Student Safeguarding in a Multi-Academy Trust – Is Your Web Filter Exposing Your Students to Risk?

3 minute read
By Smoothwall

Did you know that if the web filters used across your Multi-Academy Trust aren’t real-time you could be exposing your pupils to appalling content.

Here’s why..

Nearly all Web Filters refer to lists known as blocklists when determining which websites to block. These blocklists can be bought or in most cases, are created by the filter vendors themselves. They are created by the vendor spotting new content that could be harmful or inappropriate, manually assessing it and then adding it to their lists for blocking.

In the better filters, this process can take a day or days. In the most basic filters, this can take weeks or even months. And this assumes that the harmful content has been seen in the first place. In many cases it is not.
And understandably so.

In reality, abhorrent content – which can include not just websites, but new pages on existing sites, blog posts, forums, micro messages, audio files, imagery and much more – is going live every second of every day. To catch it all is virtually impossible. But a delay in making it onto the blocklist, even by a few hours, could expose your pupils to all manner of atrocity.

To fully protect your pupils at all times there can be no gap between harmful content going live and your Filter’s ability to block it. That means the Filter must assess and then allow or disallow content ‘on the fly’. In this way, it makes no difference whether harmful content went live 2 seconds ago or 2 years ago. If a pupil tries to access inappropriate content, intentionally or unintentionally, the Filter will spot it and block it. Pupils are protected at all times. No compromises.

Smoothwall Filter is the leading and only genuine real-time Filter in UK education.

Whatever web filters are used by your MAT or the schools in your MAT, it’s time to reassess their capability, route out any weaknesses and ensure your digital safety is robust enough to properly protect the wellbeing and safety of your students in this changed landscape.

Other articles in our MAT series:

Student Safeguarding in a Multi-Academy Trust.
A Quick Guide to The Five Digital Safety Technologies Available in UK Education

Student Safeguarding in a Multi-Academy Trust.
How to reach vulnerable students who may be suffering in silence

Student Safeguarding in a Multi-Academy Trust.
New ways for ensuring joined up and accessible safeguarding data in your MAT

Student Safeguarding in a Multi-Academy Trust.
How to know if you are digitally safeguarding some pupils more than others – and what to do about it

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