UK: Department of Health Blocks 2,000 Attempts to Access Gambling Websites

It is not uncommon for employers to block the access of their employees to certain websites such as social media. After all, no employer would like to see their staff distracted by gossip and stories shared by others.

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, online gambling activities have skyrocketed. And while some people prefer to enjoy the activity in their free time, others have attempted to do so while at work. According to a new report released by Metro, the Department of Health and Social Care blocked more than 2,000 attempts to access gambling websites last year.

Department of Health Blocks 2,000 Attempts to Access Gambling Websites

Between June and December 2019, only 94 requests to access gambling websites were blocked. In contrast, that number skyrocketed to 2,081 in 2020. It is important to mention that those are the blocked attempts to access such websites and no details were revealed on whether or how many attempts have been successful.

The Department of Health revealed that the attempts to access gambling websites have been flagged by the reporting system, but no investigation is launched to determine each individual responsible. However, it explained that violations of the Acceptable Usage Policy for IT are reported to the relevant manager even if there is a case of an unsuccessful attempt.

Attempts to Access Pornography, Anonymous Online Tools Blocked

Overall, the Department of Health has blocked 4,035 attempts to access various websites in 2020. Besides the 2,000 attempts to access gambling websites, there have been 406 attempts to access peer-to-peer sharing websites. Additionally, some 724 attempts have been made to access tools that grant anonymity while browsing online.

Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care’s systems have blocked some 239 attempts to websites with spyware or other malicious software. Another 186 attempts last year were related to “tasteless” content, while 135 were identified as pornography. The government agency’s filtering system has also blocked 126 attempts to access websites with illegal and/or questionable content. Last but not least, 7 attempts were related to illegal paraphernalia, while 15 were regarding weapons.

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