We can all agree that the word “Google” has entered the common lexicon and is now commonly used by youngsters. And they frequently resort to the use of the term “Google” to look up information.
The safety and security of your kids and children online should be a top priority for you as educators, teachers, and parents.
We must begin with the fundamental ideas of digital citizenship and digital literacy. Google is a go-to resource for many young people and students of all ages, whether they’re doing research for school or just browsing the web for leisure.
Some statistics on the prevalence of technology in the classroom are as follows.
- Almost 63% of K-12 educators use some form of technology or technological app every day.
- University of Phoenix College of Education found that the percentage of students who use technology in class every day rose from 55% in 2016 to 61% in 2017.
- Almost half of all educators today make use of some sort of digital learning tool in the classroom.
- The majority of teachers (86%) said that laptops are the most useful tool for teaching in the classroom.
- Among faculty, 41% are active on social media.
- Only about one-fifth of schools have 3D printers in operation.
This exemplifies why using Google to search for information is so advantageous. Some of the ways in which today’s pupils benefit from using laptops and desktop computers in the classroom are as follows.
- Youngsters are highly flexible and open to new and interesting approaches to education.
- Online resources are typically more up-to-date than printed volumes. The most recent data can be accessed with the help of modern technology.
- Youngsters can benefit from cutting-edge instructional methods like virtual reality.
- Today’s world desperately needs the kinds of cutting-edge education that are attainable only via the use of computers. Among these are skills like programming, website development, and photo editing.
- You can reap the benefits of increased productivity.
- The next steps can be monitored.
Why Is Filtering Needed?
The use of computers and other forms of technology in the classroom has expanded, along with the associated dangers. If your pupils have access to the internet, they may look up inappropriate material, such as graphic depictions of violence.
Google’s open environment makes it easy to find disturbing, violent, sexual, off-putting, and generally improper stuff and material that you probably wouldn’t want your kids or pupils to encounter. While it’s true that no single entity can regulate the entire internet, schools can play a role in limiting children’s exposure to inappropriate material by filtering out unwanted sites.
Why Is Web Filtering and Safe Search Necessary in Classrooms?
You may be wondering, “What is a safe search?” Protecting users’ information when they search helps to keep the internet safe. The primary responsibility of a school is to ensure the safety of your children as they learn and gain knowledge.
This is why many educational institutions prohibit students from accessing certain websites due to their potentially inappropriate content. In order to safeguard children from potentially hazardous material, some schools have begun to limit access to specific websites.
Schools must find a middle ground between openness and security. Master the optimal methods for establishing your Google Admin Console.
Since there will always be more sites to discover, keeping track of the ones you want to restrict can be a tedious and time-consuming process. But, software designed specifically for parents will ease the burden on teachers in this regard. GoGuardian Filtering allows you to filter even unblocked websites. Real-time filtering allows you to protect your pupils or youngsters from inappropriate material.
Keep in mind that thumbnail images are frequently returned in image search results and that some of these images may not be acceptable for students or children to view. Safe search and other forms of internet filtering are great ways to avoid ever seeing naked people online.
Web filtering helps parents keep their children safe from inappropriate content such as graphic depictions of violence against children and adults, terrorist propaganda, and drug-related material.
Additionally, even searching for something seemingly harmless, like “jugs,” can lead to improper results that you wouldn’t want your children to view.
In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to limit children’s exposure to violent and sexually explicit material online. In order to qualify for certain federal money, namely e-rate monies, the act mandates that all K-12 schools and libraries implement appropriate internet and web filters to safeguard students from inappropriate online content.
This reduces the cost of technology for qualified institutions like schools and libraries.
Extremism, Violent Images, and Terrorism
Students and children can be shielded from exposure to extremist and terrorist content on the web by using filters.
Malware and Phishing
Modern web filtering provides schools with the means to ensure that their students have access to the internet while being shielded from malicious and potentially harmful content, such as malware and phishing sites.
Remember that cybercriminals use phony encryption to plant malware on your computer; however, you can lessen this risk by employing measures like site filtering and secure search.
There’s always the chance that instead of visiting instructive sites, students would waste hours perusing their social media feeds and playing online games. Web filtering is a simple and effective way to avoid this danger.
What Is SafeSearch Filtering?
SafeSearch, a feature of popular search engines like Google, is an excellent automatic filter for pornographic, controversial, and other offensive content.
Students can enter any term they like, safe in the knowledge that no dangerous or problematic results will be returned, even if they choose to use sexually explicit language.
GoGuardian Web Filtering helps you prevent students from accessing websites that could compromise school security, such as those that are inappropriate for students or have been compromised by hackers.
Filtering the content of incoming web pages is what web filtering does to determine what can safely be shown to users. Hence, web filtering prevents users from accessing specific URLs by blocking browsers from fetching documents from those URLs.
Google’s SafeSearch feature, which filters out pornographic and other potentially objectionable results from search results and Google Images, is a handy tool. The search results for websites containing inappropriate language are filtered out using a keyword filter.
SafeSearch Lock lets you decide who can modify your preferences.
Keep in mind, though, that SafeSearch has its limitations and is not perfect. For instance, due to DNS restrictions, SafeSearch will not prevent you from accessing data that was already cached on your browser and machine before you enabled SafeSearch.
But, you can force a reload of your web browser or computer to force a rewrite of cached data. This may take up to a day to complete. Additional constraints include:
- On and off are the only two options available.
- The sensitivity setting is fixed and cannot be changed.
- Also, you have no ability to single out particular websites for approval or disapproval.
- This feature only works in certain browsers.
- Cookies are necessary for the functionality of this site.
Protect your students with GoGuardian, a superior keyword-based online filter. It can be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to Google’s SafeSearch to keep young people safe when searching the internet.
How to Turn on Google Safe Search?
SafeSearch can be activated via the Google Safe Search settings page.
- Go to Google’s homepage after signing in.
- To adjust your settings, select it. Locate it in the bottom right corner.
- Choose Search settings in the new window that appears.
- Mark the box labeled “Enable SafeSearch” and click the button.
- In the SafeSearch Filtering section, select the SafeSearch level you wish to use:
Google Search pages, as well as results that may lead to explicit content, will be subject to strict filtering to exclude sexually explicit images and videos.
Using this filtering level, Google Search results will not display any sexually explicit videos or photos.
Nonetheless, it does not censor search results that may lead to adult-oriented websites. This is the default SafeSearch configuration, so please don’t change it.
When no filtering is selected, SafeSearch filtering is fully disabled.
- Conclude by selecting Save. You may find it in the blue box at the very bottom of your screen.
- It’s important to remember that your search results will be filtered if you choose to “Switch on SafeSearch” (see Step 7). When it’s not checked, it won’t restrict your search results and will show you everything that matches your criteria.
- To secure SafeSearch on a device, click the blue “Lock SafeSearch” text and then follow the on-screen instructions.
- When the SafeSearch lock is enabled, two visual cues are added to the top of the search results page: the words “SafeSearch is locked” appear below the search box, and a set of colored balls appears to the right.
- Go to the Search configuration page.
- To secure SafeSearch, choose it and click Lock. It is situated below the filter levels.
- If you are not already signed in to your Google Account, you will be prompted to do so.
- When you log in, make sure to lock SafeSearch. Just a sec while I do this. This is because Google has instituted stringent filtering across all of its domains.
- A confirmation screen will load after you have activated the lock.
How to Turn Off SafeSearch?
Here are the easy actions you may take to disable SafeSearch:
- Your next step is to go back into your Search preferences and enable the feature there. (You’ll need to use the same Google Account you used to turn off Secure Search.)
- After this, you can disable Secure Search.
Read More: How To Drop Pin on Google Maps In 2023?
How to Use GoGuardian Filtering?
The web content filtering service GoGuardian AdminTM is hosted in the cloud. It is ideally suited to assisting elementary through high schools in preventing students and children from viewing inappropriate content online, such as photographs of nudity.
By employing real-time, granular, and context-aware web filtering, we make it possible for you to provide your children and pupils with a secure, digital learning environment.
- Asters serve as “wildcards” in GoGuardian. Wildcards are a powerful feature for use in web filtering, so keep that in mind. Between the wildcards, you can put keywords or URLs that can be blocked or allowed independently of the rest of the URL.
- When a “wildcarded” phrase or domain is restricted or authorized, it affects all URLs that contain that term, or all URL routes inside that domain.
- To implement keyword blocking, simply add the targeted word to your list of exclusions followed by an asterisk. Keep in mind that this function works wonderfully for filtering out any websites that contain the target keyword in their domain.
- As an alternative, you may utilize grouped keywords. For instance, if you add the wildcard character proxy to the block list, any website whose URL includes the term “proxy” will be blocked.
- Use a combination of words as your keywords. If you add harry+potter to the block list, for instance, the system will prevent you from accessing any websites containing that string of characters.
- Sub-domain octets can be used as well. For instance, if you add *.mlb.com to the blacklist, kids will still be able to access mlb.com, but they will be unable to access sub-domains like yankees.mlb.com.
- It is possible to utilize multi-word keywords with more than two wildcards; for instance, adding *unblocked games to the blacklist would prevent any Google search containing those phrases, regardless of the number of characters that might exist between them (represented often by the middle wildcard). Keep in mind that it will also prevent access to any URL that contains both of these words, in either sequence or any combination of those words and any other characters.