Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Make the Internet Safer for Students

The age of the internet can be a scary place to raise kids. Once upon a time, if a kiddo was interested in more adult topics, their only resource was the bank of encyclopedias. These days, even completely innocuous searches can uncover some pretty eye opening content, and kids are connected to the internet now more than ever. To the standard user, tools like Google SafeSearch are heartening, but hardly block out all the bad.

Consider the weighty responsibility of keeping content clean for a household of children, then imagine the exponential growth of that weight when you’re the one responsible for hundreds, or even thousands, of other people’s children as in a school environment. Sure, schools have more tools at their fingertips to control the safety of the information kids are accessing, but ask your average 7th grader how to get around their school’s proxy and they can walk you through it step by step. Schools who use Chromebooks are able to blacklist and whitelist different sites, but putting blanket permissions of sites with aggregate information can be cutting off your nose to spite your face: not all of YouTube is foul, after all.

Developers Vinay Mahadik and Bharath Madhusudan saw that need. “We conceptualized Securly when co-founder Vinay noticed his six-year old nephew accidentally viewing an inappropriate video on YouTube,” Mr. Madhudsan told Newmind. “Since then we have used our 17+ years of collective enterprise network security experience to build a web filter that protects kids without blocking out modern educational social media tools such as YouTube, Google and Wikipedia from being used in the classroom.”

Securly is different than other filtering solutions because it is designed for schools from the ground up, and acknowledges that there isn’t always a clear demarcation between good and bad. Securly focuses on granular controls on every device, even in 1:1 programs that allow hardware to leave the building.

Newmind is excited to be partnering with Securly in making the EDU environment safer for students and easier for administrators. Learn more about Securly at Newmind’s upcoming webinars.