The Internet has revolutionized our lives. At the push of a few buttons, children have access to infinite knowledge and content. The problem is not all of this content is safe. Some of the content on the Internet is obscene and harmful. At home, children have their parents monitor their Internet use and exposure. At school and libraries, children are left unmonitored. For this reason, Congress enacted the Children’s Internet Protection Act or CIPA.
What is CIPA
Congress enacted the CIPA bill in 2000 to address concerns about what obscene or harmful material minors could be exposed to online. They feared that exposure to harmful content could have lasting negative effects on children’s mental and physical health, and they were right. Studies show that children who view harmful content are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors and suffer from depression and anxiety.
The CIPA requires schools to adopt an Internet safety policy that addresses inappropriate content, unlawful activities, unauthorized disclosure, and internet safety. Inappropriate content is an all-encompassing term that applies to any web content that could be considered inappropriate, harmful, or even illegal. Some of this content includes sex, nudity, violence, or things that lack educational value.
Schools must also address unlawful activities. This means that schools are legally required to ensure that students are not using the Internet for nefarious activities. Some of these unlawful activities include hacking and the distribution of child pornography. The latter can occur if students are communicating with one another on school-issued devices or technology.
Finally, schools have a duty to prevent unauthorized disclosure and to provide general Internet safety. Schools and libraries are required to prevent the unauthorized use and distribution of personal information that deals with minors. Additionally, they must protect students who are using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct communication.
Choosing a CIPA Compliance Partner
The growing complexities of an educational environment coupled with the increase in cyber security incidents targeting schools weighs heavily on the minds of tech directors and school boards. The weight of liability and compliance along with the high stakes associated with being responsible for astronomical amounts of student data is daunting. As schools adopt managed services, finding one you trust and who understands the nuances of working in educational environments is key, especially when preparing for a security audit.
SecureWon’s unique approach is steeped in the knowledge of how K-12 schools function and recognize that school schedules and practices often don’t align well with 9-5 standard business practices. However, their technology departments need to plan, prepare and deliver services 24×7, oftentimes understaffed and underfunded.
Working within unique constraints and restrictive budgets requires us to be collaborative, strategic, and creative with timelines in order to provide the type of customer support and service our education clients need
SecureWon at its core is a national technology services company. What separates us from other technology service providers is our commitment to providing superior documentation and accurate reporting of your organization’s security posture. This attention to detail and quality of our services is what drives us. Contact us today for a free assessment of your technology infrastructure.