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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Pupils 'bypassing school internet security in Technical; They will always go for the easiest option. I disagree, the majority are only interested in the zero cost option! ...
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    m25man's Avatar
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    They will always go for the easiest option.

    I disagree, the majority are only interested in the zero cost option!
    The kids are far smarter than many network managers, as for the parents the closest many come to the Internet is paying the bill!
    Unfortunately the ignorance of the many combined with the actions of the few will probably end up with the nanny state forcing us all to have state filtered connections!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Bat_ View Post
    However, as soon as you mention the words 'network filter' to most parents after they ask your advice, they switch off.
    Therefore there's a possible market for a plug-it-in-and-it-just-works home network firewall / filter / file server device, with up-to-date filtering provided by a cloud-based system. A simple plug-in replacement for the home broadband router would be the way to go: just add a 2.5" harddrive for shared storage, maybe the ability to act as a print server, and a proxy that sends any traffic to a cloud-based filtering service. What might be nice is for the hardware to be provided through the school and use the same filtering settings so you could be assured your home filter and the school filter filtered the same things.

    --
    David Hicks

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    john's Avatar
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    Netgear already do make one, it has Trend Micro software on some of themm I've never tried it out, but they have one and its a couple of clicks and as its on the router it doesn't rely on the PC updating it.

    NETGEAR Integrates Trend Micro Security Software Into Its Routers Product Line is an article from a while ago when they first started doing it So its a step in the right direction, also don't the BT Home Hubs have something in them?

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    chrisredfield93's Avatar
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    hmm i know this might be a good topic but I thought schools connect to the JANET network, and well for school the ISP should be also keeping an eye on sites that should definite be blocked in schools since like illegal file sharing, yes i know it prevent companies such as websence making money but it a serious issue that should be dealt with because we know that isn't anything academic. I also assume every school has a Fixed IP-address, i know sites can go up and down loads of times but surely they can provide blacklist and then review because if a site is wrong it don't take 5min to say is this suitable or not.

    This is my opuion but it also cut down the illegal activities at home yes i know also ISP can lose customers if other ISPs do this but it cut down the illegal activites, im not here saying we should do the great firewall of china here and yes i know people will always attempt to find ways round it

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    1 - All schools connected via the NEN have filtering in place. The minimum level is the IWF blacklist but pretty much all RBCs (can't think of an exception atm) will have been through, or are due to re-apply for, Becta accreditation for the filtering solution.

    2 - Becta Accredited filtering levels are good if you want to work in a whitelist situation. You get the sites you want to use and then add them to a whitelist that works alongside the Becta level. This means that all sites are either OK as the becta accredited filters have a good hit rate of capturing inappropriate stuff or the site has been checked by a member of staff at the school / LA / RBC. However, this is both time consuming and is unrealistic to be used in most schools.

    3 - Most RBCs will give a certain amount of flexibility about filtering levels. NB most of my experience with this is via EMBC but I am aware of how most other RBCs are working ... and it is all pretty similar. It is usually the choice of the LA though as to exactly how much choice is given to schools ... and it may seem harsh to say it but some schools neither have the staff nor the understanding to manage it properly. I would not expect a small primary with IT support in only once a half-term to be constantly updating whitelists ... it is a matter of compromise and risk management.

    4 - Technology is not the answer. I have blogged about this before and ranted on camera at events before. Technology is a tool that can be used int eh solution but in the same way we need parents to be more active at home we also need to provide more options for classroom management to take control of this.

    5 - Blocking things is not the answer - education is ... and the closer you get to giving students more freedom of choice the more you have to impress on the the responsibility they have with that choice, and the consequences should they abuse it. Hey ... isn't that how society is based ... by all means be able to by kitchen knives in the supermarket but if you carry them around then here are the consequences! It applies to so much more that just internet usage!

    I was asked for comments too (and passed them towards Tom too ... a tad disappointed they didn't take an interest in what you had to say, Tom) but I am also working on some guidance at the moment for local schools and though it would be best to wait for that to go out instead.

    Out of interest would people like to see a guide for locking things down with the different types of networks for things like external USB drives running browsers, the ability to change proxy settings in IE, locking down RM / CSE / Classlink systems to prevent changes? I know HTTPS is a major issue with some of this now ... with a growing number of proxies using authorative certificates rather than server generated ones/

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