As children are likely to use library facilities to access the Internet, a web content WiFi filter for libraries is important. It can provide a safe environment for children to browse the Internet – either from a library terminal or a personal mobile device connected to the WiFi network.
Internet content filtering for library WiFi can also help libraries qualify for discounts under the Universal Service Fund for Schools and Libraries (the “E-rate” program) and grants under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
Website content filtering for WiFi in a library can also prevent adults from being exposed to inappropriate material being viewed by other visitors using the library´s facilities. Indeed, a web content WiFi filter for libraries can make the library a far more pleasant environment for everyone.
What Does CIPA Say About Implementing a Web Content WiFi Filter for Libraries
The primary act of federal legislation relating to Internet access by minors is the Children´s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). This Act was enacted in 2000 to limit children´s exposure to pornography and harmful online material.
The Act stipulates that, in order to be eligible for E-rate discounts and LSTA grants, a library must implement a “technology protection measure” to restrict access to material that may be inappropriate or harmful to children.
Under CIPA, libraries are required to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy addressing the safety and security of minors when using email, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communication, and to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of personal information.
It is not mandatory under CIPA for a web content WiFi filter for libraries to be implemented. However, at least twenty-four states have introduced their own legislation to protect library visitors from being exposed to inappropriate material – some of which requires by law that there is some level of website content filtering for WiFi in a library.
Website Content Filtering for WiFi in a Library
Website content filtering for WiFi in a library can be achieved using a hardware, software, or cloud-based solution. Many organizations choose to deploy some form of software for website content filtering for WiFi in a library due to the cost advantage and ease of administration such solutions offer.
For libraries with a limited number of Internet-connected devices, implementing a software-based solution can be straightforward. However, the more computers that are used, the more labor intensive it can be to install a content filter on each device and to monitor access to the Internet via personal mobile devices.
Using a centrally managed, cloud-based web content WiFi filter for libraries can often be the most suitable mechanism to filter out inappropriate content and comply with federal and state legislation. However, Internet content filtering for library WiFi is not without its potential issues.
Potential Issues for Internet Content Filtering for Library WiFi
State regulations notwithstanding, many libertarian organizations argue that a library is an educational institution that should provide access to a fully comprehensive range of information. It is claimed that restricting access to online information resources goes against the ethical obligations of librarians to promote free speech and open learning.
While few would argue that a web content WiFi filter for libraries should be avoided entirely, it is important to take into consideration why minors may be using a library’s Internet facilities. For example, some minors may visit a library specifically to view information on sexually transmitted infections or types of contraception.
Similarly, minors may wish to read about LGBT matters that they would not feel comfortable researching on the family computer. A library may be the only place where these individuals feel safe enough to access such information. If Internet content filters are not applied correctly, access to this type of information may be inadvertently blocked.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi – A Solution for Libraries of All Sizes
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is a suitable solution for libraries of all sizes. Our web content WiFi filter for libraries offers a level of granularity that allows valuable and important content to be accessed, while still protecting minors from obscene and otherwise harmful images.
WebTitan’s Internet content filtering for library WiFi allows libraries to comply with state and federal government regulations but not overly censor the internet. The flexibility of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi enables libraries to adopt policies that allow visitors to request the unblocking of certain webpages or websites if they have been caught by the filter.
Our flexible web content WiFi filter for libraries can be implemented quickly, regardless of the number of WiFi access points in use. After pointing the DNS to our server, our web filter will be up and running in a matter of minutes.
Key Features of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi
- 100% cloud-based web filtering
- Fast installation – Our web filter can be active in minutes
- No software installations required
- No additional hardware necessary
- Manage multiple WiFi hotspots using a central, easy-to-use administration control panel
- Suitable for libraries of all sizes with no restriction on the number of WiFi access points
- CIPA-compliant WiFi access for all Internet-enabled devices
- Granular controls allow obscene images to be blocked, while permitting valuable educational content to be accessed
- Block by categories, dictionary search terms, or entire websites
- No impact on Internet speed
- Block threats such as phishing, malware, and ransomware
- Prevent illegal activities online such as copyright infringing file downloads
Try Our Web Content WiFi Filter for Libraries Free for Thirty Days
Regardless of whether a library is located within a state that has enacted legislation to protect minors from exposure to adult online material, it is still recommended for libraries to implement some level of filtering. In this respect, we invite library administrators to contact us and request a free thirty day trial of our web content WiFi filter for libraries.
Our free trial of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi includes a fully-enabled filtering solution and full technical support, with no set up costs, no credit cards required and no contracts to sign. If, at the end of the thirty day free trial, you decide to continue with our service, we have a range of flexible, low-cost payment options to choose from.
Contact our sales team today for more details about our offer, advice on implementing a web content WiFi filter for libraries, and to find out more about our cost effective Internet filtering solution.
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