Protecting against Uncategorized Sites

Article author
Josh L
  • Updated

Unknown/Uncategorized sites pose the biggest risk to internet-connected devices because it is often newly registered and obscure domains that are the source of Malware/Phishing attacks and Illegal content. DNSFilter has three options for handling Uncategorized content:

One of DNSFilter’s distinct and market-leading features is our Interstitial filter. If a domain has never been seen by DNSFilter’s content filtering system, it is categorized in real-time upon the first visit by our Artificial Intelligence engine. Customers can turn on interstitial blocking in their policy, so that they are seamlessly taken to the page if the scan results match up with what is allowed in their policy.

This feature can be turned on by:

  1. Navigating to the Policies menu on the left side of the dashboard
  2. Selecting a particular policy
  3. Select the Advanced tab
  4. Toggle the “Enable Interstitial Page Feature” switch


Chrome Incompatible

The latest version of Google Chrome has introduced incompatibilities with this feature. If you use Chrome, we suggest turning the feature off temporarily while we implement technical workarounds.

Allow All Policies (Default)

DNSFilter sets newly-created policies to allow Uncategorized/Unknown domains by default. This is in order to avoid introducing an overly strict setting that would restrict functionality for most users. This setting only affects Uncategorized domains. Categories that the user has set in their policy will still take effect.

Although this policy is the least restrictive, DNS requests to never before seen domains will still trigger the AI engine to scan and classify them, so that future DNS requests are treated accordingly.

New policies are automatically set to Allow Uncategorized/Unknown domains.

If you have made changes and wish to restore this setting:

  1. Navigate to the Policies menu on the left side of the dashboard
  2. Select a particular policy
  3. Go to the Advanced tab
  4. Disable the "Uncategorized & Unknown Sites" option
  5. Toggle the “Enable Interstitial Page Feature” option


Block All Policies (Used in rare cases)

If you elect to globally block Uncategorized/Unknown sites, there will likely be services that cease to function normally. This is because many web pages and some software applications use content servers that are often obscurely named and not documented. You will need to use the Query Log to determine which traffic to allow to the policy's Allowlist so that your users have reduced interruption.

Users who wish to have an extremely restrictive policy can choose to block all sites which are Uncategorized/Unknown.  To do this:

  1. Navigate to the Policies menu on the left side of the dashboard
  2. Select a particular policy
  3. Select the Advanced tab
  4. Enable the "Uncategorized & Unknown Sites" option


More information on Extra Settings can be found in our Extra Settings documentation.

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