Signs It’s Time to Switch to a New Web Filter

The technology school IT departments manage has changed rapidly as you’re moving to digital learning programs; more devices, more mobility, more collaboration. If you’re not using Lightspeed Filter™ and the latest filtering technology, it might be time to switch to a new web filter.
Your web filter is a critical part of your technology stack, your student safety, and your distance learning success. Make sure you’re getting the protection you need with the latest technology, including AI that can properly categorize content and activity and identify risky behaviors; the cloud, which can bring scalability, speed, and seamless mobility to your filtering (while reducing cost and management); and Smart Agents that simplify and secure your filtering with powerful anytime, anywhere agents and SSL decryption right on the device.

Think your web filter is…ok? When it comes to student safety, just ok is not enough. Here are signs it’s time to switch to a new web filter.

1. You’re managing more than one solution. 60% of schools at a recent webinar reported managing multiple filters. 100% of school IT staff don’t have time for that.

2. You’re not proactive about student monitoring and safety. Suicide among young people is at a 30-year high; school violence is a growing concern across your community; cyberbullying is cited as a top concern for IT directors, counselors, parents, and students. When it comes to student safety, your web filter activity can have clues to student mindset and intent that can save lives — but you need smart AI and proactive, automated alerts on student safety risks rather than having to dig into logs when it’s too late.

3. You’re still fighting with YouTube. With 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s no wonder managing access to only safe, and appropriate YouTube content is a struggle. You can’t count on Google or video uploads to accurately categorize content, and there’s simply too much content to manage on your own.

4. You’re running a man-in-the-middle proxy. While a trusted MITM proxy, PAC files, and trust certificates are necessary to decrypt the traffic you need to effectively filter and report on things like Google search and YouTube, you don’t need to deal with those hassles yourself.

5. You have black holes in activity. You need comprehensive and accurate reports that give insights into all activity (including things like search and Google docs), that are visual and easy to share with non-tech users, and that have detail to drill into issues for investigation. The top web filtering frustration identified by webinar attendees was that reporting wasn’t detailed or actionable enough. You need to choose the filter with the best reporting.

6. Parents have questions or concerns. With school devices going home, parents often have questions about safety, filtering, monitoring, and overall device use and screen time. You need to be able to address those concerns without overburdening already-overburdened staff and resources.

Some other signs?

  • You spend too much time in your filter, adjusting policies and re-categorizing sites.
  • You can’t get the reports you need without exports and Excel.
  • You’re using a separate solution for student monitoring that doesn’t have the context (or the AI) behind it.
  • Teachers are frustrated about tech integration in the classroom.
  • You don’t feel confident delegating because you can’t control access and roles.
  • You just keep adding more hardware.
  • You have no idea if your ed-tech resources are being fully utilized.
    You’re worried about student data privacy when it comes to filtering and monitoring.
    Fortunately, we have you covered with Lightspeed Filter.

Find out more in the ON-DEMAND WEBINAR, New Year, New Filter? Signs It’s Time for a Change.

Further Reading