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Posted April 3, 2013

Why Your Existing Web Filtering Product Is Misleading You

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Why Your Existing Web Filtering Product Is Misleading You

Web monitoring solutions are used to monitor web site access. That is a given. But what if the data being collected does not represent a true and fair view of a user’s activity online?In the case of social websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, no web filtering solution shows an accurate view of user’s activity online. These products are not trying to deceive you but it is merely a side effect of how they work.

Why what you see is not what happened

When a user visits a web page online it is very often the case that the page shows Facebook’s Like button, or Twitter’s tweet button. The web filtering software sees two internet activities: the request to the article, and a request for the Facebook Like picture to display. The user has not actually browsed to facebook.com, but the browser needs to access facebook.com to retrieve the Facebook image. Because both activities are recorded, the view of the user’s activity is incorrect. The user did not visit Facebook but that’s what the logs say.

Of course, this is a problem. If you are a manager and you want to a true and fair view of users’ activities online, you simply cannot rely on the web filtering solutions out there on which to base decisions.

True view

We have solved this problem. Rawstream only records a visit to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and other social media sites when the user has actually visited these sites. This feature is available right now; download the latest version of the Rawstream User Agent.

You need data you can rely on when you make decisions, and Rawstream is the only web filtering solution to show a true and fair picture of a user’s activities online.

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