Content Filtering Rating Categories

Content filtering rating categories range from offensive types of content such as "Violence," which would include anti-social websites that advocate the use of weapons or explosives, to sites that may not be offensive but would otherwise cause a potential risk to the network in terms of bandwidth usage, such as "Freeware/Software downloads" or "Multimedia".

Rating Categories

Ratings Categories for Standard Filtering

Category Name | Category Description | Examples

Abortion/Advocacy Groups

Sites that provide information or arguments in favor of or against abortion, describe abortion procedures, offer help in obtaining or avoiding abortion or provide information on the effects, or lack thereof, of abortion. /

Adult/Mature Content

Sites that contain material of an adult nature that does not necessarily contain excessive violence, sexual content or nudity. These sites include very profane or vulgar content and sites that are not appropriate for children. / /


Sites that provide online advertisements or banners will always be allowed. These do not include advertising servers that contain adult-oriented advertisements. /


Sites that promote or offer alcohol/tobacco products, or provide the means to create them. Also includes sites that glorify, tout or otherwise encourage the consumption of alcohol/tobacco. This does not include sites that sell alcohol or tobacco as a subset of other products. /


Sites that promote and provide information about motion pictures, videos, television, music and programming guides, books, comics, movie theatres, galleries, artists or reviews on entertainment. / /


Sites devoted to business firms, business information, economics, marketing, business management and entrepreneurship. This does not include sites that perform services that are defined in another category (such as Information Technology companies, or companies that sell travel services). /

Chat/Instant Messaging

Sites that provide chat or instant messaging capabilities or client downloads. / /


Sites that promote or offer methods, means of instruction, or other resources to affect or influence real events through the use of spells, curses, magic powers or supernatural beings. /

Cultural Institutions

Sites sponsored by cultural institutions, or provide information about museums, galleries, theatres (not movie theaters). Includes groups such as 4-H and the Boy Scouts of America. / /

Drugs/Illegal Drugs

Drug sites that promote, offer, sell, supply, encourage or otherwise advocate the recreational or illegal use, cultivation, manufacture or distribution of drugs, pharmaceuticals, intoxicating plants or chemicals and their related paraphernalia. In addition, sites that discuss or promote the use and abuse of regulated drugs and the paraphernalia associated with regulated drugs, as well as sites that provide information about approved drugs and their medical uses and promote the use of chemicals that are not regulated by the FDA. /


Sites that offer educational information, distance learning and trade school information or programs. Also includes sites that are sponsored by schools, educational facilities and faculty or alumni groups. /


Sites offering web-based email services, such as online email reading, e-cards and mailing list services. /

For Kids

Sites designed specifically for children. / /

Freeware/Software Downloads

Sites that are dedicated to the electronic download of software packages, whether for payment or at no charge. /


Sites where a user can place a bet or participate in a betting pool (including lotteries) online. Also includes sites that provide information, assistance, recommendations or training on placing bets or participating in games of chance. Does not include sites that sell gambling-related products or machines, or hotel or offline casino sites (as long as those sites do not meet one of the above requirements). / /


Sites that provide information about, or support for, game playing or downloading video games, computer games, electronic games, tips and advice on games or how to obtain cheat codes. Also includes sites dedicated to selling board games as well as journals and magazines dedicated to game playing. Includes sites that support or host online sweepstakes and giveaways. / /


Sites sponsored by, or that provide information on, government, government agencies and government services such as taxation and emergency services. Also includes sites that discuss or explain laws of various governmental entities. /

Hacking/Proxy Avoidance Systems

Sites providing information on illegal or questionable access to, or the use of, communications equipment/software or provide information on how to bypass proxy server features or gain access to URLs in any way that bypasses the proxy server. / / /


Sites that provide advice and information on general health such as fitness and well-being, personal health or medical services, drugs, alternative and complimentary therapies, medical information about ailments, dentistry, optometry, general psychiatry, self-help and support organizations dedicated to a disease or condition. /


Sites that focus on humor, comedy, jokes and fun. May include sites containing humor or jokes of adult or mature nature. Sites containing adult or mature content may also have an Adult/Mature Content category rating. / /

Illegal Skills/Questionable Skills

Sites that advocate or give advice on performing illegal acts such as service theft, evading law enforcement, fraud, burglary techniques and plagiarism. Also includes sites that provide or sell questionable educational materials, such as term papers. /

Information Technology/Computers

Sites that sponsor or provide information on computers, technology, the internet and technology-related organizations and companies. / /

Internet Auctions

Sites that support the offering and purchasing of goods between individuals. Does not include classified advertisements. /

Internet Watch Foundation CAIC

Sites considered by the Internet Watch Foundation to contain potentially criminal internet content, including child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world, criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK and non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK. /

Intimate Apparel/Swimsuits

Sites that contain images or offer the sale of swimsuits or intimate apparel or other types of suggestive clothing. Does not include sites selling undergarments as a subsection of other products offered. /

Job Search

Sites that provide assistance in finding employment and tools for locating prospective employers. / /


Sites that host software that is covertly downloaded to a user's system to collect information and monitor user activity. Also, sites that are infected with destructive or malicious software such as viruses, Trojans or worms that are specifically designed to damage, disrupt, attack or manipulate computer systems without the user's consent. /


Sites that promote or provide information on military branches or armed services. / /


Sites that sell, deliver or stream music or video content in any format, including sites that provide downloads for such viewers. / /


Sites that primarily report information or comments on current events or contemporary issues of the day. Also includes radio stations and magazines. Does not include sites that can be rated in other categories. / /

Not Rated

Sites that have not been reviewed and rated either because they have received no reported views or because the number of reported views is extremely low. Customers may submit a request to have the rating of a URL in the SonicWall Content Filtering database reevaluated or to have a previously unknown URL rated and added to the database.


Sites containing nude or semi-nude depictions of the human body. These depictions are not necessarily sexual in intent or effect, but may include sites containing nude paintings or photo galleries of artistic nature. This category also includes nudist or naturist sites that contain pictures of nude individuals. / /

Online Banking

Sites that provide or advertise banking services (online or offline) or other types of financial information, such as loans. Does not include sites that offer market information, brokerage or trading services. /

Online Brokerage/Trading

Sites that provide or advertise trading of securities and management of investment assets (online or offline). Also includes insurance sites, as well as sites that offer financial investment strategies, quotes and news. /

Pay to Surf

Sites that pay users in the form of cash or prizes for clicking on or reading specific links, email or web pages. /

Personals & Dating

Sites that promote interpersonal relationships. /

Political & Advocacy Groups

Sites sponsored by, or that provide information on, political parties, special interest groups or any organization that promotes change or reform in public policy, public opinion, social practice or economic activities. / /


Sites that contain sexually explicit material for the purpose of arousing a sexual or prurient interest. /

Real Estate

Sites that provide information on renting, buying or selling real estate or properties. / /


Sites containing personal, professional or educational reference, including online dictionaries, maps, census, almanacs, library catalogues, genealogy-related sites and scientific information. / /


Sites that promote and provide information on conventional or unconventional religious or quasi-religious subjects, as well as churches, synagogues and other houses of worship. Does not include sites containing witchcraft (Cult/Occult) or atheist beliefs. / /

Restaurants and Dining

Sites that list, review, discuss, advertise and promote food, catering, dining services, cooking and recipes. /

Search Engines & Portals

Sites that support searching the internet, indices and directories. /

Sex Education

Sites that provide graphic information on reproduction, sexual development, safe sex practices, sexuality, birth control and sexual development. Also includes sites that offer tips for better sex as well as products used for sexual enhancement. / / /


Sites that provide or advertise the means to obtain goods or services. Does not include sites that can be classified in other categories such as vehicles or weapons. /

Social Networking

User communities and sites that allow users to interact with each other, post messages, pictures or otherwise communicate with groups of people. Does not include blogs or personal sites. /

Society and Lifestyle

Sites that provide information about issues related to daily life. Does not include sites that can be classified in other categories such as arts and entertainment, health and sports/recreation. /


Sites that promote or provide information about spectator sports, recreational activities or hobbies. Includes sites that discuss or promote camping, gardening and collecting. / /


Sites that promote or provide opportunity for travel planning, including finding and making travel reservations, vehicle rentals, descriptions of travel destinations or promotions for hotels or casinos. / / /

Usenet News Groups

Sites that offer access to Usenet news groups or other messaging or bulletin board systems.


Sites that provide information on, or promote, vehicles, boats, or aircraft. These include sites that support the online purchase of vehicles or vehicle parts. /

Violence, Hate & Racism

Sites that depict extreme physical harm to people or property, or that advocate or provide instructions on how to cause such harm. Also includes sites that advocate or depict hostility, advocate aggression toward, or denigrate any individual or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality, ethnic origin or other involuntary characteristics. / /


Sites that sell, review or describe weapons such as guns, knives or martial arts devices and their accessories, or provide information on their use or other modifications. Does not include sites that promote collecting weapons, or groups that either support or oppose weapons use. /

Web Communications

Sites that allow or offer web-based communication via email, chat, instant messaging or message boards. /

Web Hosting

Sites of organizations that provide top-level domain pages, as well as web communities or hosting services. / /


Sites that cannot be rated into any other category.