Today’s kids have been brought up in an age that people like me (and most of our readers) have had to get used to, particularly where technology is concerned. So it’s not surprising that most kids are way more tech-savvy than their parents and teaching them about it – it’s a fact. I would dare say that kids are more tech-savvy than their educators, and not just their parents.
This is worrying because kids have a habit of finding a way around most obstacles. Take the education system, for example. It makes sense that web filtering is a basic technology needed in schools and educational institutions. Unfortunately, there are cases when either web filtering is not deployed or kids bypassed the web filtering technology.
Sometimes, it’s not even a question of people being tech-savvy, it’s one of accessibility to information. When doing research on web filtering technology I often come across forum users asking for tips on how to bypass their web filtering technology – a good number of these users being children in schools.
It is not such a surprise when we read a story like the one that appeared this week in the media, where fourth and fifth graders in a school in Illinois were able to access pornography using a school computer. Although it is possible that these kids bypassed the web filtering software themselves, it’s often the case that the ‘how’ is much simpler! Truth be told, cash-strapped schools sometimes do not install a robust full-featured solution that ensures schoolchildren are not able to access adult material at school.
Cash-strapped is no longer a good excuse, because there are solutions like GFI Cloud that are affordable, and when properly set up, will block access to pornography and other unacceptable websites in a school environment. While schools should be taking the initiative, parents can also do their part by encouraging schools to be proactive and install the necessary protection.
In the US, there is specific federal funding under the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA) for educational entities to implement of web filtering and other protective technologies. GFI Cloud and other GFI technologies can help schools and other educational institutions achieve CIPA compliance and therefore benefit from funding.
How do you stop kids bypassing web filtering technologies? Think like a kid.
It’s a good idea to test your web filtering software implementation before going live. Sometimes it just takes simple steps like deploying particular group policies on computers, removing administrative rights to prevent the technology from being tampered with. It is also a good idea for the company implementing the web filter to actually think like a kid and look for ways to bypass the filter. If they can do it, kids will find a way around it too.
GFI Cloud allows you to implement good web filtering technology on each computer; so if the kids take a laptop off campus, or just bypass the school network via an alternative internet connection GFI Cloud is still there; helping protect students from accessing pornography or bypassing the web filter.