P2P/File Sharing".

Illegal UK

Web pages that contain child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world, and criminally obscene and incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK.

This category contains URLs provided by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to block access to sites including those that are detrimental to child welfare.

Incidental Nudity

Web pages that contain non-pornographic images of the bare human body like those found in classic sculpture and paintings, or medical images.

This category is designed for use as a selective blocking category to allow or block sites in order to address cultural or geographic differences in opinion about nudity. For example, use this category when you want to block access to nudity, but allow access when it is not the primary focus of a site, such as news sites or major portals.

Information Security

Web pages that have a legitimate purpose to provide information about data protection. This applies to detailed information intended to safeguard business or personal data, intellectual property, privacy, and infrastructure on the Internet, private networks, or in other bandwidth services such as telecommunications. The following are not included: Legitimate information security companies and security software providers, such as virus protection companies. Sites that have an express purpose in exploiting security or teaching how to bypass security; see "Hacking/Computer Crime".

Information Security New

Web pages that legitimately provide information about data protection.

This category includes detailed information for safeguarding business or personal data, intellectual property, privacy, and infrastructure on the Internet, private networks, or in other bandwidth services such as telecommunications. This category does not include: Legitimate information security companies and security software providers, such as virus protection companies. Sites that intend to exploit security or teach how to bypass security. See the Potential Hacking/Computer Crime category.

Instant Messaging

Web pages that provide software for real-time communication over a network exclusively for users who have been invited to join a member's contact list or an instant messaging session. Most instant messaging software includes features such as file transfer, PC-to-PC phone calls, and tracking of when other people log on and off.

Interactive Web Applications

Web pages that provide access to live or interactive Web applications, such as browser-based office suites and groupware. Sites categorized as Interactive Web Applications include those with business, academic, or individual focus. Sites providing access to interactive Web applications that do not take critical user data or offer security risks are excluded, such as Google Maps. Sites that focus primarily on Web meetings for business use are categorized as Web Meetings.

Internet Radio/TV

Web pages that provide software or access to continuous audio or video broadcasting, such as Internet radio, TV programming, or podcasting. Quick downloads and shorter streams that present less bandwidth compromise fall under Streaming Media or Media Downloads.

Internet Services

Web pages that provide services for publication and maintenance of Internet sites such as Web design, domain registration, Internet Service Providers, and broadband and telecommunications companies that provide Web services. Web utilities such as statistics and access logs are included, as well as Web graphics like clip art.

Job Search

Web pages related to a job search including sites concerned with resume writing, interviewing, changing careers, classified advertising, and large job databases. It also includes corporate Web pages listing job openings, salary comparison sites, temporary employment, company job posting sites. Make money at home sites fall under the Business or Online Shopping categories.

Major Global Religions

Web pages with content about religious topics and information related to major religions.

This category includes sites that cover religious content such as discussion, beliefs, non-controversial commentary, articles, and information for local congregations such as a church or synagogue homepage. The religions in this category are Baha'I, Buddhism, Chinese Traditional, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Tenrikyo, Zoroastrianism. This category does not include sites with content about other religions and ideologies, such as comparative religion. See the Religion/Ideology category.

Malicious Downloads

Web pages that allow a user to inadvertently download code that is harmful or annoying.

This category includes downloadable files like screensavers, toolbars and file-sharing programs that contain adware, spyware, viruses and other malicious computer code. Sometimes, the malware is added without the user’s knowledge, as when they click “Yes” or “I agree” without reading the full terms and conditions. The effects can include slower computer speeds, theft of passwords, and the loss or damage of valuable personal files.

Malicious Reputation

A URL that contains malicious content or is not from a legitimate host server. For example, the URL may contain a virus, spyware, or phishing mechanism.

Malicious Sites

Web pages that deploy code designed specifically to hijack your computer's settings or activity. Some examples include self-installing applications (called "drive-by" executable file downloads), Trojans, and viruses that exploit security vulnerabilities in browsers or other applications. It is possible for a Web page to lose its malicious status and be re-categorized.

This category is differentiated from the Spyware/Adware category by its intent. Spyware/Adware is intended to covertly gather and send information to another party; malicious sites intend to take action on another computer to cause damage.


Web pages that provide individual or business promotion of products or services on the Web, but do not sell their products or services online. These sites generally serve as a company overview with descriptions of the services or products in which they specialize, but cannot be purchased directly from Marketing/Merchandising sites. Examples include, but are not limited to, wedding photography services, automobile manufacturer sites, or graphic design services. The following are not included: Other categories that imply marketing are Alcohol, Auctions/Classifieds, Drugs, Finance/Banking, Mobile Phone, Online Shopping, Real Estate, School Cheating Information, Software/Hardware, Stock Trading, Tobacco, Travel, and Weapons. Sites with sole intent to market their services to other businesses; see "Business".


Media Downloads

Web pages that provide audio or video files for download such as MP3, WAV, AVI, and MPEG formats. The files are saved to and played from the user's computer. Audio or video files that are played directly through a browser window are not included in this category; see "Streaming Media".

Media Sharing

Web pages that allow users to upload, search for, and share media files and photos, such as online photo albums.


Web pages that provide streaming messaging services such as computer to mobile phone text-messaging via SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Message Service) or computer to fax machine messaging.

Mobile Phone

Web pages that provide buyable media, software, or utilities for mobile phones that can be downloaded and delivered to mobile phones. Examples include ringtones, logos/skins, games, screen-savers, text-based tunes, and software for SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Message Service), WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), and other mobile phone protocols.


Bulletin boards, chat rooms, search engines, or Web mail sites that are monitored by an individual or group who has the authority to block messages or content considered inappropriate.

This category may be used as an exception to allow access to Web pages categorized as Moderated. Sites with posted rules against offensive content do not fall under the Moderated category; see "Forum/Bulletin Boards".

Motor Vehicles

Web pages for car reviews, vehicle purchasing or sales tips, and parts catalogs; auto trading, photos, and discussion of vehicles including motorcycles, boats, cars, trucks, and RVs; journals and magazines on vehicle modification, repair, and customization; and online automotive enthusiast club sites.

This category includes sites for manufacturers and dealerships of consumer transportation vehicles, such as cars, vans, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and scooters. This also includes sites that provide product marketing, reviews, comparisons, pricing information, auto fairs, auto expos, and general consumer information about motor vehicles.

Automotive accessories, mechanics, auto-body shops, and recreational hobby pages are not included. Sites that provide business-to-business-only content regarding motor vehicles are not included.

Neutral Reputation

A URL that most likely belongs to a legitimate web server, but all content still requires some attention.


Web pages for groups designed for charitable or educational purposes that fulfill a stated mission, benefiting the larger community, such as clubs, lobbies, communities, non-profit organizations, labor unions, and advocacy groups. Examples are Masons, Elks, Boy and Girl Scouts, or Big Brothers. Organizations with governmental endorsements, but not government run, will fall under this category.


Web pages that have non-pornographic images of the bare human body. Classic sculpture and paintings, artistic nude photographs, some naturism pictures, and detailed medical illustrations are included in the Nudity category. High-profile sites where nudity is not a concern for visitors do not fall under this category; see "Incidental Nudity".

Online Shopping

Web pages that specifically sell products or services online. Web pages that sell only one product are not included in Online Shopping. Those Web pages will be categorized according to the topic of their exclusive content. For example, a site selling only weapons would be categorized under Weapons. A site selling weapons with a broad range of other items will be categorized as Online Shopping.

P2P/File Sharing

Web pages that allow the exchange of files between computers and users for business or personal use, such as downloadable music. P2P clients allow users to search for and exchange files from a peer-user network. They often include spyware or real-time chat capabilities. BitTorrent Web pages are included under this category.

Parked Domain

Web pages that once served content, but their domains have been sold or abandoned and are no longer registered. Parked domains do not host their own content, but usually redirect users to a generic page that states the domain name is for sale or redirect users to a generic search engine and portal page, some of which provide valid search engine results.

Personal Network Storage

Web pages that allow users to upload folders and files to an online network server in order to backup, share, edit, or retrieve files or folders from any Web browser.

Personal Pages

Personal home pages that share a common domain such as those hosted by ISPs, university/ education servers, or free Web page hosts. Also included are unique domains that contain personal information, such as a personal home page. Home pages of public figures are not rated as Personal Pages, they will fall under their related category such as Entertainment or Sports. However, these pages are not highly trafficked making them difficult to categorize and provide coverage for each personal page.


Web pages that provide reviews, descriptions, and market or sell prescription based drugs, over-the-counter drugs, birth control, or dietary supplements.


Links to Web pages that typically arrive in hoax e-mails established to steal user account information. These sites falsely represent themselves and appear as legitimate company Web pages in order to deceive and obtain user account information that can be used to perpetrate fraud or theft.


Web pages covering political parties, individuals in political life, and opinion on various topics.

This category may also cover laws and political opinion about drugs.


Web pages that contain materials intended to be sexually arousing or erotic. This includes fetish pages, animation, cartoons, stories, and illegal pornography.

Portal Sites

Web pages designed as a starting point that serve as major gateways or directories to content on the Web. Many portal sites also provide a variety of internal site features or services such as search engines, e-mail, news, and entertainment. Mailing list sites with a variety of content are included in the Portal Sites category. Sites with topic-specific content are not included in this category. Such sites are categorized more specifically, such as Entertainment.

Potentially Unwanted Programs

Web pages that contain Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs). PUPs are often made for a beneficial purpose but they alter the security of a computer or the computer user’s privacy. Computer users who are concerned about security or privacy might want to be informed about this software, and in some cases, they might want to remove this software from their computers.


Web page that contain crude, vulgar, or obscene language or gestures.

Professional Networking

This category includes Web pages that provide social networking exclusively for professional or business related purposes. These sites provide personal or group profiles and facilitate interaction among their members through real-time communication, message posting, public bulletins, and media sharing.

This category will also contain alumni sites that have a networking function. This category does not include social networking sites where the focus may vary, but include friendship, dating, or professional focuses. See "Social Networking" or "Dating/Personals".

Provocative Attire

Web pages with pictures that include alluring or revealing attire, lingerie and swimsuits, or supermodel or celebrity photograph collections, but do not involve nudity.

This category does not include sites with swimwear or similar attire that is not intended to be provocative. For example, Olympic swimming sites are not in this category.

Public Information

Web pages that provide general reference information such as public service providers, regional information, transportation schedules, maps, or weather reports.

Real Estate

Web pages for home, apartment, and land listings; rental or relocation services; tips on buying or selling a home; real estate agents; and home improvement sites.


Web pages for recreational organizations and facilities that include content devoted to recreational activities and hobbies.

This category includes information about public swimming pools, zoos, fairs, festivals, amusement parks, recreation guides, hiking, fishing, bird watching, or stamp collecting. This category does not include activities that need no active participation, such as watching a movie or reading celebrity gossip. See the Entertainment category.


Web pages related to religions and spirituality.

Remote Access

Web pages that provide remote access to a program, online service, or an entire computer system. Although remote access is often used legitimately to run a computer from a remote location, it creates a security risk, such as backdoor access. Backdoor access, written by the original programmer, allows the system to be controlled by another party without the user's knowledge.

Residential IP Addresses

IP addresses (and any domains associated with them) that access the Internet by DSL modems or cable modems. Because this content is not generally intended for Internet access via HTTP, access to the Internet through these IP addresses can indicate suspicious behavior. This behavior might be related to malware located on the home computer or homegrown gateways set up to allow anonymous Internet access.

Resource Sharing

Web pages that harness idle or unused computer resources to focus on a common task.

The task can be on a company or an international basis. Well known examples are the SETI program and the Human Genome Project, which use the idle time of thousands of volunteered computers to analyze data.


Web pages that provide information about restaurants, bars, catering, take-out, and delivery, including online ordering.

This category includes sites that provide information about location, hours, prices, menus and related dietary information. This category also includes restaurant guides and reviews, and cafes and coffee shops. This category does not include groceries, wholesale food, non-profit and charitable food organizations, or bars that do not focus on serving food.

School Cheating Information

Web pages that promote plagiarism or cheating by providing free or fee-based term papers, written essays, or exam answers.

This category does not include sites that offer student help, discuss literature, films, or books, or other content that is often the subject of research papers.

Search Engines

General search engines, such as Yahoo, AltaVista, and Google.

Sexual Materials

Web pages that describe or depict sexual acts, but are not intended to be arousing or erotic. Examples of sexual materials include sex education, sexual innuendo, humor, or sex-related merchandise.

This category does not include web pages with content intended to arouse. See the Pornography category.


Web pages for downloading software that is free, but possibly limited in function or duration.

Social Networking

Web pages that enable social networking for a variety of purposes, such as friendship, dating, professional, or topics of interest. These sites provide personal or group profiles and enable interaction among their members through real-time communication, message posting, public bulletins, and media sharing.

This category does not include sites that are exclusive to dating, matchmaking, or a specific professional networking focus. See the Dating/Personals and Professional Networking categories.


Web pages related to computing software and hardware, including vendors, product marketing and reviews, deployment and maintenance of software and hardware, and software updates and add-ons such as scripts, plug-ins, or drivers. Hardware includes computer parts, accessories, and electronic equipment used with computers and networks.

This category includes the marketing of software and hardware, and magazines focused on software or hardware product reviews or industry trends.

Spam URLs

URLs found in spam, particularly on these topics: computing, finance and stocks, entertainment, games, health and medicine, humor and novelties, personal and dating, products and services, shopping, and travel.


Web pages for team or conference web sites; national, international, college, professional scores and schedules; sports-related online magazines or newsletters; and fantasy sports and virtual sports leagues that are free or low-cost.


Web pages that violate personal or corporate privacy and security. This category includes: URLs that download software or execute programs that gather user information and send it to a third party without the user's explicit knowledge or consent. Software that monitors or tracks activity on others’ computer by recording the key strokes (Keyloggers). Sites that distribute software known to contain spyware or adware. This category is different from the Malicious Sites category because of its intent. Spyware and keyloggers covertly gather and send information to another party. A malicious site intends to install software or take an action without user approval or knowledge.

This category does not includes web pages that download Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs).

Stock Trading

Web pages for stock quotes, stock tickers, and fund rates; online stock or equity trading.

Streaming Media

Web pages for streaming media files or events (any live or archived audio or video file), Internet TV and radio, non-explicit personal webcam sites, telephony sites that allow users to make calls via the internet, and VoIP services.

Suspicious Reputation

A URL that shows many characteristics that are associated with a malicious web server and any content from it requires special scrutiny.

Technical/Business Forums

Web pages with a technical or business focus that provide online message posting or real-time chatting, such as technical support or interactive business communication. Although users can post any type of content, these forums tend to present less risk of containing offensive content. Sites that offer a variety of forums with themes, including technical and business content, are only in the categories of Forum/Bulletin Boards or Chat. Forums with a primary technical or business focus only are in the Technical/Business Forums category.

Technical Information

Web pages that provide computing information with an educational focus in areas such as Information Technology, computer programming, and certification. Examples include Linux user groups, UNIX commands, software tutorials, or dictionaries of technical terms. Most sites in this category might be subdirectories of larger domains. For example, a software site with a tutorial page is in this category only at the tutorial page URL.

This category does not include content about information security. See the Information Security category.

Text/Spoken Only

Content that is text or audio only, and does not contain pictures.

This category can be used as an exception to allow explicit text and recorded material to be accessed when you want pictures blocked using the Pornography, Violence, or Sexual Materials categories. Libraries or universities can use this category to prevent the display of offensive graphics in their public facilities.

Text Translators

Web pages that allow users to type phrases or a block of text to translate it from one language into another.

This category also includes language identifier web pages. This category does not include URL translation, which is a different activity. URL translation translates the content of a web page, not a word, phrase, or block of text typed into an input field. URL translation is in the Anonymizing Utilities category.


Web pages that promote or distribute tobacco products for free or for a charge.


Web pages of airlines and flight booking agencies, accommodation information, travel package listings, city guides and tourist information, and car rentals.

Trusted Reputation

A URL that belongs to a legitimate web server with no malicious content.

Unverified Reputation

A URL that may belong to a legitimate web server, but requires further inspection to ensure its content is safe.

Usenet News

Web pages that provide access to usenet groups such as comp.os.linux.


Web pages portraying, describing or advocating physical assault against humans, animals, or institutions; depicting torture, mutilation, gore, or horrific death; advocating, encouraging, or depicting self-endangerment, or suicide, including through eating disorders or addictions; instructions, recipes, or kits for making bombs or other harmful or destructive devices; sites promoting terrorism; and excessively violent sports or games, including videos and online games. Note: We do not block news, historical, or press incidents that may include the above criteria, except those that include graphic examples.

Visual Search Engine

Web pages that provide image-specific search results such as thumbnail pictures.

This category does not include sites that offer site-specific visual search engines.


Web pages with online purchasing or ordering information, including lists of prices and dealer locations; any page or site predominantly containing, or providing links to, content related to the sale of guns, weapons, ammunition or poisonous substances; displaying or detailing the use of guns, weapons, ammunition or poisonous substances; and clubs which offer training on machine guns, automatics, other assault weapons, and sniper training. Note: Weapons are defined as something (as a club, knife, or gun) used to injure, defeat, or destroy.

Web Ads

Sites of banner ad servers, sites with pop-up advertisements, and sites with known adware.

Web Mail

Web pages that enable users to send or receive email through the Internet.

Web Meetings

Web pages that host live meetings, video conferences, and interactive presentations mainly for businesses. Web meetings generally include streaming audio and video, and allow data transfer or office-oriented application sharing, such as online presentations.

Web Phone

Web pages that enable users to make telephone calls via the Internet or obtain information or software for this purpose. Web Phone service is also called Internet Telephony, or VoIP. Web phone service includes PC-to-PC, PC-to-phone, and phone-to-phone services connecting via TCP/IP networks.