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5 Reasons Schools Need Cloud-Based Content Filtering

Originally published by DNSFilter 

When it comes to content filtering, schools have unique requirements. Not only do you need to restrict access to certain websites, but you need to restrict that access on devices you do and don’t control. And with the rise of remote learning, those devices you own often leave the premises, making security all the more challenging. 
 
So for content filtering, you need a solution that is robust and cloud-based to ensure it works both on campus and at students’ homes. Here are 5 ways our partner DNSFilter helps schools keep students safer. 

1. CIPA compliance 

CIPA stands for “Children’s Internet Protection Act,” and its goal is to block students from accessing harmful or obscene content over the internet. This usually refers to content that contains violence and pornography. 

Implementing content filtering that follows CIPA’s guidelines ensures CIPA compliance, a necessary measure for most schools (and libraries) as it impacts funding. 

One of the great benefits of DNSFilter is that you can enable CIPA-compliant filtering with one click, taking the guesswork out of the process. 

2. Help curb cyberbullying 

At least 20% of students in the U.S. have experienced bullying. While cyberbullying happens less frequently than physical bullying, it is a growing phenomenon.  

Cyberbullying happens online via email or on public blogs, as well as over text messages. And often, cyberbullying can propel in-person bullying. 

Bullying awareness and education is important for schools to tackle, and content filtering is one concrete step you can take to help minimize the impact of bullying on your students. 

DNSFilter can help you block public and personal blogs, chat clients, and forums where cyberbullying occurs in order to cut down on the cyberbullying students encounter and help them feel safe while learning. 

3. Keep students on-task 

Everyone gets distracted – particularly pre-teens and teenagers. And as learning moves online, digital devices provide a major opportunity for students to get off task. 

DNSFilter can block entertainment and gaming websites as well as streaming sites that students might attempt to visit during classroom hours. Schools can even schedule filtering policies so that, after hours, students are allowed to browse certain sites that aren’t allowed during class hours, eliminating distractions without being overly restrictive. 

4. Protect students from outside risks 

Filtering isn’t just about blocking malware and phishing websites or even protecting students from handing over private information (although it does all those things). 

It can also protect young students from online predators. Blocking forums, blogs, and chat clients helps to reduce the likelihood of an online predator finding a student through a school computer. 

It also means a student won’t inadvertently share their location with a stranger by engaging in a dangerous conversation. Similar to cyberbullying, content filtering is not a complete solution for stopping online predators, but it is another precaution you can put in place to help students (and their parents) feel safer. 

5. Give the school visibility into what students access 

Sometimes it’s not enough to block certain sites. Kids are creative and not only know how to find repurposed sites and workarounds but may be interested in completely different sites from week to week. So as a school, how do you keep up with the sites that you need to restrict access to? 

Content filtering gives you anonymized visibility into what students are accessing so you can track trends and block sites as they become popular. It also shows you if any threats are being blocked, which may indicate students attempting to access malicious sites on school computers. 

Why LanSchool Partnered with DNSFilter 

DNSFilter uses advanced content filtering and DNS protection that relies on AI to categorize and filter threatening websites. That means it can block new threats as they appear, even if humans haven’t recognized them yet. It also offers a roaming client IT teams can download to student devices, so filtering and security policies will stay functional even when students are learning from home.  

LanSchool has partnered with DNSFilter to keep schools and students safer from harmful online content and cyber threats at affordable, education-only pricing — building on LanSchool’s 30-year commitment to enhance student safety. Learn more about using DNSFilter with LanSchool here. 

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