When the Children´s Internet Protection Act was passed in 2000, there was a lot of opposition to internet filtering for schools. The American Library Association launched a challenge to the Act on the grounds that it unconstitutionally blocked access to constitutionally protected information and, although the challenge was unsuccessful, complaints about restrictive access still linger today.
Some of the complaints are justified. Back in 2000, Internet filtering for schools was not as advanced as it is today. Schools often had to purchase expensive hardware solutions that lacked versatility and had high maintenance overheads. Consequently network administrators failed to adjust the default maximum filtering settings, and students were denied access to relevant educational material.
In recent years, further issues have arisen. School Internet filtering solutions are being blamed for preventing students seeking impartial advice about teenage issues, and for creating a digital inequality between students who can access unfiltered Internet access at home and students from low-income families who only experience the virtual world in a safety-conscious school environment.
How Modern K12 School Internet Filtering Solutions Resolve these Issues
Modern school Internet filtering solutions have listened to the concerns of school administrators, advocacy groups and parents, and evolved into highly granular mechanisms for complying with the Children´s Internet Protection Act and protecting school networks from web-borne threats, while still allowing access to the information students need to thrive in the digital world.
Low maintenance cloud-based solutions have replaced the expensive hardware solutions. Versatile filtering parameters can be easily configured by age, class, user group or individual user, and customizable reports and alerts eliminate the necessity to set the maximum level of filtering for all students in states where parents have the right to specify the level of their child´s Internet access.
Internet filtering for schools has also evolved to cope with students´ enhanced digital awareness. Safeguards exists to block access to prohibited Internet content in a foreign language, cached web pages and anonymizer sites. The reporting mechanisms can also be configured to identify attempts to circumnavigate filtering parameters with VPNs, proxy servers or USB browsers.
Internet Filtering for Schools with WiFi Networks
For schools that have a WiFi network, modern school Internet filtering solutions control the Internet content students can access from their mobile devices. These solutions are also ideal for educational institutions that issue students with tablets or Chromebooks, as online activities can be monitored to identify vulnerable students and those using inappropriate online conduct. Control and monitoring is not limited to the classroom, as roaming agents can be installed on devices to extend protections to students’ homes, or anywhere where the Internet is accessed.
Internet filtering for K12 schools with WiFi is scalable and can cope with any number of users without slowing down the delivery of web content. Where bandwidth is a problem, filters can be configured to prevent students accessing bandwidth-consuming video streaming sites during school hours and the restrictions lifted out of hours – or by user group if access to a video-streaming site is necessary.
K12 School Internet filtering solutions for wireless networks not only help keep school networks free of malware, but the devices that connect to them. This helps keep students with limited digital awareness safe from phishing emails and identity theft, provides information to schools about which students need more education about web-borne threats, and helps us blacklist compromised and malicious websites.
In states where parents have the right to stipulate the level of Internet access their children can have at school, the versatility of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi prevents the scenario in which every child has to adhere to the wishes of the strictest parent. The deep level of oversight also helps to identify students who may be using the Internet inappropriately and who are subsequently vulnerable to online risks.
Our WiFi web filters for schools can be used to filter Internet content from a single hotspots or multiple hotspots. They protect users´ devices as well as the school´s network without affecting the speed at which web content is delivered. They also have a very useful bandwidth-restricting function that can prevents students consuming a school´s bandwidth by streaming sports, films and music videos.
Our K12 school web filtering software for both fixed networks and wireless networks has been developed to be effective against online threats, compliant with federal and states laws, simple to use and sufficient versatile to resolve issues about preventing students from accessing educational material and teenage support groups. Now we invite you to test our web filters for schools for free.
Try Our K12 Web Filters for Schools for Free
If your school has been reluctant to implement school web filtering software due to concerns about an over-filtered environment, we invite you to contact us and discuss your concerns. Our team of Sales Technicians will answer any questions you have about web filters for schools and invite you to have a free trial of WebTitan Cloud or WebTitan Cloud for WiFi – whichever is the most appropriate solution for your circumstances.
There are no set up costs to pay, no credit cards are required and there are no contracts to sign in order to take advantage of our offer. Our free trial is intended to give you the opportunity to evaluate the merits of school web filtering in your own environment and there is no obligation on you to continue using our service once the free trial has ended. Call us today and your school could be protecting your students from online dangers and inappropriate content within fifteen minutes.
Can a school filter be bypassed?
An Internet filtering school cannot guarantee students will not be able to access inappropriate web content as there are ways to bypass a school filter such as using a VPN, changing DNS settings, or using an anonymizer site. To prevent this you should lock the DNS settings on school devices, and block VPNs and anonymizer services.
Can a school Internet filter provide a real-time view of student Internet activity?
WebTitan has an extensive suite of reports which can be scheduled or run on-demand. It is possible to drill down and see the Internet activity of users in real-time or to configure reports of certain web activities and schedule them to be delivered on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Will I be informed if someone tries to access prohibited web content?
You can run reports and drill down to see current internet activity, or alternatively, you can be alerted about any attempts to access a prohibited category of website, for instance, anonymizer services, download sites, criminal/hacking sites, or adult content. Notifications will be sent to the specified email address every 15 minutes.
Why is SSL inspection important?
Most websites encrypt the connection between the browser and the website to prevent interception of sensitive data; however, malware increasingly uses HTTPS to hide command and control communications and HTTPS is used to hide malicious web content. SSL inspection allows a web filter to scan for malicious content within HTTPS traffic and identify malicious HTTPS websites.
How much does web filtering cost?
You can expect to pay around $1.50 per user, per month for a web filter. WebTitan costs $1.58 per user per month, based on 100 users, although it is possible to get a reduction on the price if you take out a longer contract. Get in touch with the sales team and you will be given an accurate quote.