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General Chat Thread, Report on USB keys in General; Anyone have or know where I can get a good report on the dangers of external storage/usb memory keys etc. ...
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    KWestos's Avatar
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    Report on USB keys

    Anyone have or know where I can get a good report on the dangers of external storage/usb memory keys etc. I am trying to stop our school from using keys and before I broach the subject with SLT I need some backup info.

    Any information will be appreciated

    Cheers

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    I have to admit that I'm all for USB storage, as long as the correct precautions and policies are in place you should have nothing to worry about. How do pupils currently get work to and from home?

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    rad
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    I'd like to know why you are doing this? How can students transfer files between school and home if they have no internet and do you have Terabytes of storage for them to keep work on?

    We allow them, teachers use them and so do SMT and Students. The students here create large Music and Photoshop files which would be a pain for us as we have rubbish stored on our server as it is, let alone having to cope with the zillions of picture files they create.

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    I'd love to do this as we have to rely on staff education to stop them taking items covered by DP out of school on plain unencrypted pen drives, thats the reason I'd like to control them, for the OP I did have some info about the dangers, not sure where I got it from or if I've still got it but I'll do some digging!

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    KWestos's Avatar
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    Thank you for your answers. In an ideal world, the policies and procedures will/would work - but not here unfortunately. The kids mainly bring their pen drives in to play games or listen to music - with the odd virus. Our VLE can store all their data and we have Citrix Access Gateway also.
    With reference to the 'no internet', the children that have no computer and internet - we have provided that for them. We don't use photoshop or anything else. The only files they would use are office (about 99%).
    I appreciate the issues this can cause but the distractions and the issues this causes is huge. There are alternatives to not bringing pen drives in, it's a cultural issue - like everything is - people don't like change! And I can vouch for most of the IT guys on here that they are just a bloody pain!

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    Yes, but can block games, music and 'dodgy' stuff via GPO's and AV quite easily. It seems to me you are now trying to prevent the application of technology because of some (admittedly) reasonable fears, all of which can be addressed with a small amount of work.

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    There are many reasons to stop their usage:

    Data Protection issues.
    Virus infections.
    Data integrity (ie. when people decide to use them instead of, rather than as well as, server storage).
    Potential for theft/loss.
    'Pen drive envy' - ie. some kid starts a trend with fancy looking ones, and the poorer kids can't afford, therefore resulting in bullying or damage to self-esteem.

    The apps/music issue isn't particularly one I'd be worrying about, as it is simple to deal with via software.

    Regardless of how many 'paper policies' you have in place to deal with some of those issue, you will never be able to prevent it all. All it would take is for a child to steal a teacher's pen drive containing some personal info and you have a major issue.

    So, in a way, I agree with the OP here - pen drives are dangerous. Broadband penetration is now at around 70% in the UK, with the 30% remaining mostly being made up of OAPs. The poor kids who can't afford it wouldn't have a PC at home either, and would make use of in school provision for access. (We are in an area deemed to be one of the poorest in the country, yet we only have a handful of kids in the school who use our PCs for their homework out of normal school hours). There is no real excuse for not using your VLE, or using your email to transfer files.

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    I assume you are aiming this at the staff? As most of your concerns will/should already be identified in your AUP. But if you are trying to stop your school from going down the USB route, surely you need to address the cause of your concerns and not limit technology? If you are concerned that staff will not be respsonsible, what is stopping them from emailing and/or taking laptops with data which is private?

    You would probably be better trying to raise awareness,and as localzuk says, it doesn't matter how many policies you have in place, you need to be able to enforce those policies. SMT need to realise how important correct use is, there is always a potential for human error which could result in a major issue.

    Technology can only go so far, you then need to rely on people.

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