In order to protect children from harm, a web content WiFi filter for schools should be implemented for all school WiFi networks. Access to certain types of website content should be restricted, and technical controls used to prevent obscene images, pornography, and other adult content from being viewed or downloaded.
Why a Web Content WiFi Filter for Schools is Essential
Since the introduction of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), any school that accepts E-rate discounts on Internet access must agree to abide by CIPA regulations. CIPA requires the Internet to be filtered to prevent images of a sexual nature from being displayed on school computers or other devices used to access the Internet via the school’s network.
A web content WiFi filter for schools is essential if wireless Internet access is offered to staff or students. This will ensure that no matter what device is used to access the Internet, the user of that device will not be able to view, deliberately or accidentally, sexual imagery or any other visual content that has potential to cause harm.
It is not necessary to track the websites that minors attempt to access, although CIPA does require Internet access to be monitored. Students must also be educated about safe use of the Internet, how to avoid and deal with cyberbullying, remain safe while using Internet chatrooms and messaging services, and given advice about the use of social networking websites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram to prevent them from coming to harm.
CIPA Penalties for Failing to Implement Website Content Filtering for School WiFi
Penalties for CIPA non-compliance are not issued. however, if website content filtering for school WiFi is not employed and wireless Internet access is provided, the reimbursement of federal funding can be withheld, E-rate payments terminated, and the school ordered to repay any federal funds received.
The failure to use website content filtering for school WiFi can result in legal action being taken against the school. Parents of children may file lawsuits seeking damages if a school has failed to protect a child from viewing website content covered by CIPA.
If discounts are claimed and the school fails to abide by CIPA regulations, there are federal criminal laws that can result in legal action being taken against the school – such as for providing false certifications to the government or for the submission of fraudulent information.
K12 Internet Content Filters Can Compliment Online Safety Education
In many states, legislation has been passed requiring K12 schools to educate pupils on Internet safety before funding for technology can be secured by the school district. Although implementing K12 Internet content filters is not an acceptable substitute for educating a child about the perils of the Internet, a web filter for K12 schools can complement online safety lessons.
As with any subject, it is far better to explain to a child “this is what we do, this is how we do it and this is why we do it” than just enforce a rule they do not understand. Using K12 Internet content filters as tools in the classroom can help demonstrate the difference between browsing the web in a safe environment and going online when there are no mechanisms in place for protection.
One important consideration when evaluating a web filter for K12 schools is the ability of the filter to block VPN access and anonymizer services. Children, especially those with older, more technological-savvy siblings, will try to circumnavigate K12 Internet content filters – just to show their peers that they can.
Considerations When Choosing an Internet Content Filter for School WiFi
If you are considering implementing an Internet content filter for school WiFi, it is important to choose a service provider carefully.
One of the main considerations is cost. To keep expenditure down to a minimum level, it is important to choose an Internet content filter for school WiFi that does not require the purchasing of any additional computer hardware.
Configuring the web filter should also be straightforward and not require an extensive learning curve. It is also important to choose a solution that is quick and easy to manage, and which will remain so even if multiple WiFi points are introduced.
While it may not be necessary to extensively filter the websites that can be accessed through the school network in order to comply with CIPA regulations, a web content WiFi filter for schools should have a high degree of granularity. This will ensure that school Internet access policies can be easily applied and it will limit over-filtering the Internet and blocking potentially important internet content such as advice about contraception, STIs, and advice on LGBT issues.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is a cost effective, powerful Internet content filtering solution that is ideal for educational institutions of all sizes. Highly granular controls ensure that obscene and potentially harmful contact can be quickly and easily filtered, while important web content can still be accessed.
WebTitan’s web content WiFi filter for schools is:
- 100% cloud-based
- Quick and easy to install and configure
- Easy to manage with central control via an intuitive, easy-to-use, administration control panel
- Cost effective
- Requires no additional hardware or software installations
- Does not slow Internet access
- Can be used to protect all users, regardless of the device used to access the Internet
- Flexible to adapt to changing Internet access policies
- Offers instant alerts to ensure compliance with CIPA Internet monitoring requirements
WebTitan Web Content WiFi Filter for Schools, Libraries and Universities
To find out more about the full benefits of WebTitan Cloud for WiFi, pricing information, and how to implement a web content WiFi filter for schools, contact the sales team today:
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or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org