Employers most likely to block gambling sites, adult content and dangerous websites

March 19, 2024

Cybersecurity experts say blocking certain websites reduces the risk of cyberattacks and removes distractions

  • – Up to 72% of employers block malware sites and adult content
  • – Phishing sites are blocked by 70% of employers, gambling sites by 43%.
  • – IT managers in Europe block an average of eight website categories for their employees.

According to data collected by cyber security company NordLayer, a significant proportion of employers (72%) block malicious websites and adult content. Malicious websites can lead to serious security threats by spreading malware, while adult content websites are often blocked due to concerns about inappropriate content and potential loss of productivity. Gambling sites are blocked by 43% of employers, likely due to concerns about addiction and loss of productivity.

The research shows that NordLayer’s Domain Name System (DNS) filtering feature, which blocks malicious websites and filters out websites that contain harmful and/or inappropriate content, is also used to block phishing, cryptojacking, illegal and DDoS as a Service (DaaS) websites.

“DNS filtering is an important part of any organisation’s cyber security strategy. By blocking access to malicious and inappropriate websites, employers can significantly reduce the risk of malware infections and security breaches on their networks,” said Carlos Salas, cybersecurity expert at NordLayer.

Employers try to maintain a professional working environment

In addition to simply blocking adult websites, many bosses go one step further to create a professional working environment. For example, 30% block dating websites, 28% prohibit access to sex education websites, and about 12% of employers even block underwear websites.

Information or sales related to drug websites are blocked by 37% of IT managers. Interestingly, 21% of employers block VPN sites, likely to prevent employees from circumventing network restrictions and accessing blocked content that could pose security risks or productivity issues.

“To reduce distraction from work and encourage productivity, 19% of IT managers restrict access to gaming websites as they can be time consuming and are riddled with adverts and hyperlinks to other malicious websites. In addition, celebrity news websites and social media are blocked by 8% and 7% of employers respectively,” says Salas.

German employers are less restrictive compared to global data

Internet access restrictions by employers in Germany largely mirror global workplace norms when it comes to malware and adult content. Malware websites are blocked by 74% of German organisations; this is only slightly higher than the global average of 72%. Restricting adult content is also the norm, with 61% of German employers restricting access to such websites.

Censorship also goes beyond the obvious categories. Almost half of companies in Germany restrict access to sex education websites. Other content that is restricted includes gambling (35% of employers), astrology and dating (17%), as well as celebrity news websites and social media (13% each).

Gaming websites are the only area where German workplaces are more lenient. Only 8% of employers block these, a significantly lower rate than the global average.

What is DNS filtering and why is it important?

As mentioned above, DNS filtering intercepts website requests and subjects them to an additional security check. If a requested website is on a block list or is identified as malware, the DNS resolver blocks the request, preventing access and mitigating potential cybersecurity risks. Managers can choose what type of content employees should not access on the corporate network and the DNS filter does the rest.

Cybersecurity expert Carlos Salas explains why DNS filtering is important:

  • – It prevents people from visiting malicious websites that can lead to ransomware, phishing or cryptojacking.
  • – With this feature, companies can enforce internet usage policies, control access to inappropriate or non-work related content and optimise network performance.
  • – Blocking specific categories of websites improves the security of the organisation and sensitive data in general.

“In today’s threat landscape, where cyberattacks are becoming increasingly complex, DNS filtering plays a central role in protecting sensitive data, maintaining regulatory compliance and preserving the integrity of corporate networks,” said Salas.


The above statistics were obtained by analysing data collected by NordLayers DNS Filtering Service in February 2024. No identifiable business or user data was collected, reviewed or otherwise included in the investigation and compilation of the results.

Related Articles

Mobile Road Blocker M30 from Hörmann

Mobile Road Blocker M30 from Hörmann

Flexible and certified protection for events Public festivals, music events or Christmas markets - open-air events require appropriate security concepts to provide the best possible protection for the people on site. An important part of this concerns the protection...

Share This