Becoming CIPA compliant with Google Workspace for Education

Google Workspace Suite for Education has become the most popular cloud platform among schools and districts, with over 70 million users, including teachers, students, and administrators, according to Google.

With that, schools can now communicate and collaborate better inside and outside the classroom, saving on operational costs and incorporating online classes while teaching students the best practices on how to use technology.

CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) is a federal law in the US that requires all K12 schools and libraries to ensure that their students are protected from any harmful online content and/or practices.

If your school allows children to access the internet, you need to be able to track access to inappropriate content on the school and library computers, and you must adopt and implement an “Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures,” that “must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) or harmful to minors.” and also ensure “the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications.” according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

 Complementing Google Workspace for Education CIPA Compliance #

With GAT Shield, not only can you see granular detail in real-time for all the browsing activity of your users, but you can also view the exact URL as outlined in the following post:

On top of that, we’ve recently launched a new section under the GAT Shield Configuration area titled ‘General & CIPA’

By simply clicking this box, GAT Shield enables CIPA compliance over your entire domain or any selected group, organization unit, or set of users.

When this is activated the following features will be enabled:

  •  A special URL filtering category called CIPA-Compliant-Category is enabled and all sites under this category are blocked.
  •  Strict Safe Search for both words and images is enabled on Google search (Age-appropriate content).
  •  Restricted YouTube access is enabled (Age-appropriate content).
  •  Access to websites via IP addresses is blocked (this blocks access to proxies that are not covered by name also).

On top of that, each category can be individually tailored or expanded under its respective configuration area on the left side menu.

  • URL access category could be edited only there

We strongly recommend this setting for all educational domains. #

How? Simply follow the following steps:

Navigate to Shield > Configuration > General & CIPA > CIPA Compliance 

In the CIPA Compliance fill in the details required

  • Enable CIPA Compliant features – use the checkmark to enable or disable the feature
  • Scope –  select which users to have the rule applied for
  • Save – click to save the rule

When the Rule is saved.

The CIPA Compliance will be enabled

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