Web Filter Categories

FortiGuard URL Database Categories are based upon the Web content viewing suitability of three major groups of customers: enterprises, schools, and home/families. They also take into account customer requirements for Internet management. The categories are defined to be easily manageable and patterned to industry standards.

Each category contains websites or web pages that have been assigned based on their dominant Web content. A website or webpage is categorized into a specific category that is likely to be blocked according to its content. When a website contains elements in different categories, web pages on the site are separately categorized.

Descriptions of the categories are designed to assist the reader with category comprehension only; they are not meant to depict any form of symbolic representation of the individuals who own or surf these sites.

Adult / Mature Content

Category Description Tests
Abortion Websites pertaining to abortion data, information, legal issues, and organizations. Full SSL Inspection
Advocacy Organizations This category caters to organizations that campaign or lobby for a cause by building public awareness, raising support, influencing public policy, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Alcohol Websites which legally promote or sell alcohol products and accessories. Full SSL Inspection
Alternative Beliefs Websites that provide information about or promote spiritual beliefs not included in Global Religion, or other nonconventional or folkloric beliefs and practices, including but not limited to 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, satanic, or supernatural beings. Full SSL Inspection
Dating Websites that allow individuals to make contact and communicate with each other over the Internet, usually with the objective of developing a personal, romantic, or sexual relationship. Full SSL Inspection
Gambling Sites that cater to gambling activities such as betting, lotteries, casinos, including gaming information, instruction, and statistics. Full SSL Inspection
Lingerie and Swimsuit Websites that utilizes images of semi-nude models in lingerie, undergarments and swimwear for the purpose of selling or promoting such items. Full SSL Inspection
Marijuana Sites that provide information about or promote the cultivation, preparation, or use of marijuana. Full SSL Inspection
Nudity and Risque Mature content websites (18+ years and over) that depict the human body in full or partial nudity without the intent to sexually arouse. Full SSL Inspection
Other Adult Materials Mature content websites (18+ years and over) that feature or promote sexuality, strip clubs, sex shops, etc. excluding sex education, without the intent to sexually arouse. Full SSL Inspection
Pornography Mature content websites (18+ years and over) which present or display sexual acts with the intent to sexually arouse and excite. Full SSL Inspection
Sex Education Educational websites that provide information or discuss sex and sexuality, without utilizing pornographic materials. Full SSL Inspection
Sports Hunting and War Games Web pages that feature sport hunting, war games, paintball facilities, etc. Includes all related clubs, organizations and groups. Full SSL Inspection
Tobacco Websites which legally promote or sell tobacco products and accessories. Full SSL Inspection
Weapons (Sales) Websites that feature the legal promotion or sale of weapons such as hand guns, knives, rifles, explosives, etc. Full SSL Inspection

Bandwidth Consuming

Category Description Tests
File Sharing and Storage Websites that permit users to utilize Internet servers to store personal files or for sharing, such as with photos. Full SSL Inspection
Freeware and Software Downloads Sites whose primary function is to provide freeware and software downloads. Cell phone ringtones/images/games, computer software updates for free downloads are all included in this category. Full SSL Inspection
Internet Radio and TV Websites that broadcast radio or TV communications over the Internet. Full SSL Inspection
Internet Telephony Websites that enable telephone communications over the Internet. Full SSL Inspection
Peer-to-peer File Sharing Websites that allow users to share files and data storage between each other. Full SSL Inspection
Streaming Media and Download Websites that allow the downloading of MP3 or other multimedia files. Full SSL Inspection

General Interest - Business

Category Description Tests
Armed Forces Websites related to organized military and armed forces, excluding civil and extreme military organizations. Full SSL Inspection
Artificial Intelligence Technology Sites that offer solutions, insights and resources related to artificial intelligence (AI), such as machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, robotics and more. These sites may provide AI-based products, platforms, tools, courses, research papers or news. Full SSL Inspection
Business Sites sponsored by or devoted to business firms, business associations, industry groups, or business in general. Information Technology companies are excluded in this category and fall in Information Technology. Full SSL Inspection
Charitable Organizations Sites for organizations that are set up with a mission that serves a public purpose, and are philanthropic in nature. This category excludes advocacy or political organizations. Full SSL Inspection
Cryptocurrency Sites that specialize in digital or virtual currencies that are secured by cryptography and operate on decentralized networks. These sites may provide services and information for trading, investing, mining, storing or learning about cryptocurrencies. Exclude conventional financial service websites that only mention cryptocurrencies as one of their options. Full SSL Inspection
Finance and Banking Financial Data and Services -- Sites that offer news and quotations on stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, investment advice, but not online trading. Includes banks, credit unions, credit cards, and insurance. Mortgage/insurance brokers apply here as opposed to Brokerage and Trading. Full SSL Inspection
General Organizations Sites that cater to groups, clubs or organisations of individuals with similar interests, either professional, social, humanitarian or recreational in nature. Social and Affiliation Organizations: Sites sponsored by or that support or offer information about organizations devoted chiefly to socializing or common interests other than philanthropy or professional advancement.Not to be confused with Advocacy Groups and Political Groups. Full SSL Inspection
Government and Legal Organizations Government: Sites sponsored by branches, bureaus, or agencies of any level of government, except for the armed forces, including courts, police institutions, city-level government institutions. Legal Organizations: Sites that discuss or explain laws of various government entities. Full SSL Inspection
Information Technology Information Technology peripherals and services, cell phone services, cable TV/Internet suppliers. Full SSL Inspection
Information and Computer Security Sites that provide information about or free downloadable tools for computer security, but not ordinary Freeware and Software downloading. Full SSL Inspection
Online Meeting Sites that enable hosting of meetings, screen sharing and collaboration of documents across the Internet. Full SSL Inspection
Remote Access Sites that facilitate authorized access and use of computers or private networks remotely across the Internet. Full SSL Inspection
Search Engines and Portals Sites that support searching the Web, news groups, or indices/directories. Sites of search engines that provide info exclusively for shopping or comparing prices, however, fall in Shopping and Auction. Full SSL Inspection
Secure Websites Sites that institute security measures such as authentication, passwords, registration, etc. Full SSL Inspection
URL Shortening Sites providing URL shortening services, which makes an URL substantially shorter and still direct to the required page. Full SSL Inspection
Web Analytics Sites that are used to collect and assess web traffic data. Full SSL Inspection
Web Hosting Sites of organizations that provide hosting services, or top-level domain pages of Web communities. Full SSL Inspection
Web-based Applications Sites that mimic desktop applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and slide-show presentations. Full SSL Inspection

General Interest - Personal

Category Description Tests
Advertising Sites that provide advertising graphics or other ad content files, including ad servers (domain name often with 'ad.', such as ad.yahoo.com). If a site is mainly for online transactions, it is rated as Shopping and Auctions. Includes pay-to-surf and affiliated advertising programs. Full SSL Inspection
Arts and Culture Websites that cater to fine arts, cultural behaviors and backgrounds including conventions, artwork and paintings, music, languages, customs, etc. Also includes institutions such as museums, libraries and historic sites. Sites that promote historical, cultural heritage of certain area, but not purposely promoting travel. Full SSL Inspection
Auction Websites that feature on-line promotion or sale of general goods and services such as electronics, flowers, jewelry, music, etc, excluding real estate. Also includes on-line auction services such as eBay, Amazon, Priceline. Full SSL Inspection
Brokerage and Trading Sites that support active trading of securities and management of investments. Real estate broker does not apply here, and falls within Shopping and Auction. Sites that provide supplier and buyer info/ads do not apply here either since they do not provide trading activities. Full SSL Inspection
Child Education Websites developed for children age 12 and under. Includes educational games, tools, organizations and schools. Note that children's hospitals are rated as Health. Full SSL Inspection
Content Servers Websites that host servers that distribute content for subscribing websites. Includes image and Web servers. Full SSL Inspection
Digital Postcards Sites for sending/viewing digital post cards. Full SSL Inspection
Domain Parking Sites that simply are place holders of domains without meaningful content. Full SSL Inspection
Dynamic Content URLs that are generated dynamically by a Web server. Full SSL Inspection
Education Educational Institutions: Sites sponsored by schools, other educational facilities and non-academic research institutions, and sites that relate to educational events and activities. Educational Materials: Sites that provide information about, sell, or provide curriculum materials. Sites that direct instruction, as well as academic journals and similar publications where scholars and professors submit academic/research articles. Full SSL Inspection
Entertainment Sites that provide information about or promote motion pictures, non-news radio and television, music and programming guides, books, humor, comics, movie theatres, galleries, artists or review on entertainment, and magazines. Includes book sites that have personal flavor or extra-material by authors to promote the books. Full SSL Inspection
Folklore UFOs, fortune telling, horoscopes, fen shui, palm reading, tarot reading, and ghost stories. Full SSL Inspection
Games Sites that provide information about or promote electronic games, video games, computer games, role-playing games, or online games. Includes sweepstakes and giveaways. Sport games are not included in this category, but time consuming mathematic game sites that serve little education purpose are included in this category. Full SSL Inspection
Global Religion Sites that provide information about or promote worldwide spiritual beliefs with a significant number of adherents, including Buddhism, Bahai, Christianity, Christian Science, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Shinto, and Sikhism, as well as atheism. Full SSL Inspection
Health and Wellness Sites that provide information or advice on personal health or medical services, procedures, or devices, but not drugs. Includes self-help groups. This category includes cosmetic surgery providers, children's hospitals, but not sites of medical care for pets, which fall in Society and Lifestyle. Full SSL Inspection
Instant Messaging Sites that allow users to communicate in real-time over the Internet. Full SSL Inspection
Job Search Sites that offer information about or support the seeking of employment or employees. Includes career agents and consulting services that provide job postings. Full SSL Inspection
Meaningless Content This category houses URLs that cannot be definitively categorized due to lack of or ambiguous content. Full SSL Inspection
Medicine Prescribed Medications: Sites that provide information about approved drugs and their medical use. Supplements and Unregulated Compounds: Sites that provide information about or promote the sale or use of chemicals not regulated by the FDA (such as naturally occurring compounds). This category includes sites of online shopping for medicine, as it is a sensitive category separated from regular shopping. Full SSL Inspection
News and Media Sites that offer current news and opinion, including those sponsored by newspapers, general-circulation magazines, or other media. This category includes TV and Radio sites, as long as they are not exclusively for entertainment purpose, but excludes academic journals. Alternative Journals: Online equivalents to supermarket tabloids and other fringe publications. Full SSL Inspection
Newsgroups and Message Boards Sites for online personal and business clubs, discussion groups, message boards, and list servers; includes 'blogs' and 'mail magazines.' Full SSL Inspection
Personal Privacy Sites providing online banking, trading, health care, and others that contain personal privacy information. Full SSL Inspection
Personal Vehicles Websites that contain information on private use or sale of autos, boats, planes, motorcycles, etc., including parts and accessories. Full SSL Inspection
Personal Websites and Blogs Private web pages that host personal information, opinions and ideas of the owners. Full SSL Inspection
Political Organizations Sites that are sponsored by or provide information about political parties and interest groups focused on elections or legislation. This is not to be confused with Government and Legal Organizations, and Advocacy Groups. Full SSL Inspection
Real Estate Websites that promote the sale or renting of real estate properties. Full SSL Inspection
Reference Websites that provide general reference data in the form of libraries, dictionaries, thesauri, encyclopedias, maps, directories, standards, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Restaurant and Dining Websites related to restaurants and dining, includes locations, food reviews, recipes, catering services, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Shopping Websites that feature on-line promotion or sale of general goods and services such as electronics, flowers, jewelry, music, etc, excluding real estate. Also includes on-line auction services such as eBay, Amazon, Priceline. Full SSL Inspection
Social Networking A social networking site is a platform to build social networks or social relations among people who share similar interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his or her social links, and a variety of additional services. Social network sites are web-based services that allow individuals to create a public profile, create a list of users with whom to share connections, and view and cross the connections within the system. Full SSL Inspection
Society and Lifestyles This category contains sites that deal with everyday life issues and preferences such as passive hobbies (gardening, stamp collecting, pets), journals, blogs, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Sports Includes sites that pertain to recreational sports and active hobbies such as fishing, hunting, jogging, canoeing, archery, chess, as well as organized, professional and competitive sports. Full SSL Inspection
Travel Websites in this category feature travel related resources such as accommodations, transportation (rail, airlines, cruise ships), agencies, resort locations, tourist attractions, advisories, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Web Chat Sites that host Web chat services, or that support or provide information about chat via HTTP or IRC. Full SSL Inspection
Web-based Email Sites that allow users to utilize electronic mail services. Full SSL Inspection

Potentially Liable

Category Description Tests
Child Sexual Abuse Websites that have been verified by the Internet Watch Foundation to contain or distribute images of non-adult children that are depicted in a state of abuse. Information on the Internet Watch Foundation is available at http://www.iwf.org.uk/. Full SSL Inspection
Crypto Mining Sites that provide Crypto Mining tools, Mining pools, pooling of resources by miners, who share their processing power over a network, to split the reward equally, according to the amount of work they contributed to the probability of finding a block. Full SSL Inspection
Discrimination Sites that promote the identification of racial groups, the denigration or subjection of groups, or the superiority of any group. Full SSL Inspection
Drug Abuse Websites that feature information on illegal drug activities including: drug promotion, preparation, cultivation, trafficking, distribution, solicitation, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Explicit Violence This category includes sites that depict offensive material on brutality, death, cruelty, acts of abuse, mutilation, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Extremist Groups Sites that feature radical militia groups or movements with aggressive anti-government convictions or beliefs. Full SSL Inspection
Hacking Websites that depict illicit activities surrounding the unauthorized modification or access to programs, computers, equipment and websites. Full SSL Inspection
Illegal or Unethical Websites that feature information, methods, or instructions on fraudulent actions or unlawful conduct (non-violent) such as scams, counterfeiting, tax evasion, petty theft, blackmail, etc. Full SSL Inspection
Plagiarism Websites that provide, distribute or sell school essays, projects, or diplomas. Full SSL Inspection
Potentially Unwanted Program Sites using technologies that alter the operation of a user's hardware, software or network in ways that diminish control over the user experience, privacy or the collection and distribution of personal information, includes adware, spyware, browser hijackers, unwanted pop-ups and typo-squatting domains. Full SSL Inspection
Proxy Avoidance Websites that provide information or tools on how to bypass Internet access controls and browse the Web anonymously, includes anonymous proxy servers. Full SSL Inspection
Terrorism Websites containing content depicting terrorism-related acts which are, or appear to be, illegal in the jurisdiction of the originator of the rating, or sites which illegally incite the recruitment of individuals into terrorist organizations. Full SSL Inspection

Security Risk

Category Description Tests
Dynamic DNS Sites that utilize dynamic DNS services to map a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) to a specific IP address or set of addresses under the control of the site owner; these are often used in cyber attacks and botnet command & control servers. Full SSL Inspection
Malicious Websites Sites that host software that is covertly downloaded to a user's machine to collect information and monitor user activity, and sites that are infected with destructive or malicious software, specifically designed to damage, disrupt, attack or manipulate computer systems without the user's consent, such as virus or trojan horse. Full SSL Inspection
Newly Observed Domain Domains that are newly configured or newly active, but not necessarily newly registered.
Newly Registered Domain Domains that were very recently registered. Full SSL Inspection
Phishing Counterfeit web pages that duplicate legitimate business web pages for the purpose of eliciting financial, personal or other private information from the users. Full SSL Inspection
Spam URLs Websites or webpages whose URLs are found in spam emails. These webpages often advertise sex sites, fraudulent wares, and other potentially offensive materials. Full SSL Inspection


Category Description Tests
Not Rated Sites not yet analyzed/categorized are considered unrated.