It is not mandatory for content filtering for schools to be applied in all states, although it is a requirement of the Children´s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in order for schools to qualify for E-rate discounts.
School Content Filtering Solutions and CIPA
CIPA was signed into law in 2000 with the main purpose of the legislation being to ensure minors are protected when accessing the Internet in schools and libraries. CIPA calls for content filtering for schools to be implemented to prevent minors from accessing potentially harmful images. To comply with CIPA regulations, content filtering for schools is essential. A technical solution must be implemented that allows schools to block pornography and other harmful visual content such as images of child abuse.
Many schools now offer wireless Internet access for students, allowing them to use their own devices to connect to the Internet. Regardless of whether the Internet is accessed via a school PC or a personally owned iPhone, school content filtering solutions must restrict the content that can be accessed.
CIPA also requires school content filtering solutions to be capable of monitoring Internet access. That does not mean that each student’s online activity must be tracked, but reports of Internet activity should be monitored. This ensures that when students attempt to view prohibited website content or bypass web filtering controls, the school will be alerted. Action can then be taken to address the issue before it becomes a serious problem and plug any holes in the filtering settings.
Over-Blocking of Website Content
The use of Internet filtering in schools is not without its critics. While few would argue that children should be allowed to view adult website content at school, one of the main problems with content filtering for schools is the over-blocking of website content. While sexual images must be blocked to comply with CIPA regulations, it is important that children are not prevented from accessing educational material. Children should not be prevented from accessing websites offering information on sexual reproduction or STIs. It is also important for children to be able to obtain advice on LGBT issues and other sensitive issues that they may not be able to access safely at home.
If content filtering for schools is applied, care must be taken to ensure that access to valuable educational content is not restricted. School content filtering solutions should therefore have highly granular controls. Rather than simply blocking website content by category, the solution should allow much finer control of website content: The functionality to block content by keywords for example. A solution should also allow certain websites and webpages to be whitelisted if they are accidentally blocked by website category controls.
WebTitan – Content Filtering for Schools Made Easy
WebTitan is a cost-effective, powerful, and easy to use school content filtering solution with a range of deployment options. WebTitan can be quickly and easily implemented to restrict access to certain types of Internet content, without the need to purchase expensive hardware. The solution can be applied as a cloud-based deployment suitable for use on both wired and wireless networks. In addition to applying filtering within the school grounds, a WebTitan On-The-Go (OTG) roaming agent can be used on devices owned by students or supplied by the school for students to take home. The same filtering controls can be applied no matter where those devices connect to the Internet.
WebTitan is an ideal content filtering solution for schools of all sizes and, in order to help schools discover the benefits of Internet filtering with WebTitan, the full product can be installed free of charge for a period of thirty days. During that time, full customer and technical support will be provided and there is no obligation to purchase at the end of the trial period. This allows you to test the solution within your own environment and fully evaluate it before deciding on a purchase.
If you have any questions about content filtering for schools or would like to find out more about WebTitan, contact us today.
- The WebTitan content filtering solutions have the flexibility to prevent exposure to obscene imagery without denying access to educationally important material.
- User policies can be applied by grade, subject studied, groups, or individual students with the click of a mouse - with exceptions equally easy to apply.
- Internet access can be controlled by time or app access and controls applied to limit bandwidth use to ensure an Internet service is always available to students and tutors.
- The solution works with all devices and operating systems, including Windows, iOS, MacOS, and on Chromebooks.
- Our content filtering solutions for schools also protect school networks and the devices that connect to them from malware.
- Find out more by speaking with our Sales Technicians, who will invite you to take a free trial of the solution most suitable for your requirements and will help get you up and running.