Thursday, 8 May 2014

Protecting Tech-savvy kids

Kids these days – they’re have been born and bred in a world which people like myself (despite being 34 years old) have had to get used too. It’s no wonder then that many of today’s kids are much more tech-savvy than their parents. It’s not just a possibility that kids are teaching their parents about technology – it’s a fact of life.

I would also dare say, that kids are most times not just more tech-savvy than their parts, but also more tech-savvy than their educators. And despite web filtering being a most basic need in schools and educational institutions – there are cases when either web filtering is not deployed, or else kids have figured out a way to bypass the web filtering technology.

Sometimes, it’s not even a question of being tech-savvy, it’s just a question of accessibility to information. During my research on web filtering technology I often come across forums with users asking how to bypass their web filtering technology – with many of them being posted by children in schools.

So it’s not really surprising when you read something such as yesterday’s news where it was discovered that fourth and fifth graders in a school in Illinois where able to access pornography at school using a school computer. Despite there is the possibility that kids have managed to bypass the web filtering software themselves, many times the reasons are actually much simpler. Truth be told, cash-strapped schools may simply not bother looking for a complete solution which ensures users aren’t able to access dodgy sites at school.

The good thing is that being cash-strapped is not really an excuse because web filtering technology such as GFI Cloud are very affordable and with a correct setup will ensure that students aren’t able to access pornography or other problematic sites. Parents should do their part too in demanding that good controls are in place.

Specifically in the US federal funding is available for implementation of web filtering and other protective technologies under the Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA). GFI Cloud and other GFI technologies will help schools and other educational institutions achieve CIPA compliance and thus be available for funding.

Steps to prevent the bypassing of web filtering technologies

It’s a good idea to test the web filtering software implementation well before going live. Usually it takes simple steps such as deploying particular group policies on computers, removing administrative rights or other simple ways of protecting the technology in place. It is also a good idea for the company implementing the web filter to actually think like a kid and actually look for ways to bypass the filter. If they can do it, rest assured that the kids will find a way around it too.

GFI Cloud allows you to implement good web filtering technology to help protect students from accessing pornography or bypassing the web filter. If you would like to know more about GFI Cloud – Web Protection server visit: