Since the introduction of the Children´s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in 2000, web filtering for schools has been necessary in order to qualify for E-Rate discounts on telecommunications and Internet services.
Subsequently, many states have also introduced their own legislation making it a requirement for schools to filter the Internet to ensure children are protected from harmful website content. To date, twenty-four states have introduced legislation to prevent children from accessing harmful images such as pornography in schools and libraries. Other states are certain to follow suit.
Even in states where web filtering for schools is not mandatory, lobby groups and parents’ associations have pushed for tighter controls over the content that can be accessed on school computers and through school networks. Web filtering for schools is now less of a choice and more of a requirement.
While the primary purpose of web filtering for schools is to block access to obscene or harmful website content, many schools have decided to implement a content filtering solution as a cybersecurity measure. Web filters are also used to prevent malware downloads and block phishing attacks.
Cloud Based Web Filtering for Schools
Web filtering used to require a physical appliance to be installed behind a firewall. Appliance-based web filters have a number of disadvantages. Appliances are expensive to purchase and need to be updated and maintained by IT support staff. They also limit the number of users that can access the Internet. When capacity needs to be increased, new hardware needs to be purchased.
Now an increasing number of schools are opting for a lower cost solution. Cloud based web filtering for schools does not require any additional hardware, saving schools thousands of dollars in equipment purchases. There is also no need for IT teams to be on site. Everything is cloud based, so that means the solution can be managed remotely. To get started, all that is required is for a simple change to be made to the DNS to point it to the solution provider’s servers. That process typically takes just a couple of minutes. Cloud-based filtering also gets around the issue of latency. There is no perceptible difference in page load speeds when filtering controls are being applied. The only way you can tell that filters are in place is when an attempt is made to access prohibited web content.
Modern cloud-based filters have multiple filtering mechanisms which provide a high level of granularity. Appliance-based filters of the past often over-blocked website content. However, modern filters allow precision control over Internet access, and block malicious websites and sites containing obscene content without also blocking content with educational value.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi from TitanHQ
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is a 100% cloud-based Internet content filtering solution that is ideal for schools to prevent students from inadvertently or deliberately viewing harmful images and other potentially damaging website content.
Being cloud-based, WebTitan Cloud for WiFi requires no hardware purchases. All that is required to start filtering the Internet is for your school’s DNS to be pointed to WebTitan – a process that takes no more than a couple of minutes.
Configuring WebTitan Cloud for WiFi could not be easier. The solution can be accessed via a web-based control panel from any Internet-enabled device. It has intuitive controls requiring no technical prowess and applying Internet controls typically takes less than 30 minutes.
Content filtering is possible by category – pornography or gambling for instance – by keyword – e.g. sexual terms – or using blacklists – third party or user-generated lists of malicious or inappropriate websites. Blacklists will also block websites known to contain malware and sites known to host child pornography.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi also includes a full reporting suite. Users can schedule reports and alerts can be sent when individuals try to access prohibited website content. Administrators have full visibility into Internet access and have a real-time view of Internet activity down to the individual user level.
WebTitan On-The-Go (OTG) is a roaming agent used with TitanHQ’s WebTitan Cloud platform, the purpose of which is to allow filtering controls to be applied on devices that are not connected to the network. For students that means filtering in the classroom, but also at home, or any other location where a student accesses the Internet. The roaming agent can be quickly and easily downloaded and installed on laptops as part of the WebTitan set up process.
Enjoy a Thirty-Day No Obligation Free Trial of WebTitan
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is available to schools and other educational institutions on a fourteen-day, no obligation free trial. The free trial includes use of the full product and access to customer and technical support for the duration of the trial.
After the trial period ends, schools benefit from WebTitan´s flexible and highly competitive pricing models. With WebTitan, web filtering for schools is made as cost effective, easy and affordable as possible. If you think web filtering is too expensive, you should call to find out how little web filtering costs.
For further information on the WebTitan suite of products and to register for your free trial, contact us today.