There are a number of processing steps that occur when a URL is filtered. It is good to understand how these various steps impact your filtering and where you can go to test/validate your findings.
This can sometimes occur if the entry is also in the Filter Bypass List, or another list that is higher in the list processing steps. A URL entry in the Filter Bypass List means the site or URL should never be blocked, and will therefore always be allowed. An entry in the Filter Bypass List is generally only recommended for Deny Page URLs. We recommend using the System Allow List for any other URLs that should always be allowed.
How the Lists are Checked
This is a simplified view on how the lists are checked.
- A request will first go to the 'Filter Bypass List' processing step. Anything in this list is automatically allowed.
- The request will then check the 'System-Wide List' processing step. This list can only allow or deny. It cannot re-categorize.
- It will then check the Policy’s 'Local List' processing step. This can perform any entry action.
- It will then use the Policy 'Shared List' processing step. This can also perform any action.
- It will finally use the 'Categorization List' processing step. This is used to define a Category as a final step.
Please note that all lists will override the 'Enforced Categories' list step with the exception of the Category List.
For more information on how lists are processed please see our List Management documentation.
Trace URL Request
To test the categorization of any URL go to WebAdmin > URL Tools > Trace URL Request. Enter the username or group you wish to test the URL against. If no group is entered, it will test against the default group. Enter the URL to be tested. In the below example the site is in the Master List categorized as General News.
The "Show All Steps" option is a great way to illustrate the list processing steps that the Policy Service goes through during request processing