All this talk about web filtering - but what about email?

Tuesday, 21st June, 2016

Keeping Children Safe in Education

A consultation to look at revisions to the KCSIE (Keeping Children Safe in Education) guidance took place between December 2015 and February 2016. One of the areas which came under review was internet filters. Currently KCSIE only references internet filters in terms of preventing access to terrorist and extremist materials. The suggested amendments to the guidance include broadening it to ‘any type of potentially harmful and inappropriate online material’. It would also like to introduce the ability to identify children accessing or trying to access this type of content. This all makes perfect sense and is a good step forward in terms of protecting children online.

Don't neglect email

However, from a school or college’s point of view it is important not to neglect email content and what is taking place there in terms of language being used and content coming in and going out. Of course, children will use their personal email for a lot of interactions with their peers, but this just means schools need to be even more vigilant in terms of monitoring what is entering and leaving the school’s email platform.

Using a good email filtering solution such as SecureSmart, IT Admins can set triggers for certain language being used within emails– words, phrases and sentences. If triggered the system quarantines the email and sends a notification to the system administrators to advise them of the breach of the acceptable use policy and who has breached it. This is similar to what is being proposed by the revisions to internet filtering but applied to email – an equally important area to monitor.

The triggers are flexible and can be adjusted as often as is necessary – being applied to certain users or user groups. For example, you can restrict certain words and phrases for students but not for teachers.

Stop inappropriate imagery

Another area which should not be neglected when looking at a school’s email system and protecting children online is the circulation of inappropriate imagery. Using our clever image analysis bolt on, we can scan image attachments looking for anything inappropriate. If anything is found, the email is quarantined and a notification email is sent. From a safeguarding point of view this is a sensible add-on to SecureSMART.

Is your email security and filtering up to the task? Give us a call on 0113 273 0300 to book an online demonstration of this or any of SecureSMART’s features.

P.S - We also provide a premium web filtering product which already handles all the areas being proposed in the consultation – just ask for a quick demonstration.