Top 6 Reasons Schools Should Decrypt Google Traffic

Schools are increasingly turning to Google services for productivity, collaboration, communication, research, and more. And when they do, the biggest challenge is being able to monitor and filter user activity across that encrypted Google traffic. Once traffic is encrypted (as Google and other services increasingly are), it’s more difficult to get full information on the URLs and activity for your web filtering and reporting. The solution is decrypting Google-bound traffic as a trusted man in the middle proxy. We’ll cover the why first and then get to the how.


1. To report on suspicious search terms
Suspicious search reporting is one of the most-used features of our Web Filter, and with good reason: knowing what users are searching can help you identify and prevent potentially dangerous situations. To report on users who are searching for self-harm keywords, violence, or proxies to circumvent filtering, you need full visibility into the search parameters. And with Google encrypting their searches, this means you need to decrypt them to see them. Learn more here.

2. To block inappropriate images from Google search results
Have you noticed inappropriate images showing up in Google image search results? Again, decryption is the solution. The combination of decrypting Google traffic (so we can view the full URL and block accordingly) and Force Safe Search is the best option for keeping those images out of the search results. Learn more here.

3. To selectively allow and block different Google services
Want to allow access to Google search and docs but not Gmail and Hangouts? Because Google delivers its various services from the same base host of, you need full visibility into the URL in order to block some services while allowing others. To get that full visibility you need to decrypt the traffic. Learn more here.

4. To allow some YouTube videos but not all
Some YouTube videos are great educational tools; some aren’t. To allow and block individual YouTube videos, you need visibility into the full URL. To do that, you need to decrypt that Google/YouTube traffic. With Google/YouTube decrypted, you can make granular decisions about what YouTube videos to allow and block. You can also use the Campus Library to easily deliver them. Learn more here.

5. To allow school GAFE email but not personal Gmail
If you want to allow students to access their GAFE school email but NOT their personal Gmail, you once again need the full visibility that decrypting Google traffic provides. Learn more here.

6. To block certain search terms
With our Web Filter, you can set certain keywords to be blocked if a user tries to search them. To do that, you’ll need visibility into the search terms entered – which means you’ll need to decrypt that traffic. Learn more here.


Convinced that you should decrypt Google traffic? Great. The Lightspeed Systems Web Filter provides advanced SSL decryption. You’ll get all the visibility and control you need to keep students protected. We’ll walk you through it step by step in our Community Site documentation.

Learn how to turn decryption on and set up the trusted man in the middle proxy with your Lightspeed Systems Web Filter.

Learn how to use a PAC file to decrypt just Google traffic (or other selected domains).


SSL, Explained – learn more about SSL traffic, how it works and how we handle it in this whitepaper
Real-World SSL Scenarios – discover some other practical uses for SSL decryption

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