keep your kids safe online

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

As part of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), many states have laws in place for filtering internet content in public schools and libraries. Explore the map below to learn more about the CIPA laws in your state.

Internet Laws by State

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California
Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia
Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey
New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont
Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Most providers include parental controls with their internet plans, but they may not offer the same settings. Use internet safety conversations with your kids to help you make a list of the parental controls you need. This will give you an idea of what to look for when researching internet service providers.

Set up internet filtering.

Use your router or internet service provider’s security app to configure internet filtering. This works just like the filtering system on library and public school computers and lets you control which websites your child can access. Your internet service provider has a manual detailing how to do this, or you can click below for more information on how to set up internet filtering with these major providers:

Block websites and keywords you don’t want your child to access.

Blocking websites and keywords is the easiest way to ensure your child only has access to trusted internet content. You can block websites and keywords through your router or internet service provider’s security app. Another way to configure internet filtering is by only allowing your child access to certain websites and keywords. Rather than blocking specific content, you grant access to approved website URLs and keywords. This means all other content is blocked.

Schedule when your child can access the internet.

Setting an internet schedule, or a window of time when your child has access, is another great option for keeping him or her safe online. Similar to blocking websites and keywords, you can set up access times through your router or internet service provider’s security app. With an internet schedule, your child will only be able to browse the internet during designated times. So, if you set a start time of 4:00pm and an end time of 8:00pm for Monday through Friday, then your child will only be able to get online during this window.

Limiting time spent in front of the computer may also benefit your child’s development. “Excessive time online or in front of a computer can cause problems with vision and neurological problems, especially in developing children,” explains personal safety expert Peter J. Canavan. When creating an internet schedule for your child, make sure they have enough time for homework and some social activities. And, encourage your child to foster interests beyond the internet.

Add your “trusted devices” to bypass parental control settings.

Some internet service providers let you set your personal devices as “trusted devices.” These devices will be able to access websites blocked by parental control settings. This way, you can keep parental controls in place on your child’s devices while bypassing them on your own.

Wrap up

CIPA laws for schools or libraries may not extend to the home, but that doesn’t mean your child’s home internet experience has to go unprotected. Educating your child on internet safety and creating a list of the parental control options you need will help you choose which internet service provider will work best for you and your family. Keep your child informed about why internet safety is important. By encouraging your child to make smart choices while online, you’re helping them develop the confidence to use the internet safely and respectfully.

Alabama Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Alaska Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Arizona Internet Laws

Requires public libraries to install software or develop policies to prevent minors from gaining access on the Internet to materials harmful to minors. Requires public schools to install computer software that would prevent minors from gaining access to materials harmful to minors.

Arkansas Internet Laws

Requires school districts to develop a policy and to adopt a system to prevent computer users from accessing materials harmful to minors. Requires public libraries to adopt a policy to prevent minors from gaining access to materials harmful to them.

California Internet Laws

Requires public libraries that receive state funds to adopt a policy regarding Internet access by minors.

Colorado Internet Laws

Requires public schools to adopt and enforce reasonable policies of Internet safety that will protect children from obtaining harmful material. Provides grants to publicly supported libraries, including school libraries, that equip public access computers with filtering software and that have policies to restrict minors from accessing obscene or illegal information. Requires public libraries to adopt a policy of Internet safety for minors that includes the operation of a technology protection measure for computers with Internet access.

Connecticut Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Delaware Internet Laws

Requires public libraries to have acceptable use policies and prohibits the use of library computers or mobile devices to access illegal or obscene materials. The minor’s parent or guardian must specify the level of access to the Internet the minor may have.

Florida Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Georgia Internet Laws

Requires public schools and public libraries to adopt and enforce reasonable policies of Internet safety that will protect children from access to harmful material. Prohibits a public school or library from receiving state funds unless it implements and enforces the acceptable-use policy.

Hawaii Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Idaho Internet Laws

Requires each local school district in the state to adopt and file an internet use policy with the state superintendent of public instruction. The policy, approved by the local board of trustees, shall require filtering technology that blocks internet materials that are harmful to minors, establish disciplinary measures for violators, and provide a component of internet safety to be integrated into the schools instructional program. Requires public libraries receiving public moneys that provide access to the Internet to the public to adopt an Internet safety policy that will protect against access to visual depictions that are obscene, are child pornography or are harmful to minors.

Illinois Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Indiana Internet Laws

Requires public library boards to adopt a policy concerning the appropriate use of the Internet or other computer network by library patrons in all areas of the library. The policy must be readily available to all library patrons and each board must review the policy annually.

Iowa Internet Laws

Requires public libraries that apply for and receive state “Enrich Iowa Program” money to have and Internet use policy in place.

Kansas Internet Laws

Requires any school district that provides public access to a computer to implement and enforce technology protection measures to ensure that no minor has access to visual depictions that are child pornography, harmful to minors or obscene. Any public library that provides public access to a computer shall implement and enforce technology protection measures to ensure that no minor has access to visual depictions that are child pornography, harmful to minors or obscene, etc.

Kentucky Internet Laws

Requires the Department of Education to develop regulations to prevent sexually explicit material from being transmitted via education technology systems.

Louisiana Internet Laws

Requires schools to adopt policies regarding students’ and school employees’ access to certain Internet and online sites.

Maine Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Maryland Internet Laws

Requires county-state libraries to adopt policies to prevent minors from obtaining access to obscene materials via the Internet.

Massachusetts Internet Laws

Requires public schools providing computer access to students to have a policy regarding internet safety measures to protect students from inappropriate subject matter and materials that can be accessed via the Internet.

Michigan Internet Laws

Requires libraries to use a system to prevent minors from viewing obscene or sexually explicit matter, or to reserve separate terminals exclusively for adults or children so as to prevent minors’ access to obscene or sexually explicit matter.

Minnesota Internet Laws

Requires public library computers with access to the Internet available for use by children to be equipped to restrict, including by use of available software filtering technology or other effective methods, access to material that is reasonably believed to be obscene or child pornography or material harmful to minors. Also requires public libraries that receive state money to prohibit, including through the use of available software filtering technology or other effective methods, adult access to material that under federal or state law is reasonably believed to be obscene or child pornography.

Mississippi Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Missouri Internet Laws

Requires public school and public libraries with public access computers to either (a) equip the computer with software or a service to restrict minors’ access to material that is pornographic for minors, or (b) develop a policy that establishes measures to restrict minors from gaining access to such material.

Montana Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Nebraska Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Nevada Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

New Hampshire Internet Laws

Requires school boards to adopt a policy regarding Internet access for school computers, and establishes liability for violation of the policy.

New Jersey Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

New Mexico Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

New York Internet Laws

Requires public libraries to establish policies concerning patron use of computers.

North Carolina Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

North Dakota Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Ohio Internet Laws

Requires internet- or computer-based community schools to use a filtering device or install filtering software that protects against Internet access to materials that are obscene or harmful to juveniles. Requires the schools to provide free filtering devices or software to students who work from home.

Oklahoma Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Oregon Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Pennsylvania Internet Laws

Requires school boards and publicly-funded libraries to adopt and enforce acceptable use policies for Internet access that include the (1) use of software programs reasonably designed to block access to visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography or material that is harmful to minors; or (2) selection of online servers that block access to visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography or material that is harmful to minors.

Rhode Island Internet Laws

Requires each school district to adopt the model written policy developed by the Department of Education that addresses the use of Internet filtering measures for computer access in schools; requires the Department to develop and post the model for use by all school districts including State schools, charter schools, and mayoral academies consistent with federal law contained on the Department’s website.

South Carolina Internet Laws

Requires publicly funded libraries and public school libraries to adopt policies intended to reduce the ability of the user to access websites displaying obscene material. Also establishes a pilot program to evaluate the use of filtering software in libraries.

South Dakota Internet Laws

Requires schools to equip computers with filtering software or to adopt policies to restrict minors from access to obscene materials.

Tennessee Internet Laws

Requires the development of acceptable Internet use policies for public and private schools to protect children from certain online material.

Texas Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Utah Internet Laws

Prohibits a public library from receiving state funds unless the library enforces measures to filter Internet access to certain types of images; allows a public library to block materials that are not specified in this bill; and allows a public library to disable a filter under certain circumstances. Requires local school boards to adopt and enforce a policy to restrict access to Internet or online sites that contain obscene material. Requires a school district or charter school that purchases educational technology to ensure that adequate on and off campus Internet filtering is in place. Also imposes duties related to safe technology utilization and digital citizenship.

Vermont Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Virginia Internet Laws

Requires public libraries to adopt Internet use policies. Requires public schools to adopt Internet use policies that 1) prohibit transmitting or viewing illegal material on the Internet, 2) prevent access by students to materials the school determines harmful, 3) select technology to filter or block child pornography and obscenity. Requires each school division to post its Internet use policies on its website.

Washington Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

West Virginia Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Wisconsin Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

Wyoming Internet Laws

No CIPA laws in this state.

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