It seems like your browser didn't download the required fonts. Please revise your security settings and try again.
Barracuda Web Security Gateway

Web Use Categories

  • Last updated on

The Barracuda Web Security Gateway URL filtering engine uses one of the most extensive content definition databases, covering some of the highest risk websites on the Internet.

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 ( No endorsement of our product by Université Toulouse 1 Capitole is expressed or implied by our use of their data.


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


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

Streaming Radio/TV

Sites that provide streaming radio or TV.
Advertisements & Popups Sites that host or serve advertisements or provide software that serves advertisements.
Media Downloads Sites that provide downloads of music and video content in any format.
Media Sharing Sites that allow posting and sharing of music and video content in any format.


Sites that contain business information or facilitate commercial transactions.



Auctions & Classifieds   

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


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

 Finance & Investment Sites that provide financial information or access to online banking.
Real Estate Sites that provide residential and commercial property sales and rental information, listings and services.
Shopping Sites that sell goods and services, but not marketing or ordering sites for single products.
Stock Trading Sites that allow monitoring, purchase, or sale of stocks.


Sites that let users communicate through web browsers.


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

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


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



Education & Reference

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

Government & Legal

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


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


Sites for groups that promote or defend specific causes.


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


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


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


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


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


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


Sites that are intended for mature or adult users only.


Text/Audio Only Sites that contain text or audio only, but no pictures.
Adult Content Sites containing sexually explicit content in an image-based or textual form. Any other form of adult/sexually-oriented material is also listed
Alcohol & Tobacco Sites that promote or sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
Gambling Sites that provide gambling odds and information or allow online betting.
Intimate Apparel & Swimwear Sites containing revealing images such as swimsuits and modeling, but not nudity.
Intolerance & Hate Sites encouraging bigotry or discrimination.
Pornography Any website that contains sexually suggestive, explicit or erotic content.
Tasteless & Offensive Sites portraying horror or perverse content.

Violence & Terrorism

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


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


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


Sites which contain excessive use of profanity or obscenities.


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




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

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


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


Sites delivering unwanted or unsolicited electronic messages.


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


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


Computing & Technology Sites that provide technical support information, but not of a security nature.
Content Server

Sites including CDN (Content Delivery Networks) or sites or hosts/servers that provide back end services or functions for sites that make the Internet or network function. These can include DNS, gateways, and APIs.

Downloads Sites that distribute copies of free and shared software.
Parked Sites

For sale or expired sites that display links or advertisements.

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

Online Storage

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

Technical Information

Sites that provide information on technical details of technologies.


Sites that provide translation services.

URL Redirectors

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


Last updated on