Internet Filtering for Schools
There are two main reasons why school Internet filtering is essential. To protect children from harmful website content and to prevent school networks from being infected with malware.
School Internet Filtering and CIPA Compliance
The Internet offers an incredible learning opportunity for children, but dangers lurk online. Providing unfettered Internet access has the potential to cause children harm. Children accidental viewing of pornography can be prevented.
Website content filtering for schools is not mandatory in all states, although it is a requirement of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The legislation in 2000 as a measure to prevent children from being exposed to indecent or otherwise harmful images. K12 schools and libraries wishing to apply for E-Rate discounts must ensure an Internet filtering solution is implemented to block pornography, child pornography, and abuse photographs and other potentially harmful images.
School Internet filtering is not only about complying with CIPA or state legislation. A web filtering solution can be configured to reflect a school’s acceptable usage policies and set to block other types of objectionable Internet content such as gaming and gambling sites.
Internet Filters Protect Schools from Malware Infections
Cybercriminals use a variety of measures to gain access to school computer networks. Spam email is commonly used to distribute malware, but many infections occur as a result of staff or students visiting malicious websites. Many spam emails contain links to websites that silently download malware. Even general web browsing can result in malware downloads.
The majority of WordPress, PHP, or CMS websites have vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. When exploitation happens, kits will probe for weaknesses in browsers, and vulnerability or malware will infect the computer or network.
School Internet filtering solutions prevent malware downloads by blocking websites known to infect computers. Internet filters can also stop the downloading of certain file types commonly associated with malware – .exe files.
If a user clicks on a malicious link in an email, is redirected to a malicious website, or attempts to visit a website known to contain malware, the filtering solution will prevent the site from being accessed.
Choosing the Right Internet Filtering Solution
It is essential to carefully consider your options for filtering the Internet at your school, as many methods of content control are expensive to set up, time-consuming to configure, and lack flexibility.
Cost is likely to be a significant consideration. The lowest cost solutions are cloud-based. With cloud-based web filters, the solution housed in the provider’s private (or public) cloud and can be implemented simply by changing the DNS records. The answer is updated automatically by the service provider, with the only maintenance required being updates to users’ acceptable use policies.
It is crucial to choose a school Internet filtering solution that has highly granular filtering controls as this will ensure the solution can adapt to changing content control needs.
Talk with Varstop about Implementing School Internet Filtering Controls and robust web filtering solutions for schools and educational institutions of all sizes. Varstop has a variety of deployment options that can protect both wired and wireless networks.
“WebTitan”, for example, is cloud-based requires no hardware purchases and set up is a quick and straightforward process. With WebTitan, you can be filtering the Internet in your school in a matter of minutes.
All schools and educational institutions have the option of using WebTitan for 30-days free of charge. During the free trial, full customer and technical support will be available. If you are unhappy with the product, there is no obligation to proceed with a purchase at the end of the trial.
If you have any questions about school Internet filtering or would like to find out more about WebTitan.