How do I use Custom Filters?

Jump to v4.2 Import/Export feature
Jump to v4.2 Sorting/Searching feature

Note: available Webinars for this Topic include:

iPrism Technical Support Custom Filters Webinars (Essentials and Advanced)

The Filter Manager allows checking & changing web-site ratings (Yellow highlights), and keeps a list of the changes for viewing and editing. These are commonly known as custom filters. iPrism "Overrides" and "Request Access" features (Blue highlights) also alter the filtering environment. To access this page, login to iPrism using one of the following:

Use the Filter Manager for the following tasks:

  1. Check Site Ratings to see a URLs current rating (category). If a URL is not rated, or rated incorrectly, you can submit the URL to St. Bernard Software Filter-List team for review using several methods, see:

How do I submit URLs for Review?

  1. Use Block/Unblock Site (Create a filter) to change a URLs current rating, or add a new URL (create a custom filter)

Learn how to specify URL Locations (wildcards) correctly!

Note: If creating a custom filter for an https site for Transparent-Mode networks, see:

How do I Custom Filter HTTPS, SSL, Secure Web Sites?

  1. Use View and Edit custom filters to list, edit, or delete custom filters. In iPrism v4.2, sorting and searching have also been added.

Use Advanced Filter Creation to block specific file types.

See Exception Conditions for custom-filter tips.

  1. Use Import/Export Custom Filters (beginning with iPrism v4.2) to replicate Custom Filter information to other iPrism units.

  2. The options "View pending requests", "Unblock recently blocked pages", and "Unblock recently overriden pages" below are related to 'Override' and 'Request Access' management.

Note: 'Overrides' provide a temporary ability for one, some or all users to access a specific, site, domain, or category.  iPrism administrator responses to 'Request Access' requests from users can update the "Local Allow" category to provide access, or change filtering specifications for a particular URL. See:

  1. How do I manage 'Request Access'?

  2. How do I manage 'Overrides'?

  3. "View and Delete current IP-Host Map Entries" (blue highlight below) pertains to iPrism Anti-Spoofing, which is supported by the Filter-List, and also connected to the use of Overrides. To understand this feature, see:

iPrism Anti-Spoof Enhancements

Check Site Rating

To check web site ratings, click the "Check site ratings" link (shown above).

iPrism rates sites according to the iGuard URL database (filter-list) maintained by St. Bernard Software, which is downloaded using a configurable schedule. See:

How do I Schedule Filter-List and System Updates?

The Filter-List determines what category or categories a specific web site is included in, known as a "rating." See:

Filter-List Categories (stbernard.com)

Note: If a site is unrated, or you believe it is rated incompletely or incorrectly see :

How do I submit URLs for Review?

To check a site rating, enter a URL, click Next to get the rating, and use New Check to do another check.

Change/Create a Site Rating using "Block/Unblock Site"

Changing or creating a rating is typically called "creating a custom filter."

One way to block a URL is to put it in a category that you typically block, by changing the URL rating. In this case the URL is being re-rated from "government" to "questionable activities".  Click on Block/Unblock Site, enter the URL, click Next.

Allow Access or Deny Access are quick ways to Allow or Deny a site by placing the site in the "Local Allow" or "Local Deny" categories. This is explained in more detail below.

Select Categories lets you override the normal category rating. Note: This change will be saved across future filter-list updates. Click Next.  

If you click on questionable activities, all the sub-categories are automatically selected, as shown below.

Click through to save the change above.

Note: If creating a custom filter for an https site for Transparent-Mode networks, see:

How do I Custom Filter HTTPS, SSL, Secure Web Sites?

View, Edit, Delete Current Filters

Use View and Edit custom filters link to work with your existing custom filters.

Note: Beginning with iPrism v4.2, Searching and Sorting are supported.

Locally Defined

Another method of managing URL changes is to use the "locally defined" categories as an easy way to allow the disallowed, deny the allowed, or create URL groups of your own. These categories are shipped "empty" and are specifically meant for customer use.  

Local Allow is never blocked (see below) when creating an ACL, therefore it is not blocked, therefore it is a good default category to use when you wish to make a blocked URL allowed.  

Local Deny is always blocked (see below) when creating an ACL, therefore it is a good default category to use when you wish to make an allowed URL blocked.

Local1 - Local6 are available for use as your own site-specific categories. For example, specific groups of URLs may be allowed or denied very specifically for various user groups.

URL Location Specification

When creating a custom filter, as in the example above, you are prompted for a URL Location, which can be specified and interpreted as explained in the table below:

Entry in Location Field

Filter with masks

Description

google.com

*://google.com/*

The iPrism puts in two wild cards; the left wildcard matches all application level protocols (http, https, ftp etc). The right wildcard matches all URLs within "google.com" domain.

www.google.com

*://www.google.com/*

The iPrism puts in two wild cards; the left wildcard matches all application level protocols (http, https, ftp etc) . The right wildcard matches all URLs within "www.google.com" domain.

http://google.com

http://google.com/*

Since we specify http to be the protocol the iPrism does not put in a wildcard for the protocol.

The right wildcard matches all URLs within google.com domain.

*.google.com

*://*.google.com/*

Putting a wild card before the site name catches all protocols, hosts, and URLs for google.com domain.

http://google.com

(Advanced filter for jpg, jpeg, and gif)

http://google.com/*.jpg, *. jpeg, *.gif

The Advanced file mask shown here catches all URLs that end with a jpg, jpeg or gif in google.com.

http://google.com

(Advanced filter for jpg, jpeg, and gif)

http://google.com/*.[Jj][Pp][Gg]

The Advanced file mask shown here catches all URLs that end with any case combination for a jpg file in google.com.

See "Advanced Filter Settings" below for an example.

Note-1: You cannot wildcard the domain-name portion of the URL. This includes root domains (.com, .net, .org etc) or organizational names, for example, http://www.123*.com or http://ad*.google.com or www.google.*

Note-2: You cannot specify dynamic URLs (URLs passing data values) when creating a custom filter.

Advanced Filter Settings

This lets you define a custom-filter with file-masking information. this could allow a URL, but dis-allow the playing of movies or video streams to preserve corporate bandwidth, for example.

If concerned with mixed-case extensions, such as *.jpg vs. *.JPG, you may use the syntax shown below to match any case combination for a file extension. Access this using the "Advanced Filter Creation" link.  Note: Use of regular expressions is limited to filename character matching, as shown below.  The syntax [Jj][Pp][Gg] means "look for big J or little j, followed by big P or little p, followed by big G or little g.  This logic takes care of any case combination.

Import/Export Custom Filters

Note: Beginning with iPrism v4.2 you may write Custom Filter information to a file for backup or iPrism transfer purposes simply by clicking the Export File button.  On Export, a text file (exportFilters.txt by default) is created. Import File allows re-creating the Custom Filter information on iPrism; Browse lets you easily locate the file on your workstation.

Custom-Filter FAQs

Why don't I see everyone's Custom Filters?

Why doesn't my Custom-Filter work?

Why am I not blocked after adding a site to the 'Local Deny' category?

Why am I still blocked after adding a site to the 'Local allow' category?

Why am I missing site content, usually images, for certain URLs?

'The location you entered contains invalid characters. Please check the location and try again'