Web filtering and monitoring

Shield your students from harm with web filtering and monitoring.

Safeguarding and online safety is a hot topic for schools, and it’s essential that children are protected from harmful content. It’s easy to stumble across inappropriate content online, so we need to do our best to prevent this from happening. But it’s impossible for schools to do this manually in real time. This is where web filtering and monitoring comes in!

Web filtering and monitoring

By filtering out all the nasty stuff, you’re able to provide a safe learning environment for your students to learn.

What is web filtering?

Web filtering is clever technology! Basically, it filters out harmful and inappropriate content online by monitoring billions of websites and URLs. It blocks your internet browser from loading anything it regards as inappropriate. This should apply to any device connected to your school’s network. So whether they’re using a school laptop or their own smartphone, the same filters should apply.

It also filters specific content and keywords. When there’s certain content your school wants blocked (such as pornography, for example), it filters out any websites that contain that keyword or type of content. However you need to be careful not to over block!

Although English will be the primary language for the majority of students in the UK, web filters need to handle other languages too. Students will often search for things in their native language. This can sometimes get past the web filters!

What is monitoring?

Monitoring systems monitor the on-screen activity of students. It works alongside web filtering and adds another level of safeguarding for your students.

They report what students are searching for, the websites they’re on, and the content of the websites. They can also monitor offline activities, such as in word documents and chat messages. There’s two types of monitoring – active and proactive:

  • Active monitoring is where violations are reported and sent to the school, where they can review and act on them. You need to act on any high-risk alerts immediately.
  • Proactive monitoring is where alerts are managed by an expert/moderator in real time. It can report behaviour patterns and alert in case a student behaviour shows vulnerability. The system categorises the alerts based on the levels of risk. Low risk alerts are documented and will be turned into high risks if a pattern of behaviour shows a student is vulnerable. This allows early intervention and potentially safeguarding students before they become a risk to themselves or others.

Why is web filtering and monitoring important?

Ultimately, web filtering and proactive monitoring keeps your students safe!

Web filtering is important as some websites (such as YouTube) have lots of great learning resources. However, there’s also a lot of dangerous and adult material there too. Filtering content allows you to protect the mental health of your students, so they don’t see anything that upsets or disturbs them.

Proactive monitoring gives you the ability to react quickly to any threats to a students’ welfare at all hours of the day. You can intervene early on for any students who are showing a concerning pattern of behaviour.

Filtering and monitoring systems are fantastic tools to help safeguard your students, but they can never guarantee to be 100% effective. That’s why it’s important to stay vigilant and educate your staff and students about safe web surfing!

Government guidelines.

The Department for Education (DfE) has set standards for connectivity in schools. This is so you can make sure you have suitable broadband, safeguarding and security in place, alongside a faster and more reliable internet connection. We can help your school or trust meet these standards!

You should do everything you can to stop your students accessing unsuitable materials through the school network and devices. You can do this by making sure you have good web filtering and proactive monitoring solutions in place. And that it meets the Keeping Children Safe In Education (KCSIE) guidance!

Let us help your school.

Safeguarding and online safety is our biggest focus. We work with Netsweeper and Smoothwall to provide super web filtering that complies with KCSIE, Prevent Duty, Internet Watch and national standards. It filters right down to a device level, so any remote or personal devices on your network are covered too!

We also work with Netsweeper and Senso to bring you proactive monitoring that gives you the confidence your students’ online behaviours are being monitored and categorised in real time. You’ll get alerts when a student becomes at high risk of harm to themselves or others, so you can act straight away.

We’ve also put together an online safeguarding guide for schools. Download it for free!

So if you’re looking for a school broadband provider to keep your school safe, we can help! Just get in touch with us – we’ll chat about the best solutions that could work for your school.

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