Your students can now be protected from the worst of the web after school hours with N4L’s new safety filter. Parents can apply the filter to their children’s devices and schools can put it on any  devices they send home with students after school.

There is no cost to use it. 

When activated, children won’t be able to get to unsafe websites such as those with scams, bad software, and content unsuitable for young eyes. 

We set up a website with simple instructions on how to apply the filter to any device.

Given the 1.4 million unsafe websites and 333,000 online threats blocked by the 17,000 households using the filter in its first month, we’d love your support encouraging more families to use it. And while the filter is not a silver bullet, when combined with good digital citizenship, it’s a valuable layer of protection to keep children safe online. 

School feedback
Support for the filter has come from Netsafe, the Ministry of Education, and many principals who’ve actively encouraged their parent communities to use it.

Bream Bay College Principal Wayne Buckland advised his parent community: “It’s not about whether you trust your kids or not, it’s about stopping that world that’s out there which is trying to get on your devices and steal information and do things which are inappropriate.”

Russell School Principal Sose Annandalein agrees: “It’s really important the kids have the N4L filter on their devices to help protect them from unsavoury websites, and stop them going to places where bad apps are lurking and can cause harm. Online safety at home is paramount.”

 

At school N4L protects internet users with our firewall and content filtering that can be customised for every school in line with their internet use policies. An additional layer of online threat protection is also applied, and it’s this technology that’s been used to build the Switch on Safety filter. Together, these systems block millions of threats and unsafe websites every day!

What sites are blocked?
These include those offering pornographic, gambling, cyberbullying, plagiarism, self-harm and drug and alcohol content. Sites associated with viruses, malware and scams, anonymiser services that can be used to defeat filters, and other malicious software designed to infect your device and steal your information are also blocked. You can find the full list of blocked categories on switchonsafety.co.nz

Unlike the filtering at school, users are unable to add sites they want to block; however N4L’s filtering technology continues to add new unsafe websites automatically as they arise. And we can also independently block a bad site quickly that comes to our attention, for example, in consultation with feedback we receive from schools.

What’s next?
While the filter was launched at pace during lockdown to solve an immediate online safety concern for schools and parents, today it’s being used to keep students safer online beyond the school gates. We are continuing to improve the service, taking on board your feedback on how we can make it better and easier to set up.

We’d love you to help spread the word so together we can make learning safer at home.