About URL Categories


About URL Categories

Zscaler organizes URLs into a hierarchy of categories for granular filtering and policy creation. There are six predefined classes, which are then each divided into predefined super-categories, and then further divided into predefined categories.

The six predefined classes are:

You can download the above list from Zscaler URL Categories.csv.

You cannot add new classes, nor can you edit or delete the predefined classes. Each class has super categories. You cannot add or delete super categories, but you can move them from one class to another for easier management. For example, your organization is in the entertainment field and your users often visit entertainment sites. You can move the Entertainment/Recreation super category to the Business Use class. You can also add additional custom categories to the super category by clicking the add icon that appears next to the super category in Administration > URL Categories.

For the predefined categories, you can add URLs and keywords for websites you want to be included in that category. You can also enter sub-domains (for example, mail.google.com). This can be done by clicking the edit icon that appears next to it in the list of URL categories found in Administration > URL Categories. If you manually add a URL or sub-domain to an existing super-category, category, or custom category, you can also specify whether you want it to retain its original parent category. For example, if you manually add www.google.com to a User-Defined category, you can specify whether you want google.com also to retain its original Web Search category. You cannot delete any category that is actively used in a URL Filtering rule. To delete a category first deselect it in the URL Filtering rule.

You can look up a URL or IP address's categorization by using Site Review or by Looking up URLs in the Admin Portal. Since a single IP address is capable of running multiple hosts or applications, Zscaler does not typically place IP addresses into the predefined URL categories. However, if a SaaS or cloud provider dedicates an IP address or IP range to an application, the Zscaler service categorizes it. For example, 13.107.6.152/31 is used for Office 365 and is categorized as Professional Services and Office 365.

You can also use Web Insights and its filters to learn more about how URL categories are being used in your network.

    Custom Categories

    In addition to the predefined categories, you can create custom categories. Custom categories can be based on URLs and keywords. With URLs, you can block specific websites. With keywords, you can block websites based on any words that may appear in a URL. For example, imagine you want to block all websites with the term "gambling" in the URL. If you create a category with the custom keyword "gambling" and use it in a policy set to Block, websites such as www.gambling.com and www.gambling101.com will be blocked. As custom keywords are applicable to the entire URI, if you went to www.google.com and searched for "gambling" the search results would also be blocked since the word gambling appears in the URI (https://www.google.com/search?q=gambling&oq=gambling&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l4.2767j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8). You can also add custom URLs and keywords to a predefined URL category. 

    You can add up to 25,000 custom URLs (across all policies that use custom URLs), and up to 64 custom categories. You can add up to 30 keywords per category, and up to 1,000 across all categories.

    You can also control who creates and manages custom URL categories. You might wish to do this if, for example, you have dedicated personnel managing your custom URL categories, or if you would like to enable administrators in specific departments or locations to manage their own categories. These categories can only be managed by super admins, admins with the Custom URL Management role, or admins with the Custom URL Management and Override Existing URLs role. To learn more, see Adding Admin Roles.

    When enforcing URL Filtering policy rules containing a wildcard, the Zscaler Enforcement Node (ZEN) always looks for a specific match first. For example, you have Custom Category 1 containing the wildcard entry .example.com, and Custom Category 2 containing abc.example.com. Also, your URL Filtering policy rule states, "For Location X, block everything in Custom Category 1". In this example, if a user tries to access abc.example.com from Location X, they won't be blocked because that exact domain name is in Custom Category 2, which is not blocked. 

    Changing Categorization

    If you feel that a website has been incorrectly categorized, there are three ways to request its re-categorization. 

    1. Submit a change request ticket at /submit-ticket
    2. Use Site Review to look up a URL, then select the Modify Categories option. This service is available for all users going through the Zscaler service. To learn more, see Using Site Review to Lookup URLs.
    3. Submit a review of a URL from the End User Notification. To learn more, see How do I enable users to request policy reviews? 
    Super Category: Entertainment/Recreation
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Entertainment: Sites that provide information on or promote mass entertainment media such as theatre, amusement parks, music, comics, fan clubs, and so on.

    www.mangahere.co,
    www.anime-planet.com

    Music: Sites that promote music for entertainment purposes related to bands, orchestras, festivals, and so on.

    www.itunes.com,
    www.spotify.com

    Other Entertainment/Recreation: Other sites related to entertainment/recreation that are not included in the defined categories.

    www.aglobal.go.com

    Radio Stations: Sites that offer streaming or downloadable radio programming.

    www.iheart.com, 
    www.shoutcast.com

    Streaming Media: Sites that are related to or offer streaming or downloadable digital audio, video, and other media.

    www.youtube.com,
    www.crunchyroll.com

    Television/Movies: Sites related to television programming or movies.

    www.netflix.com,
    www.hulu.com 

    Super Category: News and Media
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    News and Media: Sites that report information or commentary on current events or contemporary issues, including newspapers, newswire services, news magazines, and radio news stations.

    www.cnn.com,
    www.asiaone.com

    Super Category: User-Defined
    Categories and Definitions

    You can populate this category with sub-categories or URLs that you manually create.

     

    Super Category: Business and Economy
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Classifieds: Sites that offer for sale or display advertisements for barter or sale of goods and services.   

    www.craigslist.com,
    www.gumtree.com

    Corporate Marketing: Sites that offer corporate and product information but do not sell products.

    www.billabong.com,
    www.crocs.com

    Finance: Sites that provide information related to financial investment and firms that offer financial services.     

    www.hsbc.com,
    www.citibank.com

    Other Business and Economy: Other sites related to business and economy that are not included in the defined categories.     

    www.lync.com

    Professional Services: Sites that provide information about or are related to the sale and delivery of technical and professional services.

    www.work.co,
    www.issworld.com

    Super Category: Education
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Continuing Education/Colleges: Sites related to institutions and colleges offering formal courses of advanced studies for adults.

    www.duke.edu,
    www.ox.ac.uk

    History: Sites that offer a systematic recording of past events or analysis and commentary on causes and effects, motives, or connections relating to events.

    www.hyperhistory.com,
    www.besthistorysites.net

    K-12: Sites related to the education of children.   

    www.k12.com,
    www.edutopia.org

    Other Education: Other sites related to education that are not included in the defined categories.     

    www.writework.com,
    ftp.yz.yamagata-u.ac.jp

    Reference Sites: Sites that offer scholars and academics source documents and research assistance.     

    www.wikipedia.org,
    www.dictionary.com

    Science/Tech: Sites related to education in science and technology.

    www.sciencemag.org,
    www.livescience.com

    Super Category: Information Technology
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Advertising: Sites that provide service links, banners, or ads for websites.

    www.buysellads.com,
    www.fusionads.net

    CDN: Sites that use content delivery networks to optimize the delivery of localized content to end users.

    cdn.espn.com,
    www.i.cdn.cnn.com

    FileHost: Sites that offer hosting, backup, and sharing of files on the internet.

    www.mega.nz,
    www.dropbox.com

    Image Host: Sites that provide video or image hosting, linking, or sharing.

    www.flickr.com,
    www.imgur.com

    Other Information Technology: Other sites related to information technology that are not included in the defined categories.    

    ctldl.windowsupdate.com,
    www.bugmenot.com

    Portals: Sites that offer multiple web-based services to assist a user's experience on the internet.     

    www.bossip.com

    Safe Search Engine: Sites that provide internet search services geared specifically for families and children and prevent discovery of objectionable material.

    www.safesearchkids.com,
    www.kiddle.co

    Shareware Download: Sites that are related to or offer downloading of legal software.

    www.download.cnet.com,
    www.sourceforge.net

    Translators: Sites that offer translation services for web pages, URLs, or other text strings.

    translate.google.com,
    www.freetranslation.com

    Web Host: Sites that offer web hosting services, as well as domain names and web space, to host end-user web pages.

    www.siteground.com,
    www.bluehost.com

    Web Search: Sites that offer search services for the internet, indices, and directories.

    www.google.com,
    www.yahoo.com

    Super Category: Internet Communication
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Blogs: Sites related to online journals, diaries, or newsletters that express personal thoughts and opinions about social or political issues.

    www.tumblr.com,
    www.wordpress.org

    Discussion Forums: Sites related to Usenet, Usenet news, forums, newsgroups, or online bulletin board systems.

    www.cellar.org,
    www.thefootballforums.com

    Internet Services: Sites related to, or offering services that assist in internet communication.

    www.earthlink.net,
    www.zen.co.uk

    Online Chat: Sites that offer access to, software for, or participation in any internet chat forum. Chat is defined as any online conversation taking place in real-time.

    web.skype.com,
    www.hangouts.google.com

    Other Internet Communication: Other sites related to internet communications that are not included in the defined categories.

     

    Peer-to-Peer Site: Sites that provide client software to enable peer-to-peer file sharing and transfers.

    www.bittorrent.com,
    www.limewire.com

    Remote Access Tools: Sites that provide information or software to enable authorized access to a desktop computer or private network from a remote location.

    www.teamviewer.com,
    www.logmein.com

    Webmail: Sites that provide email accounts, free or otherwise.

    www.mail.google.com,
    www.hotmail.com

    Super Category: Job/Employment Search
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Job/Employment Search: Sites that provide employment services, assistance in finding employment, or tools for locating employers.

    www.monster.com,
    www.indeed.com

     

    Super Category: Government and Politics
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Government: Sites related to governments and their agencies or militaries.

    www.usa.gov,
    www.gov.sg

    Other Government and Politics: Other sites related to government and politics that are not included in the defined categories.

     

    Politics: Sites related to, or sponsored by, organizations that seek to influence viewpoints, change or reform public policy, public opinion, or government practices.

    www.nrsc.org,
    www.pap.org.sg

    Super Category: Miscellaneous
    Categories and Definitions

    Miscellaneous: Sites that have not yet been classified.

    Newly Registered Domains: Sites whose domain was created in the last 30 days and are currently not categorized by Zscaler.

    This category is a subset of the Miscellaneous category. To determine if a Miscellaneous URL belongs in the Newly Registered Domain (NRD) category, once a URL has been found to be in the Miscellaneous category it is checked against Zscaler's NRD database. If there’s a match, the URL is categorized as a Newly Registered Domain. To enable the use of this category, select Enable Newly Registered Domain Lookup in your Advanced URL Policy Settings.

    This category can only be used in URL Filtering rules.

    Non Categorizable: Sites that Zscaler has not been able to categorize. Some of the reasons a site may appear here are that the site is a login page without any other details, it no longer exists, or it is unresolvable on the internet

    Other Miscellaneous: Other sites that are not included in the defined categories.

    Super Category: Travel
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Travel: Sites related to travel planning, information, or activities, including reservation services, destination listings, and special event promotion.

    www.contiki.com,
    www.singaporeair.com

    Super Category: Vehicles
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Vehicles: Sites that provide information about or promote vehicles, or offer for purchase vehicle parts or maintenance.

    www.toyota.com,
    www.volkswagen.com

     

    Super Category: Adult Material
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Adult Sex Education: Sites related to sex education and targeted at adult readers.   

    www.plannedparenthood.com, 
    www.itsyoursexlife.com

    Adult Themes: Sites related to adult content not covered by more specific categories, for example, penile enlargement, erectile dysfunction, adult entertainment, and so on.  

    www.yourtango.com/sex, 
    www.singlebrides.com

    K-12 Sex Education: Sites associated with sex education for children, including sites that offer information about sex, human reproduction, or any other sexually oriented material used to educate.

    www.teensource.org,
    www.sexetc.org

    Lingerie/Bikini: Sites that display or are dedicated to lingerie or swimsuits that could be considered inappropriate for teenagers and younger children.

    www.wacoal.com, 
    www.agentprovocateur.com

    Nudity: Sites that provide either artistic or non-artistic nude images in any medium (sculpture, photographs, paintings, and so on).

    www.bestglamourmodels.com,
    www.nude-art.com

    Other Adult Material: Other sites related to adult material that are not in the defined categories.    

     

    Pornography: Sites related to soft- and hard-core pornography, regardless of medium (written, images, movies, and so on).

    www.playboy.com,
    www.sex.com

    Sexuality: Sites that provide information about artistic sexual expression or information about or images of body piercing, tattoos, and any form of body art.

    www.infinitebody.com,
    www.mrzebra.com

    Social Networking Adult: Sites that provide social networking for adults, such as dating sites.

    www.okcupid.com,
    www.ashleymadison.com

    Super Category: Drugs
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Drugs: Sites associated with the use or advocacy of illegal drugs or the illegal use of prescribed drugs.

    www.hightimes.com,
    www.cannabis.com

    Super Category: Gambling
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Gambling: Sites that provide online gambling or are related to gambling assistance, training information, or advocacy.

    www.casino.com,
    www.singaporepools.com.sg

    Super Category: Illegal or Questionable
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Anonymizer: Sites that allow users to surf the internet or send email anonymously by providing proxy bypass functionality or information or instructions on how to do so.

    www.anonymizer.com,
    www.your-freedom.net

    Computer Hacking: Sites related to the promotion of illegal tools and mechanisms to crack passwords, generate and distribute malicious software, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems.

    www.cellphonehacks.com,
    www.hayy.net

    Copyright Infringement: Sites related to bootlegged or otherwise illegally available copyrighted material, such as DVD movies and CD or MP3 music. 

    www.youtubeinmp3.com,
    www.freemoviedownloads6.com

    Mature Humor: Sites that contain humor and mature themes unsuitable for teenagers and children, but no pornography or strong profanity.

    www.bestfunnyjokes4u.com,
    www.spicyjokes.com

    Other Illegal or Questionable: Other sites related to illegal or questionable activity that are not included in the defined categories.   

     

    Profanity: Sites that contain generally acknowledged profanity but do not fall under a more specific category such as "Pornography."

    www.yourfuckingpollingplace.com

    Questionable: Sites that are generally related to illegal activities but do not fall under a more specific category.

    www.joyofsatan.org,
    www.satanicchurch.com

    Super Category: Militancy/Hate Extremism
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Militancy/Hate and Extremism: Sites that promote divisive rhetoric or action, describe certain populations as dangerous, evil, or promote intolerance of individuals or groups.     

    www.theneworder.org,
    www.dpjs.co.uk

    Super Category: Tasteless
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Tasteless: Sites that contain crude or offensive content.

    www.gore2gasm.com

    Super Category: Violence
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Violence: Sites that depict, promote, or feature violence.

    www.kimbo305.com

    Super Category: Weapons/Bombs
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Weapons/Bombs: Sites that promote the use, making, or distribution of weapons. 

    www.paladin-press.com,
    www.heckler-koch.com

     

    Super Category: Games
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Other Games: Other sites related to games that are not included in the defined categories.

    www.store.steampowered.com,
    www.worldofwarcraft.com

    Social Networking Games: Sites that reside on social networking sites and contain material that merits categorization into the Games super category.

    www.facebook.com/games

    Super Category: Health
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Health: Sites related to an individual’s physical and mental well-being. 

    www.webmd.com,
    www.healthdiscovery.net

    Super Category: Religion
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Alt/New Age: Sites related to nontraditional or nonreligious spiritual belief systems, or related to the practice or advocacy of affecting events through supernatural means.

    www.rael.org,
    www.artofplacement.com

    Cult: Sites related to groups or movements whose membership is marked by zeal, passion, and obedience to a degree generally considered excessive by the mainstream.

    www.cults.co.nz

    Other Religion: Other sites related to religion that are not included in the defined categories.

     

    Traditional Religion: Sites related to traditionally organized religious activities, participation, and belief.

    www.chc.org.sg, 
    www.buddhanet.net

    Super Category: Shopping and Auctions
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Online Auctions: Sites that offer participation in online auctions or support the offer and purchase of goods between individuals.

    www.quibids.com,
    www.onlineauction.com

    Online Shopping: Sites that provide, or advertise ways to purchase products or services over the internet or by telephone.

    www.overstock.com,
    www.amazon.com

    Other Shopping and Auctions: Other sites related to shopping and auctions that are not included in the defined categories.

    i.ebayimg.com

    Real Estate: Sites that offer information or services related to buying, selling, renting, or financing property.

    www.redas.com, 
    www.propnex.com

    Super Category: Social and Family Issues
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Family Issues: Sites related to issues specific to the family such as divorce, adoption, infertility, domestic violence, and so on.

    www.adoptionconnection.org,
    www.divorcesupport.com

    Other Social and Family Issues: Other sites related to social and family issues that are not included in the defined categories.

     

    Social Issues: Sites related to issues generally considered to engender controversies, such as abortion, euthanasia, legalization of drugs, and so on.

    www.euthanasia.com,
    www.norml.org

    Super Category: Society and Lifestyle
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Alcohol/Tobacco: Sites related to the use of alcohol and tobacco products, excluding those that inform on the hazards of alcohol and tobacco.

    www.martell.com, 
    www.24hrcigarette.com

    Alternate Lifestyle: Sites related to gay, lesbian, or bisexual orientation. 

    www.lambda.org

    Art/Culture: Sites related to the mores, activities, organizations, and collective behavior of peoples that define various cultures around the world.

    www.artandculture.com, 
    www.metmuseum.org

    Dining/Restaurant: Sites that list, discuss, review, advertise, or promote dining and restaurants.

    www.mcdonalds.com,
    www.hungrygowhere.com

    Hobbies/Leisure: Sites related to hobbies and leisure, or pursuits or interests engaged in for pleasure and relaxation.

    www.takemefishing.org,
    www.ravelry.com

    Other Society and Lifestyle: Other sites related to society and lifestyle that are not included in the defined categories.

     

    Social Networking: Sites that enable the creation of online communities or the facilitation of personal introductions, dating, and networking.

    www.facebook.com,
    www.linkedin.com

    Super Category: Special Interests/Social Organizations
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Special Interests/Social Organizations: Sites related to charitable organizations, community or environmental interest groups, or social advocacy.

    www.greenpeace.org,
    www.edf.org

    Super Category: Sports
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Sports: Sites related to sports or recreation.

    espn.go.com,
    www.nba.com

     

    Super Category: Security
    Categories and Definitions Examples

    Other Security: Other sites related to security that are not included in the defined categories.

    trustwave.ctscloud.com,
    microsoftinternetsafety.net

    Spyware/Adware: Sites that are known to distribute or contain code that displays unwanted advertisements or that gathers user information without the user’s knowledge.

    www.spywareremove.com, 
    www.virusspy.com

     

    About the URL Categories Page

    On the URL Categories page, you can do the following:

    1. See how many custom URLs you have used across all of your policies and how many you still have available. For a complete list of ranges and limits per feature, see Ranges & Limitations.
    2. Configure a Custom URL category.
    3. Expand or collapse all URL categories. 
    4. View a list of all configured URL categories. 
    5. Edit a predefined URL category. 
    6. Add a URL category under the super category.
    7. Search for a URL category. When searching, you can search by category name. You can also use any custom URLs, URLs retaining parent category, custom keywords, or keywords retaining parent category that you have added as search terms. 

    Screenshot of URL Categories page showing buttons and list used to manage URL categories