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How Students Are Able to Bypass School Filtering With Proxies (and Why It's a Problem)

Updated: May 2

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Students are a resourceful bunch so it should be no surprise that many have discovered ways to bypass school filtering systems. Before we explore the challenges this creates, let's take a quick look at how students sometimes use proxy websites to bypass school filters.


How to Get Around School Content Filtering

The internet is a vast and ever-evolving landscape, and tech-savvy students can very easily locate detailed directions on how to get around school content filtering. A multitude of online resources, some hidden in plain sight, offer students step-by-step guides on "how to get around school filters." These resources often point them towards proxy websites.


What Are Proxy Web Sites and Why Are They So Appealing?

Proxy websites act as a middleman between a student's device and the internet. Imagine a student trying to reach a blocked website. Instead of connecting directly, the student connects to the proxy website first. The proxy website then fetches the content from the blocked website and relays it back to the student's device, effectively masking their online activity. This allows students to potentially bypass school filters and access restricted content.


The problem with this approach is twofold. First, the world of proxy websites is constantly growing and evolving. New proxy sites pop up all the time, making it nearly impossible for traditional filtering technology to keep pace. This creates a frustrating game of cat-and-mouse for school IT departments. IT staff spend countless hours adding new proxy URLs to their blocklists, only to find students discovering new workarounds seemingly overnight. It's a constant battle that consumes valuable IT resources and ultimately proves ineffective in large part because outdated list-based filtering technology is still used by the vast majority of IT Depts.


This cycle of blocking and unblocking is not only inefficient but also ineffective. Here's why:

  • Wasted Resources: IT departments spend a significant amount of time and resources maintaining blocklists, diverting them from other critical tasks.

  • Ineffective Filtering: New proxy sites appear constantly, rendering traditional blocklists outdated almost as soon as they're updated.

  • Potential CIPA Violations: Inadvertent access to inappropriate content through proxy sites can put a school district out of compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA requires schools to implement filtering and monitoring systems to protect students from online pornography and other harmful content.

  • Compromised Learning Environment: Distracting content accessed through proxies can hinder student focus and disrupt the effectiveness of digital learning environments.

Image of teacher frustrated by students playing games in class

 

The bottom line? Current filtering solutions simply can't keep up with the ingenuity of students determined to bypass restrictions. This leaves schools in a precarious position, potentially jeopardizing student safety and maximizing the potential for misuse of school-issued devices.


A New Dawn in School Filtering: Introducing ProxyGuard by Deledao

Deledao, a leading innovator in education technology, understands the challenges schools face with traditional filtering solutions. That's why we've revolutionized the game with the introduction of ProxyGuard™, a groundbreaking technology added to our award-winning, research-based real-time AI filtering product, ActiveScan™.


ProxyGuard™ is the first technology of its kind that automatically recognizes and blocks proxy websites. This eliminates the need for IT departments to manually maintain blocklists, freeing up valuable resources and ensuring a more efficient and effective filtering solution.

 

Here's how ProxyGuard benefits schools:

  • Automated Proxy Detection: ProxyGuard utilizes cutting-edge AI to automatically identify and block proxy sites, stopping students before they can bypass filters.

  • Reduced IT Burden: IT staff are no longer bogged down by maintaining blocklists, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives.

  • Enhanced CIPA Compliance: By effectively blocking proxy access, ProxyGuard helps schools maintain CIPA compliance and safeguard student safety.

  • Maximized Technology Investment: ProxyGuard ensures school-issued devices are used for their intended purpose – learning – and not for accessing distractions or inappropriate content.

  • Improved Learning Environment: By eliminating distractions, ProxyGuard creates a more focused and productive learning environment for all students.

We understand that keeping students safe and focused online is a top priority. To help you see how ProxyGuard can transform your school's content filtering and empower student success, we'd be happy to discuss it with you in more detail and provide a brief demonstration for both you and your IT team.


Let's work together to streamline IT management, ensure CIPA compliance, and create a more productive learning environment for all. Contact Deledao to get started today!

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