Distracting Websites to Block at Work (& How to Block Them)

A man stares amazed at his laptop

CASE STUDY
Keeping Students Safe With CurrentWare’s Web Filter for Schools

Unrestricted internet access is detrimental to cybersecurity and productivity.

Read the Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s case study to learn how CurrentWare’s website blocking software helped them keep their students and systems safe.

Table of Contents



How to Block Distracting Internet Sites at Work

Want to block time wasting websites? Watch this video to learn how to block unwanted websites with BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s website blocking software.

BrowseControl lets you block employees from accessing distracting websites through:

  • Category Filtering: Block websites with the help of a predefined list of URLs to block. The category internet filter database is continuously updated so you can easily stay ahead of new websites as they appear.
  • URL Filtering: Add specific URLs and domains to a block list (blacklist) to block just those pages or block all websites except for a select few that are added to an allow list (whitelist). 

BrowseControl’s web filtering policies can be customized based on specific users, devices, and departments.

To make URL filtering easier BrowseControl allows you to import URLs from a .csv or .txt file. The URL import feature automatically ignores duplicates, allowing you to easily source and implement additional website block lists from the internet.

For further granularity, internet restrictions can also be modified based on the time of day using the internet scheduler, allowing employees to access unproductive websites during their breaks. This approach allows you to balance the benefits of blocking internet sites at work with the desire your employees have to browse the internet.

Why Do Companies Block Websites?

Increase Employee Productivity by Blocking Distractions

A woman in professional attire stares off-screen, distracted

A modest amount of cyberloafing might be fine, but unmanaged internet access will become a major time sink. Blocking distracting websites keeps actively disengaged employees from sneakily wasting time by playing computer games and browsing social media sites.

Even for the best employees websites like social media and news outlets are designed to keep us hooked and spending far more time than we may realize. By proactively blocking distracting websites you can keep employees focused on their tasks by removing the temptation to scroll just a little bit more.

Protect Sensitive Data From Employee Theft and Hackers

data leakage prevention - how to protect your data

The internet is a valuable workplace tool, but it’s also a serious cybersecurity risk if employees are given complete access to it. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing websites, malware-infected domains, and unauthorized cloud storage accounts are all significant threats to sensitive corporate data. Web filters are a critical layer of defense for protecting networks against these high-risk websites.

Improve Internet Speeds by Reducing Excessive Bandwidth Usage

An Ethernet router with five RJ45 cables connected to it

Streaming a 4K Ultra HD Netflix video consumes 7GB of data per hour. In 2017 Netflix reported that 37% of its users admitted to using the streaming service while at work.

Employees that use the company internet to stream videos waste valuable bandwidth and ruin the productivity of their coworkers by dramatically slowing down the speed of the internet. For this reason most workplaces will ban websites that waste bandwidth for non-work purposes.

Reduce Workplace Harassment

While a computer use policy is an essential part of controlling employee internet use, it’s only part of the solution to preventing internet abuse in the workplace.

A web filter works alongside a computer use policy to ban websites with NSFW content such as pornography, hateful, and violent websites. By blocking websites that contain this content you can reduce inappropriate web usage that would otherwise contribute to a hostile work environment.


Start Blocking Distracting Sites Today

Blocked website warning message that says "Your IT administrator has prevented you from browsing this URL. Request access"

Want to start blocking distracting websites for your entire workforce? BrowseControl’s Active Directory integration and central web console make managing your internet use policies as easy as a few clicks.

CASE STUDY
Keeping Students Safe With CurrentWare’s Web Filter for Schools

Unrestricted internet access is detrimental to cybersecurity and productivity.

Read the Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s case study to learn how CurrentWare’s website blocking software helped them keep their students and systems safe.

The Ultimate List of Websites to Block at Work

This list of URLs to block encompasses the most distracting websites, NSFW websites, and known malicious websites. They serve as a great list of websites to block for students, employees, and library patrons.

URL Category Category Description Safe for Kids? Contains Nudity?
Abortion and pregnancy Sites that talk about: Pregnancy, Abortion, Pregnancy termination, Pro life and Pro choice No No
Actors and models This category appears only when filtering search results it will appear when the search result is an actor/model. Maybe Maybe
Ads Sites that serve ads, or are an ads agency (ads agency are preferably marketing or marketing/ads, but sometimes it’s impossible to distinguish) Depends Maybe
Adult Sites that contain adult content, either graphically or in text, but is not Pornographic in nature. No Maybe
Adult dating Sites that deal with adult dating (contains sexual content). No Maybe
AI Sites that are about AI (artificial intelligence) or offer such services Yes No
Alcohol Sites that deal with alcohol, this includes: Wine, Brewing, Winemaking, Vineyards, Beer and bars. No No
Alternative medicine Sites that are about alternative medicine Yes No
Annoyances Sites that are annoying, mostly popups, this category is provided for PerPageSDK only. Maybe Maybe
Anorexy Sites that are about: Anorexy, Bulemia, and eating disorders. No No
API Hosts that are use as an API for software/browser, which don’t have visible data. Yes No
Arts Sites about: Arts, Arts museums, Plays, Paintings, Poems, and Artists. Yes No
Astrology Sites that deal with divination: Astrology, Palmistry, Cold reading methods, Card reading, Tarot and seeing the future. Yes No
Banks Banking sites Yes No
Beauty and Fashion Sites that talk about: Life style, Beauty, Personal care, Wrist watches, Jewelry, Cosmetics, Perfumes, Personal grooming, Hair/Nail salons and Weddings. Depends Light
Bitcoin Bitcoin and other crypto currency related sites Yes No
Blogs Sites that are blogs, if the content of the site is not safe, it will be in another or extra category. Yes No
Bookmarks Sites that are a repository of bookmarks, can be a social bookmarking service as well. Yes No
Books or comics Sites that are about: Books, Libraries, Book shops and Author’s pages. There are new category for comics, the name in the category is for backward compatibility only. Yes No
Business and services Sites belonging to a business or a service provider that doesn’t fall under any of the other categories. Yes No
Bypass protection Sites that are used to bypass parental controls software and components, VPN and Proxies fall under the Proxy category. No Maybe
CDN CDN Sites, they serve content of others, some CDNs can server both safe and unsafe sites. Depends Maybe
Celebrity gossip Sites that are about celebrity gossip, if contains nudity, it will come with an additional category that indicates it. Maybe Maybe
Chats Sites that are mostly online chats, or chat/messaging applications. Depends No
Classifieds Classifieds sites, second hand sales/services, yelp. Yes No
Clothing and fashion Sites that are about: Clothing/shoes, Fashion, Clothing/shoes shop, Hand bags, clothing/shoes manufacturer. Yes No
Community and society Sites that are about: Charity, Community (helping other), Fundraising. Yes No
Computer games Sites that are about computer games or online games (some games can be violent like GTA). Depends No
Consumer reviews Consumer and products review sites Yes No
Contact sport Sites that are about contact sports, like: Martial arts, WWE, UFC and MMA. Yes No
Cooking and food Sites that are about: Cooking, Food, Non alcoholic beverages, Recipes, Food shopping – excluding restaurants. Yes No
Crime Sites that are about crime (either covering it, or giving crime instructions) No Maybe
Dancing Sites that are about dancing Yes No
Dating Dating sites. No No
Depress domain Sites that are about sad topics such as : Obituaries, Cemeteries, Crematorium, Funerals, Jail, Prison, Disasters and more. Maybe No
Depress page Will only appear at page level classification, it indicates the same as Depress domain, only at a page level (for example an article about a disaster in CNN). Maybe No
Desktop themes Sites that offer: Screensavers, Desktop themes, E cards, Greeting cards, and Social sites covers. Yes No
Diet Sites that are about: Diet, Weight loss and Weight gain. Yes No
Directories Sites that are: Directories with many sites, Scraped statistics about uptime/downtime. Maybe Maybe
DNS error site can’t be resolved Site can’t be resolved. No Maybe
Drugs Sites that are about: Illegal drugs, Dispensaries – although some countries legalized CBD/THC products, it’s still classified as drugs. No Maybe
Education Sites that belong to: Schools, Kinder gardens, Colleges, Universities and Educational software/guides. Yes No
Empty site While scanning the site it didn’t return any result, which means site can’t be verified. No Maybe
Entertainment Sites about: Movie reviews, Entertainment, Magazines about entertainment, Events, Night life, may contain streaming media, does not contain downloadable media. Yes No
Error site can’t be accessed While scanning the site there was an error, which means site can’t be verified. No Maybe
File hosting Sites that allow users to host their files for internal use or public sharing, files content isn’t verified (may contain nudity or warez). Depends Maybe
Finance Sites that are about: Financial information, Investing, Stock exchange, Credit, Accounting, Payment gateways, business plans and models. Yes No
Fitness Sites that are about fitness, like: Yoga, Bodybuilding, Weightlifting, Diet in context of fitness and Fitness. Yes No
Forex Sites that talk about or offer: Forex or Binary options services Yes No
Forums Forums or groups site. Yes No
Gambling Sites that have: Gambling games, Sports betting, Betting statistics, Lottery, or gambling information (gambling addictions will be under health). No Maybe
Gender specific Sites that have content aimed for a specific gender, for example, men’s magazine, or women’s portal. Yes No
General – not porn Sites that our classifier could not find any suitable category for them. It means that they couldn’t be classified as unsafe as well. Depends Maybe
General (safe) No known category, but considered safe (no pornography, drugs, gambling, adult, alcohol, tobacco), it is used mostly for sites that can confuse URL Classification algorithms because of words like Essex and similar variations. Yes No
Government Sites that belong to the government or governmental agencies. Yes No
Grief Sites that are about: Grief, Loss and Grief/Loss support. No No
Hacking Sites that are about: Hacking, Cracking, Stolen data and mobile jailbreak. No No
Hate Sites that are about hate toward: Genders, Race, Religion. Also: Holocaust denial, Pro Nazi. No Maybe
History Sites about: Historical events, Historical figures and past wars. Yes No
Hobbies Sites that are about various type of: Hobbies, Crafts, RC Cars, Collectables and also gardening. Yes No
Home improvement Sites about: Home improvements, Decorating, Home items and DIY sites. Yes No
How to Sites that are user generated content with How to guides. If contains adult content it will come with an additional category that indicates it. Yes No
Humor Sites with: Jokes, Humor related content, and Standup comedy. Yes No
Hunting and fishing Sites that are about: Hunting and Fishing information or equipment, Taxidermy and Game (hunting related). Depends No
Illegal Sites that offer illegal products like fake IDs, diplomas, etc (sites for drugs, warez, weapons are under their own category). No Maybe
Image and video hosting Sites that give the ability go host images, videos and image/video search engine. Mixed Maybe
Image block Used for search results only, the sites may host bad images, usually an image hosting site, not relevant if software is not processing each image inside the search engine image search. Maybe Maybe
Images CDN CDN that contains safe images, but are not user generated (this is a manually controlled list) Yes No
Images CDN Unknown CDN that contains images, but there’s no way to tell which kind, only in the context of the web page Maybe Maybe
Insurance Sites that offer insurance Yes No
Internal category Internal category Depends Maybe
ISP ISP sites or ISP related (such as ADSL news), sites that offer Internet connection and phone/mobile falls under the Telecommunications category. Yes No
Jobs Sites that are about: Job offers, Job search, HR software, Job/Resume tips and Freelancing job sites. Yes No
Kids safe Sites that are just for kids and are safe (sites added to this category is only after human review) Yes No
Kids Entertainment Sites that are entertainment for kids Yes No
Knowledge Sites that: Provide general paid knowledge, Online courses, Frontal training. Yes No
Legal Sites that belong to: Lawyers, Law firms, Courts, Legal documents repository, Identity verification, and sites that give legal advice or tips. Yes No
Legal movies Sites that legally host/stream full length movies and series, this list is a manual list. Yes No
Legal songs Sites that legally host/stream music, this list is a manual list. Yes No
Lifestyle and culture Sites that contain material related to an individual’s personal, community or cultural identity, or organizational/club affiliations. Maybe Maybe
Link farm Sites that has no value and contain various links that will generate the owner money, or parked domains. May contain pornography. Danger Maybe
Loans Sites that offer: Loans, Mortgages and Debt consolidation Yes No
Local Sites about local information: City information, State information, Law enforcement and Fire fighters. If the second category is news, then it’s local news. Yes No
Local IP Local IPs can’t be classified. Maybe Maybe
Login page This page or site is part of a login or user management. It’s not always possible to deduce the site’s actual classification. Maybe Maybe
Lookup Sites that offer various lookup and reverse lookup of: Emails, Domains, IPs, Phone numbers and People. Yes No
Magazines Magazines sites (could be online magazines or a site for offline magazines), may contain another category if possible to denote the magazine category. Yes No
Marketing or ads Sites that ad agencies, and it’s possible that the domain name also serves ads. Yes No
Medical Sites that talk about medical and health information. Yes No
Military Sites with .mil or military related Depends No
Mixed adult Sites that have mixed content, some safe and some not, but is not outright adult content so it can’t be categorized as such. No Yes
Mobile Sites that are about: Mobile devices, Cater only to mobile, Cellular phone sellers and manufacturers. Yes No
Models Sites that contains images and information about: Models, Modelling and Models agency. Depends Light
Money spam Sites that deal with making money online, or aggressive sales pitch with a squeeze page, this niche is highly abused and sites in this category should be treated as possible spam/scam. No No
Movies download Sites that offer movies/series download or online streaming (can be pirate site, if contains other pirated content it will marked as Warez instead) Yes No
Music Sites that are about: Music, Music magazines, Lyrics, Bands, Musical instruments and free music download (free songs, samples, effects). Yes No
Nature Sites that are about: Nature or the Environment. Yes No
News and magazines Sites that are about: News, Newspaper sites. Some news site can contain many themes in their main page beside news. Depends No
Nonsense and time waste Sites that have many articles about: Memes, Movies and pictures that are mostly time waste, Viral jokes or a site with many articles in the form of “10 ways to “, “do this to become” even if it’s on a subject as health. Some sites will have a secondary category of Semi nude or Mixed nude because of their content. Maybe Maybe
Not safe No category found for site, but site was found to be not safe, usually because it uses “shady” advertisement that has unsafe content. No Maybe
Online drugs Sites that offer to sell drugs like: Viagra, Pain killers, Narcotics, Anabolic Steroids. No Maybe
Online marketing Sites that are related to: Online marketing, Email marketing services, Web analytics, Ads providers (but is not an ad serving domain). Yes No
Online security Sites that belong to security product like: Anti Virus or firewall, or are about online security Yes No
Online video or audio Sites that has streaming audio and video (for example tv/radio sites, movie clips sites, podcasts), will not contain porn sites, but some content may still be inappropriate, for example youtube.com. Pirated content will be in its own categories. Depends Maybe
Other drugs Sites that are about drugs that are not part of the Drugs Online drugs category, these are drugs that are legal. (because legality is different between countries, the decision is based on the views of the classifier, if you need an exact list of the drugs, contact us) No No
Paranormal Sites that talk about paranormal topics like: UFO, Ghosts, Clairvoyance and conspiracy theory. No No
Parenting and family Sites that talk about: Parenting, Baby showers. Maybe No
Person Sites that are about a specific person (not applies to music, sports, entertainment related people) Yes No
Pets and animals Sites that talk about Pets and animals Yes No
Pharmacy Online pharmacy sites. No No
Philosophy and psychology Sites about: Philosophy, Psychology, Psychological/Cognitive tests and Psychological issues. Yes No
Phishing Sites that contain phishing and other content that is scam based. Danger Maybe
Photography Sites belong to photographers or about photography Yes No
Politics Sites that are about: Political opinion, Politics, Politics news, Politicians, Parliament parties, and protests. Depends No
Porn Sites that contain pornographic content. No Yes
Portals Sites that are portals or magazines that may contain number of categories (some may be related to fashion or intimate apparel) Depends Maybe
PPC Sites that are about PPC or offer such services Yes No
Profanity Sites that contain profanity Depends Maybe
Programming Sites that about: Programming, Development languages or Development frameworks Yes No
Proxy Sites that provide information or service to tunnel web traffic and cause webfilter bypass: Tor, Proxy lists, Proxy/VPN providers. No No
Real estate Sites that are about: Real estate, Realtors or House rentals Yes No
Recreation Sites that are about: Recreation and Outdoors and which are not sports related. Yes No
Reference Sites that are: Dictionary, Maps, Translation, Calculators, Thesaurus, Wiki, Wikipedia and General information sites. Yes No
Registry cleaner Sites that belong to registry cleaners or uninstallers Yes No
Relationships Sites that talk about: Romantic relationships, Dating advice, Marriage advice and Pickup but do not offer dating services sites. No No
Religion Sites that about: Religion, Spirituality and Religion practices. Yes No
Restaurant Sites that belong to: Restaurant, Food ordering, Cafe or similar food selling establishments Yes No
Retirement Sites that are about: Retirement, and Retirements homes. Yes No
Rewards Sites that offer reward/loyalty programs Yes No
Safe No category found for site, but site was found to be safe (it’s a reserved category, it’s not used for now, but it can be activated at any time) Yes No
School cheats Sites that offer ready made works for students, or custom work. Maybe No
Science Sites that are about: Science, Mathematics, Research papers and companies/organizations that are involved in Science research. Yes No
Search block Used for search phrases only, this indicates the search should be blocked. Unlike phrases that fall under a known category, some keyword could be both “good” and “bad”, so they are classified as Search block. Maybe Maybe
Search engines Search engines sites, search result may contain unsafe content, our engine is able to classify the search based on the search keywords (contact us for help on the matter) Depends Maybe
Sects Sites that are about: Sects, Occult, Cults, Cult leaders, Scientology, Church of Satan, Demons, and Secret Societies. No Maybe
SelfHelp Sites that are about: Self help, Motivational speakers, Meditation and Relaxation. Yes No
Semi nude and pin up Site that are about intimate fashion and apparel but in context of the images rather then shopping for them, also celebrity gossip with high percent of underwear and swimwear, this category can be treated for age 16+. No Maybe
SEO Sites that are about SEO/SEM or offer such services Yes No
Sex education and sexuality Sites that talk about: Sex educations, Sexuality, Sexual procedures, Reproduction tract related issues. Depends Maybe
Shopping Shopping, Coupons and online auctions sites. Yes No
Site under construction or not available Sites that are under construction or returned an error response when checked. No Maybe
Site_Graphic design Sites that about: Sites/Graphic creation, Templates, Fonts, Icons, Vectors, Stock images/Videos, Themes and design, this may include graphic services. Yes No
Social networks Sites that offer social networks services. Depends Maybe
Software Site that offers: Software download, SAAS. (Legal sites only) Yes No
Software (Others) Sites that belong to a software or software as a service, but not software repository which has its own category Yes No
Songs download Sites that offer songs/mp3 download (can be pirate site, if contains other pirated content it will marked as Warez instead) Yes No
Spam or scam Sites that has no value, trying to con the user, money from home schemes. Danger Maybe
Sports Sites that are about: Sports, Car/Motorcycle racing, Sports streaming (will also be tagged with streaming) and Horse racing. Yes No
Suicide Sites that talk about suicide, suicide prevention or pro suicide. No No
Supplements Sites that are about or selling: Nutritional supplements, protein powders Yes No
Surveys and polls Website that offer surveys and polls services. Nonsense polls and are in the Nonsense category. Yes No
Swimsuits and underwear Sites that sell, show or talk about swimsuits, Lingerie and Underwear, these sites contain images of people wearing them. Shopping sites with underwear and swimsuit will fall under this category. Maybe Maybe
Tactical equipment Sites that sell: Tactical gear, Body armor, Survival gear, Security gear. Also Preping and Survival information sites Maybe No
Tattoo Sites that are about: Tattoos, Body modification, Body painting, Piercing, Service providers that provide all of those, and Image galleries of all of those. No Yes
Technology and computers Sites that about: Technology, Computers, Software information (but not the software vendor site), Hardware. Yes No
Tele Communications Home site of Tele Communications companies, which provide number of services such as: ISP, Cellular, Cable, Satellite, TV. Yes No
Tobacco Sites that are about: Tobacco, Smoking (not drugs), Cigarettes, Cigars, Vaping and E Cigarettes. No Maybe
Toys Sites that are about: Children toys, Dolls, and Board games. Yes No
Tracker Sites that are tracking user behavior (web analytics). Yes No
URL Classification Sites that are about URL Classification or offer such services Yes No
URL shortener URL redirection or shortners service sites. When the user browses them they will redirect. Make sure to request classification for the redirection. There are some URL Shorteners that also display ads. Depends You need to verify target URL
User generated content Sites that contain user generated content which are not blogs or forums. Yes No
Vacation and travel Sites that talk about: Travel, Vacations, Holidays, Holidays’ bookings, Hotels, Air lines, Attractions and Museums. Yes No
Vehicles Sites that talk about: Cars, Boats, Planes, Bikes, Trucks, Trains, Space shuttles, Motorcycles and all other forms of vehicles. Yes No
Victim help Sites that offer help/support to victims of: Rape, Violence, Abuse, Crime, etc. Maybe No
Violence Sites that contain violent content or extreme profanity. No Yes
Virus infected Sites that are known to be infected with viruses Danger Maybe
Warez Sites that contain: Torrents, Warez, Software cracks. It may or may not also contain adult content. Depends Maybe
Weapons Sites that talk and/or sell: Weapons, Guns, Knives, and Army memorabilia. It may overlap with Tactical category for sites that are selling both weapons and tactical equipment. No No
Weather Sites that talk about the weather Yes No
Web hosting Sites that offer: Web hosting, Domain registration, Domain Whois, Web Hosting reviews, VPS Hosting, Colocation, Dedicated server hosting, LAAS, PAAS. Yes No
Web mail Sites that offer web mail as a service. Depends Content isn’t checked

BrowseControl customers can take advantage of its web content category database with billions of websites categorized over 100 unique URL categories including porn, social media, and virus infected sites.

To block these websites in BrowseControl simply copy and paste them into Notepad and save it as a .txt file. Then, go to BrowseControl > URL Filter > Blocked List> Import to import the .txt file. All of the URLs will then be added to the Blocked URLs list. Any duplicated URLs will be automatically filtered out.

43things.com
 4chan.org
 82apps.com
 8tube.xxx
 8ch.net
 8chan.co
 9gag.com
 9to5mac.com
 abcnews.go.com
 addictinggames.com
 addthis.com
 agar.io
 airbnb.com
 albinoblacksheep.com
 allmyfaves.com
 allthingsd.com
 allvid.ch
 alternativeto.net
 amazon.com
 andkon.com
 angel.co
 aniwey.net
 aol.com
 appsandoranges.com
 ardmediathek.de
 arstechnica.com
 artsy.net
 ask.fm
 auroravid.to
 betali.st
 bet365.com
 bidvoy.net
 biqle.ru
 bitvid.sx
 bleacherreport.com
 blogspot.com
 bloomberg.com
 blowcomics.com
 bo.lt
 boingboing.net
 bored.com
 branch.com
 break.com
 briskfile.com
 bud.ge
 bufferapp.com
 buildandshoot.com
 bumble.com
 businessinsider.com
 buy.com
 buzzfeed.com
 cad-comic.com
 camelcamelcamel.com
 canada.com
 candybox2.net
 candystand.com
 cheapassgamer.com
 cheezburger.com
 chime.in
 circleme.com
 cloudtime.to
 cloudy.ec
 collegehumor.com
 comcast.net
 coolrom.com
 cracked.com
 craigslist.org
 crunchbase.com
 crystalmathlabs.com
 cubers.net
 cull.tv
 cultofmac.com
 daclips.in
 dailydot.com
 dailymotion.com
 dashnet.org
 deadspin.com
 delicious.com
 desura.com
 deviantart.com
 devour.com
 digg.com
 disneyplus.com
 divxme.com
 divxstage.to
 dpadd.com
 draynor.net
 drive.google.com
 dropvideo.com
 dzone.com
 ebaumsworld.com
 ebay.com
 edition.cnn.com
 eeemo.net
 elderscrollsonline.com
 engadget.com
 entervideo.net
 espn.com
 espn.go.com
 estream.to
 etsy.com
 evernote.com
 explosm.net
 extensions
 facebook.com
 fark.com
 feedly.com
 filenuke.com
 flashx.tv
 flixster.com
 fluther.com
 forbes.com
 foundation.bz
 freakshare.com
 funnyjunk.com
 funnyordie.com
 game-oldies.com
 gamepedia.com
 gamovideo.com
 gawker.com
 getglue.com
 getprismatic.com
 gigaom.com
 gizmodo.com
 gocomics.com
 goodvideohost.com
 gorillavid.in
 grindr.com
 greevid.com
 hivereader.com
 homestarrunner.com
 huffingtonpost.com
 hulu.com
 hunch.com
 idowatch.net
 ifttt.com
 imgur.com
 indieflix.com
 indiegogo.com
 instagram.com
 invisionfree.com
 io9.com
 itunes.apple.com
 jalopnik.com
 jezebel.com
 jukejuice.com
 justin.tv
 kag2d.com
 kickstarter.com
 kinja.com
 knowyourmeme.com
 koalabeast.com
 kongregate.com
 kotaku.com
 kurzweilai.net
 launch.co
 leetscape.com
 letwatch.us
 lifehacker.com
 livejournal.com
 liveleak.com
 loadingartist.com
 lofog.com
 longform.org
 makeuseof.com
 mashable.com
 match.com
 medium.com
 metacafe.com
 metafilter.com
 minecraft.net
 minecraftforum.net
 miniclip.com
 minus.com
 movdivx.com
 movpod.in
 movshare.net
 mp4upload.com
 mspaintadventures.com
 myspace.com
 myvideo.de
 nayavideo.com
 neatorama.com
 neodrive.co
 netflix.com
 newegg.com
 newgrounds.com
 news.google.com
 news.ycombinator.com
 newsblur.com
 newsle.com
 noowit.com
 noslocker.com
 nosvideo.com
 novamov.com
 nowvideo.ch
 nowvideo.co
 nowvideo.sx
 nowvideo.to
 ok.ru
 oload.tv
 onlinegambling.com
 openload.co
 openload.io
 overstock.com
 pandodaily.com
 path.com
 pbfcomics.com
 penny-arcade.com
 pheed.com
 pinboard.in
 pinterest.com
 play.google.com
 playedto.me
 playreplay.net
 pof.com
 polygon.com
 pornhub.com
 popurls.com
 potluck.it
 powvideo.net
 primeshare.tv
 promptfile.com
 purefreetoplay.com
 quora.com
 qz.com
 rapidvideo.com
 rapidvideo.ws
 raptr.com
 raptu.com
 realmofthemadgod.com
 reddit.com
 redtube.com
 rottentomatoes.com
 rsbandb.com
 runeclan.com
 runehead.com
 runehints.com
 runehq.com
 runemonkey.net
 runescape.com
 runetrack.com
 runetracker.org
 runeweb.net
 runewise.net
 salmoneus.net
 scape-xp.com
 sendvid.com
 shared.sx
 sharesix.com
 sharethis.com
 slashdot.com
 slashdot.org
 slate.com
 slatestarcodex.com
 slither.io
 smbc-comics.com
 snapzu.com
 snopes.com
 sortable.com
 southparkstudios.com
 speedvid.net
 speedvideo.net
 spring.me
 stagevu.com
 steampowered.com
 stellar.io
 store.maxdome.de
 strawpoll.me
 streamcloud.eu
 streamin.to
 streamplay.to
 stumbleupon.com
 stylee32.net
 swiftirc.net
 teamcoco.com
 teamfortress.com
 techcrunch.com
 techmeme.com
 techvibes.com
 theneeds.com
 thenextweb.com
 theoatmeal.com
 theoldreader.com
 theonion.com
 theverge.com
 thevideo.me
 thevideobee.to
 thevideos.tv
 tiktok.com
 tinder.com
 tip.it
 titanfall.com
 tmz.com
 transformice.com
 tumblr.com
 tweettabs.com
 twitch.tv
 twitter.com
 uptostream.com
 userscloud.com
 userscripts.org
 usersfiles.com
 userstyles.org
 ustream.tv
 valvesoftware.com
 veehd.com
 venturebeat.com
 veoh.com
 versus.com
 vgcats.com
 vice.com
 vid.gg
 vid.me
 vidabc.com
 video.tt
 videosift.com
 videoweed.es
 videowood.tv
 vidgg.to
 vidlox.tv
 vidto.me
 vidtodo.com
 vidup.me
 vidzi.tv
 vimeo.com
 vimple.ru
 virtualnes.com
 vivo.sx
 vk.com
 voat.co
 vodlock.co
 vshare.eu
 vshare.io
 wallbase.cc
 wanelo.com
 watchers.to
 wholecloud.net
 wikia.com
 wimp.com
 wired.com
 wish.com
 wizards.com
 xkcd.com
 xvidstage.com
 yoleoreader.com
 yourvideohost.com
 yourworldoftext.com
 youwatch.org
 youjizz.com
 ytmnd.com
 zdf.de
 zetaboards.com
 zifboards.com
 zybez.net
 zynga.com

Steven Black’s repository consolidates several reputable hosts files and merges them into a unified hosts file with duplicates removed. A variety of tailored hosts files are provided with targeting for adware/malware, fake news, gambling, porn, and social media.

The adware + malware unified hosts file contains over 93,000 unique domains, with more domains being added on a regular basis.

Here’s how to use it with BrowseControl:

  1. Copy + Paste the Raw Hosts files you want to use in a text editing program of your choice (I recommend Notepad)
  2. Remove all extraneous information from the header/footer (you will be left with a large list of URLs with 0.0.0.0 in front of them)
  3. Use your text editing program’s Find and Replace Tool to remove all of the 0.0.0.0’s (find 0.0.0.0 + leave the Replace With box blank)
  4. Using the URL import feature, import 1000 URLs at a time until all of the desired URLs are added. For performance and stability reasons BrowseControl’s URL import feature must import no greater than 1000 URLs at a time, so you will need to split this hosts file into multiple files.*

*Note for Step 4: Since there are so many domains in this hosts file, you should consider using automated tools to split the 93,000 domains into separate files with 1000 rows each. See this article to learn how you can how to split a .CSV excel spreadsheet into separate files.

Artists Against 419 maintains a database of fraudulent websites and makes this data available as a public service. You can find their database here.

“The Phishing Database is a continuously updated archive of structured and searchable information on all the phishing websites detected by OpenPhish. In addition, the database contains metadata that can be used for detecting and analyzing cyber incidents, searching for patterns and trends, or act as a training or validation dataset for AI applications.” – OpenPhish

OpenPhish maintains feeds of phishing websites. These feeds have over 20,000,000 URLs spread across more than 88,000 phishing campaigns. As new URLs are discovered they are added to this list.

Examples of Distracting Websites to Block at Work

This list of distracting websites to block at work is far from complete. The internet contains millions of web pages and new sites pop up every day. For the best results, monitor employee internet use for unfamiliar websites and block websites based on content categories.

1) Social Media

Social media is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with family and friends or connecting with like minded communities. Unfortunately the addictive nature of these websites means they can easily become a major distraction. 

Shockingly, a survey from Pew Research found that a whopping 77 percent of employees admitted to using social media during work hours. Unless your employees are managing your company’s social media account, these platforms aren’t going to be needed for work.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a social blogging platform where users follow and engage with other blogs. Content shared on this platform includes videos, images, animated gifs, links, audio, and text. 

Who would most likely need work-related access to Tumblr:

  • Marketers
  • Graphic designers

How to block Tumblr in the workplace:

  • Add Tumblr.com to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Social networks, Mixed adult

Ready to start blocking distracting websites? Get started today with a free trial of BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s web filtering software for businesses, schools, and libraries.

Facebook

Facebook is a well-known (and commonly abused) social networking website. Users can connect with friends and family by sharing status updates, images, links, and comments. Facebook includes an instant messaging feature that allows employees to chat with their contacts. 

Who would most likely need work-related access to Facebook:

  • Marketers

How to block Facebook in the workplace:

  • Add Facebook.com to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Social networks

Twitter

Twitter is a microblog where users share short-form status updates of up to 280 characters. Users follow and interact with other accounts by commenting, liking, and retweeting (reposting) status updates. Posts are found by following other accounts and hashtags (keywords).

Who would most likely need work-related access to Twitter:

  • Marketers

How to block Twitter in the workplace:

  • Add Twitter.com to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Social networks

Pinterest

Pinterest describes themselves as a “visual discovery engine”. This image-focused website is a digital representation of a pin board where users collect and organize their favorite posts into collections. Common uses of Pinterest include finding and maintaining collections of recipes, DIY projects, and “mood boards” for creative projects.

Who would most likely need work-related access to Pinterest:

  • Graphic designers
  • Marketers
  • Project planners 

How to block Pinterest in the workplace:

  • Add Pinterest.com to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Social networks, image and video hosting, mixed adult

TikTok

TikTok is a social media platform where users share short-form videos that are commonly synced to sound clips from music and pop culture. While TikTok is more commonly used as a mobile phone application it is also available through their desktop site. Recent bannings of TikTok due to security and privacy concerns have led to some employers blocking the website for more than just productivity reasons.

Who would most likely need work-related access to TikTok:

  • Marketers

How to block TikTok in the workplace:

  • Add TikTok.com to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Social networks, online video or audio

Ready to start blocking distracting websites? Get started today with a free trial of BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s web filtering software for businesses, schools, and libraries.

2) Memes, Time Wasters & Funny Images

The occasional bout of browsing funny images or reading light-hearted articles can help employees blow off steam between intense work periods. Unfortunately these websites can quickly turn from occasional glances to full-blown time theft when employees abuse their internet privileges.

BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is an entertainment site that hosts celebrity gossip, articles, listicles, quizzes, and videos. Content that is on BuzzFeed is sourced from staff writers, user submissions, and sponsored content. 

If you would like to block BuzzFeed in the workplace be sure to add both their primary domain (Buzzfeed.com) as well as their news domain (Buzzfeednews.com) to your BrowseControl block list.

Who would most likely need work-related access to BuzzFeed:

  • Not applicable (unless you work at BuzzFeed)

How to block BuzzFeed in the workplace:

  • Add Buzzfeed.com to your URL block list
  • Add Buzzfeednews.com  to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Nonsense and time waste

Imgur

Imgur (pronounced image-er) is a website that is entirely dedicated to hosting images and animated gifs. It differentiates itself from other image hosting websites with its community engagement features such as search, comments, and voting systems.

If you will be blocking Imgur at work, you will also need to block filmot.org as it is a direct mirror of Imgur. Unfortunately, blocking the imgur domain can have unintended side-effects if work-related websites are using Imgur to host images. Leaving the domain unblocked and monitoring employee computer activity with BrowseReporter instead can help address misuse of the website.

Who would most likely need work-related access to Imgur:

  • Roles that require access to images externally hosted on imgur
  • Roles that visit third-party sites for research (the sites may be hosting images on Imgur)

How to block Imgur in the workplace:

  • Add Imgur.com to your URL block list
  • Add filmot.org  to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Image and video hosting, mixed adult, image block
  •  

9GAG

Much like Imgur, 9GAG isa website dedicated to hosting images and videos. The user-generated content hosted on the platform typically focuses on memes and other non-work content. 9GAG also hosts potentially NSFW content, though in order to view the content an employee will need to sign up for an account and manually disable the content filter.

Who would most likely need work-related access to 9gag:

  • Not applicable (unless you work at 9gag)

How to block 9GAG in the workplace:

  • Add 9GAG.com to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Nonsense and time waste

4chan.org

4chan is an anonymous imageboard website where users access content-specific communities centered around topics such as anime, video games, music, and politics. 4chan includes several NSFW communities that are readily accessible from the homepage of the websites. 

Who would most likely need work-related access to 4chan:

  • Not applicable (unless you work at 4chan)

How to block 4chan in the workplace:

  • Add 4chan.org to your URL block list
  • BrowseControl Category: Porn, forums

Reddit

While Reddit is considered a sort of social media site, it is primarily a forum for user-submitted images, videos, and text content. Though it is more often used for non-work purposes, Reddit can be used productively. In addition to memes and pictures of cute animals, there are entire communities that are hosted on Reddit that employees can access to learn more about niche topics.

As for NSFW content, there are subreddits on Reddit that contain adult content. While Reddit does offer content filtering to hide NSFW content, employees could easily access the content by turning off these settings.

Who would most likely need work-related access to Reddit:

  • IT/Programmers
  • Marketers
  • Sales people
  • Graphic designers

How to block Reddit in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • Reddit.com
    • pcottle.github.io/MSOutlookit
    • Redditp.com
    • Jimmyr.com
  • BrowseControl Category: Forums, user generated content

Ready to start blocking distracting websites? Get started today with a free trial of BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s web filtering software for businesses, schools, and libraries.

“We use BrowseControl and other CurrentWare products as an essential part of our security practices. I like the product, and it works great. We have utilized CurrentWare for the last eight years, and I’ve no complaints. Responsive support and willing to take feedback and suggestions. Highly recommended”
Anonymous Verified Reviewer, Insurance Industry, 11-50 Employees

3) Online Shopping

Unless your employees are tasked with tracking down materials and quotes, online shopping websites are certain to be a workplace distraction. These are the five most common culprits for online shopping.

Examples of online shopping websites:

  • Amazon*
  • Wish
  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Etsy

How to block online shopping in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • Amazon.com
    • Amazon.ca
    • Wish.com
    • eBay.com
    • eBay.ca
    • Craigslist.org
    • Etsy.com
  • BrowseControl Category: Shopping

*Note: If you have developers or other related staff that use Amazon Web Services for cloud hosting, data storage, and related services, you will need to use BrowseControl’s user-level permissions to allow them access to Amazon.

4) Video Streaming

With the exception of YouTube, these streaming sites are almost guaranteed to be used for non-work-related purposes. Video streaming is the greatest contributor to network latency. With BrowseReporter you can monitor employee computer activity for excessive bandwidth usage and block any commonly abused websites with BrowseControl.

Examples of video streaming websites:

  • Twitch
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Prime
  • Disney+
  • YouTube

How to block video streaming in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • Twitch.tv
    • Primevideo.com
    • Netflix.com
    • Disneyplus.com
    • YouTube.com
  • BrowseControl Category: Legal Movies, Online video or audio, Image and video hosting, Movies

Ready to start blocking distracting websites? Get started today with a free trial of BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s web filtering software for businesses, schools, and libraries.

5) Pornography & Adult Content

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Porn

According to a 2013 Forbes article a survey by Nielsen found that 25 percent of working adults admit to looking at pornography on a computer at work. Inappropriate internet use leads to the creation of a hostile work environment. Your company can stay one step ahead by proactively blocking porn websites in your network using BrowseControl’s category filter.

How to block porn in the workplace:

Violence

Websites that host violent or shocking content can be incredibly upsetting for employees. Using BrowseControl’s category filter you can proactively block access to these types of websites by blacklisting the “Violence” category.

Examples of violent websites:

  • WorldStarHipHop 
  • Best Gore

How to block violent websites in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • Worldstarhiphop.com
    • Bestgore.com
  • BrowseControl Category: Violence

Dating

Due to their intimate and personal nature the use of online dating sites in the workplace can make employees uncomfortable. In addition to stipulating your company’s expectations of appropriate internet use in your acceptable use policy you can proactively block these websites. 

Examples of dating websites:

  • PlentyofFish
  • Tinder
    • While Tinder is most commonly used as a mobile phone app, many of its features are also available through their website at Tinder.com
  • Match
  • Grindr
    • While Grindr is most commonly used as a mobile phone app, many of its features are also available through their website at Grindr.com
    • You will also want to add Web.grindr.com to your blacklist. This is a web app that is designed to disguise the service as an email platform so employees can discreetly access their messages while on work computers.

How to block dating websites in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • Pof.com
    • Tinder.com
    • Match.com
    • Grindr.com
    • Web.grindr.com
    • Bumble.com
  • BrowseControl Category: Dating

Ready to start blocking distracting websites? Get started today with a free trial of BrowseControl, CurrentWare’s web filtering software for businesses, schools, and libraries.

6) Sports

Sports fans around the world build a great sense of camaraderie by hosting streaming parties and talking about the latest events. Unfortunately once these streaming parties start happening discretely during work hours your network can suddenly become bogged down with sudden bandwidth spikes. Habitually checking the latest stats for fantasy rosters and calculating playoff chances can also become a distraction.

Examples of sports websites:

  • ESPN
  • National Football League (NFL) website
  • National Hockey League (NHL) website
  • National Basketball Association (NBA) website
  • Bleacher Report

How to block sports websites in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • ESPN.com
    • Nfl.com
    • Nhl.com
    • Nba.com
    • bleacherreport.com
  • BrowseControl Category: Sports

7) News

Early morning news updates before work helps keep employees informed of the latest world events. Unfortunately the news can become a distraction when these websites are continuously monitored throughout the day. 

This can be managed by blocking news websites during work hours and allowing employees to access them during breaks. This can be accomplished using BrowseControl’s Internet Scheduler.

Examples of news websites:

  • CNN
  • Huffington Post
  • USA Today
  • Wall Street Journal
  • New York Times

How to block news websites in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • CNN.com
    • Huffingtonpost.ca
    • Huffpost.com
    • USAToday.com
    • WSJ.com
    • NYtimes.com
  • BrowseControl Category: News and magazines, Politics, 

8) Online Games & Gambling

Actively disengaged employees may misrepresent the time they spend on tasks by doing the minimal amount of work and spending the rest of their work day on internet gaming sites. Thanks to BrowseReporter’s employee internet monitoring features you never have to worry that an employee is stealthily gaming on their workstation.

Examples of online games & gambling websites:

How to block online games & gambling websites in the workplace:

  • Add these URLs to your block list:
    • AddictingGames.com
    • bet365.com
    • Miniclip.com
    • Onlinegambling.com
  • BrowseControl Category: Gambling, Games and toys 

FREE TRIAL: BrowseControl Website Blocking Software

”As a ‘novice’ I was able to set up with help from support in about an hour. Previous software took forever and didn’t work as advertised; this software worked right out of the box. It allows my workers to use the internet and make money for the practice without distraction/temptation to use personal websites/email/shopping.”
Gerard B., Office Manager

Want to block distracting websites more efficiently? The website category filtering feature of BrowseControl makes it the best internet filter for blocking distracting websites.

Rather than searching for URLs manually, you can take advantage of our constantly updated database of millions of URLs across 100+ content categories.

Sample categories:

  • Pornography
  • Social Networks (Social Media)
  • Shopping
  • Computer Games
  • Virus Infected
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu
Sai Kit Chu is a Product Manager with CurrentWare. He enjoys helping businesses improve their employee productivity & data loss prevention efforts through the deployment of the CurrentWare solutions.