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Tools to vet the Net

FOR many, life without cyberspace is almost unimaginable these days. It offers them the best mix of fantasy and reality.

As a result, Internet-related social ills, such as gaming addiction, Internet addiction, terrorism, bullying, sexual harassment, invasion of privacy, impersonation and fraud have become increasingly common, thanks to the Internet's borderless nature and ubiquity.

Many children and youth are sometimes lured by the "excitements" offered online; they lack the maturity to distinguish what is right or wrong on the Net.

Hence, it is up to adults -parents, guardians or teachers to make the Net a safer place for kids to surf.

Some of solutions available to adult supervisors include:

Blocking pornography
One such solution is Xfilter Ishield. It is an easy-to-use software that provides a high degree of protection against porn web pages by using state-of-the-art image processing and artificial intelligence techniques.

Suitable for non-IT savvy parents, Xfilter Ishield has a single screen control panel to activate blocking, warning message or silent monitoring of pornography.

Xfilter Ishield is different from URL filtering software in that the latter only restricts access to known pornographic websites. But with more than 100,000 new pornographic web pages created daily, keeping up to date on these websites placed on the Internet each day is an impossible task.

Xfilter Ishield does not use any lists of known pornographic websites. Instead, it analyses each web page as it is loaded, finds pornographic images and then blocks them.
To do this, Xfilter Ishield locates areas of interest in each image using colour analysis. Next, a series of techniques are applied; namely contrast normalisation, skin-colour analysis, textureanalysis, edge detection, blob detection, shape analysis, brightness-flow analysis and face detection.

The results of these image processing techniques are fed into a neutral network to make a decision on the image. Then, text is recovered from the web page and analysed. When Xfilter Ishield detects pornographic material, it automatically records the incident in a log file that can be reviewed by the administrator.

If the image blocking option is enabled, then Xfilter Ishield replaces pornographic images with a non-pornographic image. If the redirect option is enabled, then Xfilter Ishield will replace pornographic web pages with a neutral web page.

For "innocent" pages, include the URL or domain to the white list to ensure that Xfilter Ishield does not block its images. Detection-rate settings may also be lowered.

Filtering for Windows desktop
Xfilter E-Scan is a web-content filter for Windows desktop. The only Internet filtering appliance solution optimised for filtering and interoperability, Xfilter E-Scan enables organisations to monitor, block and report on their users' web activity.

The software includes URL and domain filtering, content phrase filtering, PICS filtering and MIME filtering. Xfilter E-Scan will check for pages with profanities and phrases associated with pornography and other undesirable content. The URL and domain filtering is able to handle huge lists.

The filtering has configurable domain and source IP exception lists. The configurable logging produces a log in an easy-to-read format with the option to log only text-based pages.
In addition, Xfilter E-Scan provides full Internet monitoring and logging of all unsuccessful Internet accesses, giving your organisation a complete profile of user activity.
For information, visit www.tm.com.my or call 100.

PRODUCT FEATURES

Xfilter Ishield

Blocks pornographic images in web browser via:
* Skin tone detection
* Texture detection
* Edge detection
* Mass detection
* Limb detection
* Face detection
* Records activity of any pornographic sites visited - the log or activity report captures the date, time and URL address
* Allows customer to configure Xfilter Ishield and view the activity report, and to access black or white site list

* Four modes when an offensive image is detected:
1) Automatic
2) Passive mode
3) Active warning
4) Active block

* Define known safe (white) and unsafe (black) websites
Xfilter E-Scan

* Can block adverts using URL block list
* Filters text and HTML pages for obscene (sexual, racial, violent etc) content
* Uses an advanced phrase weighting system to reduce overor under-blocking
* Filters sites using the PICS labelling system
* Filters according to MIME type
* Works in `white list' mode where all sites except those listed are blocked
* Can block all IP-based URLs
* Able to log the username
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