A whitelist is a list of items that are granted access to a certain system or protocol. When a whitelist is used, all entities are denied access, except those included in the whitelist. The opposite of a whitelist is a blacklist, which allows access from all items, except those included the list.
The following are examples of different whitelist applications:
Whitelists are a good option when only a limited number of entities need to be granted access. Because all items not included in a whitelist are denied access, whitelists are considered more secure than blacklists. However, if only a few entities need to be denied access, a blacklist is more practical.
- A network administrator may configure a firewall with a whitelist that only allows specific IP addresses to access the network.
- A protected directory within a website may use a whitelist to limit access to certain IP addresses.
- Some e-mail systems can be configured to only accept messages from e-mail addresses that have added to a user's whitelist.
- Programmers can use whitelists within programs to ensure only certain objects are modified.
Updated: September 29, 2010
TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary
This page contains a technical definition of Whitelist. It explains in computing terminology what Whitelist means and is one of many technical terms in the TechTerms dictionary.
All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Whitelist definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!