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Reference / FAQ

Web Use Categories

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The websites in the Barracuda Networks database are organized into content categories (subcategories) which are grouped below by supercategories. When you create rules that block categories of websites, you can choose a supercategory to block, or you can drill down and block websites at the subcategory level.  

Dynamic Site Categorization with the Barracuda WCS

With the Barracuda Web Security Gateway version 9.1 and above, dynamic website categorization is provided by the Barracuda Web Categorization Service (WCS) in the Barracuda Cloud. The Barracuda Content Definition database (CFDEF) contains over 15 million categorized sites and is stored in the cloud. For best performance, only the top 2 million of those sites are downloaded on a regular basis to each Barracuda Web Security Gateway. If a user visits a website outside of that 2 million, then the Barracuda Web Security Gateway simply queries the WCS in the cloud for the category. The WCS service then does one of two things:

  • Returns the category to the Barracuda Web Security Gateway based on a lookup into the Barracuda CFDEF database in the Barracuda Cloud
  • Deploys web crawlers to scour the site and analyze content text and images to determine the category the site belongs to. The Barracuda WCS then passes that information to the Barracuda Web Security Gateway, which stores this categorization in a local cache for later use. This categorization also goes into the CFDEF database so that a human can analyze the results and verify that the categorization is correct. This enables Barracuda to constantly improve on the learning of the WCS service, thereby improving the accuracy of this process.


As one of a number of sources and methods for making security decisions, Barracuda Web Content Security uses the Blacklists UT1 from Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, managed by Fabrice Prigent, with modifications by Barracuda's content intelligence team, under a Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/). No endorsement of our product by Université Toulouse 1 Capitole is expressed or implied by our use of their data.


Websites delivering content that can use large amounts of network resources.


Streaming MediaWebsites that provide streaming audio and video, or software and tools for streaming media.

Streaming Radio/TV

Websites that provide streaming radio or TV.
Advertisements & PopupsWebsites that host or serve advertisements or provide software that serves advertisements.
Media DownloadsWebsites that provide downloads of music and video content in any format.
Media SharingWebsites that allow posting and sharing of music and video content in any format.


Websites that contain business information or facilitate commercial transactions.



Auctions & Classifieds   

Websites that allow bidding and selling of items and services. Does not include non-selling related advertising.


Websites that provide business-related overview, planning and strategy information.

 Finance & InvestmentWebsites that provide financial information or access to online banking.
Real EstateWebsites that provide residential and commercial property sales and rental information, listings and services.
ShoppingWebsites that sell goods and services, but not marketing or ordering websites for single products.
Stock TradingWebsites that allow monitoring, purchase, or sale of stocks.


Websites that let users communicate through web browsers.


 ChatWebsites that provide Web-based messaging and chat rooms, including IRC and social networking chat functions.
 Peer-to-PeerWebsites that distribute file sharing software or allow the exchange of files between users.
Web-based Email

Websites that enable sending, reading and archiving of email.
Instant MessagingWebsites that provide instant messaging software such as instant messaging clients or chat clients that are not Web-based.
MessagingWebsites that allow users to send and receive messages, e.g. SMS,MMS, voice mail, or FAX.
Mobile CommunicationsWebsites that provide support information for mobile communication devices.
Online MeetingsWebsites that enable multiple users to interact transparently with each other through messaging, audio or video connections.
Web-based TelephonyWebsites that enable voice communication over the Web.


Websites that provide searching, general news and information, including business content.



Education & Reference

Websites that provide academic information about schools or education related topics.
Forums & NewsgroupsWebsites containing user-generated Web logs, discussion forums or wikis.

Government & Legal

Websites maintained by domestic and foreign government and military agencies.
Health & MedicineWebsites that provide health and wellness material or information about health products and service providers.
HistoryWebsites that provide historical content.
Job Search & Career DevelopmentWebsites that enable users to search for job openings and career opportunities, either with specific companies or job boards.
Motor VehiclesWebsites containing information and marketing for cars, auto parts and services.


Websites that contain general news information on a local, national and international level.


Websites for groups that promote or defend specific causes.


Websites that include content related to spirituality, religion, and philosophy.
Moderated ForumsWebsites monitored by an authority who can prevent posting of inappropriate material.
Political IssuesWebsites that contain opinion and political information, groups and discussions.
Professional NetworkingThe subset of social networking websites which includes content intended exclusively for businesses or professionals.
Public InformationWebsites allowing search and access of the public records of people or organizations.
Technical/Business ForumsWebsites which allow discussions or posting of user-generated content related to business or technical development.
Usenet NewsWebsites providing access to Usenet news groups or other bulletin boards.


Entertainment and personal websites that are normally not business-related.


Marketing & MerchandisingWebsites that provide information about products and services not available on the Web.
Blogs & WikisWebsites allowing users to post content, edit and re-post frequently.
Arts & Society & CultureWebsites that display art galleries, information about artists and ethnic and cultural heritage.
Comics & Humor & JokesWebsites containing comical or funny content.


Websites providing information on theater arts, movies, concerts, tv, radio and other amusements, or about celebrities of those venues.
Food & DiningWebsites with information, reviews, and online ordering for restaurants, bars, and catering.
Game Playing & Game MediaWebsites that provide video game information or enable the online playing of games.
Hobbies & RecreationWebsites dedicated to recreational activities and hobbies, or organizations and businesses dedicated to recreation, such as amusement parks.
Kids SitesWebsites that are family-oriented and geared toward children.
Personals & DatingWebsites that enable users to meet and interact with each other for the purposes of dating or making friends.
Social NetworkingWebsites that enable friends to interact and share information, but not for the purposes of dating.
SportsWebsites with information and news about amateur and professional sports.
TravelWebsites that provide information about travel destinations or allow online booking of travel plans.
Digital CardsWebsites that enable the sending and receiving of digital postcards and greeting cards.
Fashion & BeautyWebsites that provide information or products related to fashion and beauty.
Hosted Personal PagesWebsites which allow users to design and post personal websites.


Users may be committing crimes or exposing the organization to legal liability with these sites.


Criminal ActivityWebsites that provide information on how to commit illegal activities, perpetrate scams or commit fraud.
Illegal DrugsWebsites that provide information on the manufacturing or selling of illegal drugs or prescription drugs obtained illegally.
Illegal SoftwareWebsites that provide information about or downloads of pirated software.
Academic CheatingWebsites that advocate or assist plagiarism or provide or sell questionable educational material.


Websites that are intended for mature or adult users only.


Text/Audio OnlyWebsites that contain text or audio only, but no pictures.
Adult ContentThese websites include content intended for legitimate reproductive science and sexual development educational material.
Alcohol & TobaccoWebsites that promote or sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
GamblingWebsites that provide gambling odds and information or allow online betting.
Intimate Apparel & SwimwearWebsites containing revealing images such as swimsuits and modeling, but not nudity.
Intolerance & HateWebsites encouraging bigotry or discrimination.
PornographyAny website that contains sexually suggestive, explicit or erotic content.
Tasteless & OffensiveWebsites portraying horror or perverse content.

Violence & Terrorism

Websites encouraging, instructing, or portraying extreme violence to people or property.


Websites that contain information about making, buying, or obtaining any sort of weapons.
Extremely OffensiveWebsites containing content that is shocking, gory, perverse, or horrific in nature.
Gambling RelatedWebsites providing information or promoting services, techniques or accessories related to gambling.
Game/Cartoon ViolenceWebsites containing graphically violent animated content.
Historical OpinionWebsites dedicated to subjective analysis of historical events, especially partisan or agenda-driven analysis.
Incidental NudityWebsites which include nude images because they are part of a broader category of art or education.


Websites containing bare images of the human body which are not suggestive or explicit.


Websites which contain excessive use of profanity or obscenities.


Websites that are security risks or sources of malware, or that allow users to circumvent policies.




Websites that contain instructions and information for how to commit fraud or steal information through computer security vulnerabilities.

Phishing & FraudWebsites that are known to be distributed as links in phishing emails.


Websites that enable users to hide their browsing destinations, IP address, or username to avoid detection and bypass Web filters.


Websites delivering unwanted or unsolicited electronic messages.


Websites that are accessed from spam message clicks, which distribute programs to gather user information, or covertly send information to third party websites.
Proxy UtilitiesWebsites providing users with resources to help them avoid detection or bypass Web filters.
Information SecurityWebsites that provide information about protecting personal or business data.
Malicious SitesWebsites that provide or display content which intends harm to users or their computer systems.
Suspicious SitesSuspect websites whose malicious intent cannot be confirmed.


Websites that allow users to access search engines, portals and various technologies.


Computing & TechnologyWebsites that provide technical support information, but not of a security nature.
Content ServerIncludes domains that host websites of other types and are often sources of security threats.
DownloadsWebsites that distribute copies of free and shared software.
Parked Sites

For sale or expired websites that display links or advertisements.

Visual SearchWebsites that provide image searching and matching technology.
Search Engines & PortalsWebsites that aggregate disparate information or allow users to search across large amounts of data.
Software/HardwareWebsites that provide access to software or hardware technology.
Interactive Web ApplicationsWebsites that provide access to groupware or interactive conference rooms.
Online ServicesWebsites that provide access to Web-based services.

Online Storage

Websites that allow the uploading of files and backups for remote data storage.
Remote AccessWebsites that provide access to resources from a remote locations.
Resource SharingWebsites that allow posting and sharing of resources and downloads to a network of people.

Technical Information

Websites that provide information on technical details of technologies.


Websites that provide translation services.

URL Redirectors

Websites that automatically forward the user from the requested URL to another URL.



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