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IT News Thread, Zentek and Manchester Evening News in Other News; Kids abusing school computers - News - Manchester Evening News What do you think? The first comment from Stjohn sums ...
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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    Zentek and Manchester Evening News

    Kids abusing school computers - News - Manchester Evening News

    What do you think? The first comment from Stjohn sums it up for me:

    Congratulations on being suckered into a story peddled by a commercial enterprise. I note that the article talks of schools generating between 50 and 100 alerts per day. This is not the same as children viewing porn at school.

    The article also doesn't mention whether each alert resulted in a child viewing an inappropriate web page. Again, entering a rude word into Google will generate an alert, but the pages that the child is attempting to access will be blocked by the filtereing system. Let's face it, when we were children we all looked up rude words in the dictionary.


    I shall be removing Zentek from my preferred suppliers list when I get back to work Monday.

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Seen this today, and first thought was that the school's cant be using the right Filtering Software - like Smoothwall's SchoolGuardian

    No porn issues at my school!

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    zentek probrably trying to sell there forensics stuff!! since thats the way they are heading.

    also the story probrably true but i wouldnt say mainly porn more trying to play flash games in school etc and facebook. Alot of kids now have iphones so can do what they want in school does that mean we take all phones of kids.you can ban youtube but got an iphone and you have it.

    who gets the blame then parents or the school?

    parents and schools have to educate kids on the dangers!

    mark

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    Zentek use Policy Central which picks up false positives for fun!

    We found that a large proportion of hits are down to YouTube, Google and MSN hotmail etc, not because the students or staff are doing anything they shouldn't but because the page they happen to be visiting contains a few choice words either on the page or within adverts.

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    @Gibbo: That comment has been pulled! The guy has posted another comment which asks for a link to the research - simply impying that it is a load of bull.

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    The comment is still there, but you have to click to see all posts. The Bolton News ran an almost identical "moral panic" article the week before.

    A shame Brian Iddon didn't think to ask the people at the local LEA departments what the actual security/monitoring set up is before spouting hot air in the Commons. but that doesn't get your face in the paper does it?

    http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/searc...il_on_the_web/
    Last edited by conehead; 3rd November 2008 at 01:58 PM.

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    This kind of article is offensive to every member of IT support in a school. It makes it look like we do nothing to protect pupils.

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    They've just pulled the same trick in Liverpool

    Kids crack firewall to view porn in schools - Liverpool Echo.co.uk

    Virtually the same word for word as the Manchester article

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    Dear Edugeeks,

    e-safe education and the Zentek Group welcome feedback, both positive and negative, but would like to ensure that people have the facts made fully available to them in order to allow a fair and balanced view to be put forward on this forum.
    *
    Firstly, I have to emphasise that Zentek was approached by the press in*all instances. The only time we have ever approached the press is to announce our being chosen by an RBC as their preferred e-safety solution partner, after an 18 month selection & due diligence process.

    We were invited to offer our opinion to news reporters as a result of them wanting to understand comments made in the floor of the House of*Commons*by our local and very respected MP – Dr. Brian Iddon - (A member of the cross-party Science and Technology Committee).
    *
    The information that we put forward*was factually correct and can be fully substantiated, subject to some confidentiality agreements put in place with some schools that were audited. Where these are in place we have no choice but to honour them as they are legally binding. Copies of these agreements are also available for scrutiny, should this prove necessary.

    We cannot comment on either the nature or the motives, of any reporter's*article as we have no editorial control, nor visibility of any article prior to them being published.

    We wish to point out to Mr Gibson that our Mr. Colin McKeown did reiterate his own views, in the comments section of one of the articles, which created this section of the forum. He also*indicated to the writer "St John", again from within the comments section, where he confirmed that; subject to validation of the individual and their establishment, he would willingly engage on an individual basis to share the findings. He has yet to receive had any email from that individual.
    *
    We would also point out that the data referenced by the press articles was based upon genuine feedback and evidence from real schools and were most definitely NOT based on any false positives.

    Furthermore, in all cases, the data was captured from systems that were already protected by a variety of nationally accredited perimeter filtering solutions, including one detailed within the thread of this very forum.

    We would stress that we are not maligning the work of Network Managers nor the filtering products selected either by them or advocated by their LA. We*simply present the facts*as we have had them reported to us by our technology systems and*highlight the lengths that users will go to, in order to achieve their aims, whether it be*simply to go to a Social Networking site in order to communicate with their friends during school hours,*or on the more rare occurrence, browse through inappropriate material; which as you should be aware, is often illegal in an educational environment, under the Obscene Publications Act.

    After all of this being said, our evidence suggests that the majority of students’ activities are within the confines of the school AUP and that there is almost always an underlying reason for the minority to be causing concerns when an issue does occur; hence, our positioning of our e-safe solution as a pastoral support and behavioural amendment tool.
    *
    Furthermore, we acknowledge that the filtering and firewall*development communities are working hard to combat current and emerging threat vectors. One of the latest being the addition to many of the latest Becta certified systems being able to detect the difference between self generated SSL certificates and certification authority level certificates; something we now suspect is a route for many attempts to circumvent perimeter security, as users start to deploy sophisticated home proxy facilities.

    The reality is this, however uncomfortable. Users can still get through the best perimeter filtering provision, therefore putting themselves and their school at potential risk once they operate outside of the existing establishment’s security facility. This is acknowledged by Becta, amongst many others. Our belief is that the only effective solution is to monitor activity at the workstations and that this should be done alongside the traditional security protections which we also deem necessary.

    Given the above information, we are hopeful that the members of this forum can put aside any previous prejudices and can acknowledge that we are not looking to malign IT professionals, but to provide them with the latest technological tools to prevent issues from potentially becoming very serious. We would urge those on this forum who view our actions with distrust or contempt to contact schools within their own authority, who are working with us on the e-safety front. We hope that they will be pleasantly surprised by the feedback.

    If anybody wishes to contact us via our website, on these or any other matters, we would happily point them to a number of network managers – specifically not reference sites, who would acknowledge our positive stance on e-safety and how we help them address some difficult issues.

    The Directors – Zentek Solutions & e-safe education Ltd.

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    e-safety

    HI All,

    This makes interesting reading, personally I do believe the education sector has a problem with e-safety, and it does need to be addressed as soon as possible. I.T managers within the city and beyond are working extremely hard to protect student and staff within schools but there are some schools out there who are totally blind to the e-safety concerns within the digital world we live in. I can personally say I have been to a vast number of schools both in and out of the city, some schools are doing fantastic jobs however some schools are not addressing concerns (possible negligence) as you probably well know I have a professional working relationship with Zentek Solutions and find the e-safe education software package fit for purpose and also robust, I can assure you I am somewhat uninterested whether schools employ the e-safe package or other limited packages that are out there. I have no personal or financial ties whatsoever with Zentek Solutions but I will keep pushing for press regarding e-safety concerns both within Liverpool and beyond.

    I can also assure you that my involvement in the Liverpool Echo article was merely to say how good the city and the I.T managers are with regards to trying to make e-safety as easy as 1-2-3. The Liverpool Echo have totally misconstrued the article as they are merely wanting a high profile story which in my eyes is only clouding the water and not helping the e-safety campaign, I am behind the scenes liaising with legal teams and the Liverpool Echo have now admitted there negligence with regards to the article including the sub headings that were printed, they will be issuing an apology albeit probably on page 967 in size 8 font BUT this is the best I could achieve as I was out of the country at the time.

    Tomorrow I have been invited to Radio City to talk about the e-safety campaign and to raise awareness as you are more than aware it takes not only I.T managers but steps from the government, local authority, schools and parents/carers, this piece will air on Monday 24th November and I will be referencing to the Liverpool Echo and the poor piece they published as I would like to have thought our local newspaper would back all the hard work that we as I.T managers are doing and will continue to do regarding e-safety online. It is alarming to see that some schools within the city are still not CEOP ambassadors/gold members (meaning all staff and students have been CEOP trained).

    It was good to see yesterday the CEOP and Merseyside Hi-Tech Crime Units event attracted a huge number of I.T managers/schools yesterday, but this still shows that schools are not fully CEOP aware/trained. It baffles me to think why as a city we are having a negative slant on this at the end of the day it is all about protecting the students/children and raising the awareness of e-safety issues around the UK, I can only think it is because some members of educational institutions still need to be congratulated on their hard work.

    As the Byron review points out e-safety is here to stay and will be as easy as crossing a road for students, example; we will put measures in place pelican crossing, lollipop staff and teach the green cross code, with regards to e-safe let us put software in place (ANY) and educate students, staff and parents/carers. On a personal note can I thank Alan for his e-safety group and all the hard work they are carrying out within the city, with representatives such as Paul Bradshaw.

    This mail is not intended to directly insult anybody as I can assure you if it was I would have named over 40 schools within this area which I know personally are not e-safe compliant at the moment.

    Best Regards

    Greg Jones @ Gateacre School

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GPJ_Liverpool View Post
    This makes interesting reading, personally I do believe the education sector has a problem with e-safety, and it does need to be addressed as soon as possible.
    Maybe in your school or region perhaps, but it doesn't seem to be an issue for the members on here or the schools in my borough.

    The only issues I come across in my school are pupils trying to find games sites. These are all picked up by our security solution and dealt with accordingly.

    If you have an issue with students looking for porn, that sounds to me like a classroom management and discipline problem. No pupils would dare do this at my school.

    I don't wish to have a go at you personally, but your post looks very similar to the one by Zentek, both in style and content - and posted very closely to each other.

    If you want to be suckered in by Zentek, that's really up to you. Their bridges have been well and truly burnt around my neck of the woods, so I can see why they're looking for new territory.

    But don't let Zentek fool you into thinking you have the internet bogeyman coming for you and only their solution will save the day. It embarasses you as a Network Manager and it embarasses our profession and brings into question our management skills.

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    GPJ_Liverpool's Avatar
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    Thank you for your response as I have said in all of my articles we do not have a problem with porn or many other issues surrounding e-safety, however, with the likes of Free Tech Support from Ask Dave Taylor! you must admit I.T managers and personnel do struggle with proxy avoidance websites and lots of other nightmare problems which are on Dave’s site.

    We didn’t have an issue with porn and you are right it is down to classroom management you sound as if you know which way is up but believe me you would be surprised at the amount of schools out there that don’t.

    Internet filtering as I am sure you are aware is about 5% of the problem, for example e-safety covers cyber bullying, proxy avoidance, text messaging, wireless clouds and students typing text that they don’t necessarily save to a document therefore not picked up by most security software i.e. Ranger.

    Not being sucked in by Zentek as you put it merely spending tax payers money wisely.
    Last edited by GPJ_Liverpool; 20th November 2008 at 05:14 PM.

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    I must admit I wasn't aware that the Zentek solution could also monitor text messages sent in school.

    As for catching students typing text into a document that is not saved, that's easily caught by systems such as Securus, to name but one. I'm sure other "live" systems can do the same.

    In your newspaper interview I noticed you quoted a figure of £20,000. I sincerely hope that was for the entire LEA or borough?

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    Outed

    That's a very complete response by Zentek - would I be naive to suggest that you never considered that the Bolton Evening News or the MEN wouldn't attempt to sensationalise the story?

    I really should have contacted Colin as per his suggestion above, and will do so now having seen what kind of response the article has got on here. I will report back!

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    GPJ_Liverpool's Avatar
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    The 20k they comment on in the article is regarding a number of software packages we purchased as part of our last upgrade. By the look of this forum it might be the case that Zentek is not the company for a few schools but it works for us and helped us receive an “Outstanding” from Ofsted for IT Support and IT systems.

    I have always had a very good level of service from them and most importantly outstanding solutions, (Secure SSL VPN, E-safe – HP C700 chassis with ILO (16Servers – 2xquad core in each, 10gb Ram and so on –) MSA 2000 – 4EB of data, secure dirty wireless clouds (any device, with or without AV, Separate VLan with low level network detection and port blocking and reporting)

    It gives me what I need to deliver good service to my users (over 2100) I have logon speed of under 15sec at any desktop in any building.

    We have over 1400 desktops and laptops so our cost might seem quite expensive compared to some smaller schools.

    Case studies / Reference sites

    1) Ramesy’s LP
    2) Ranger Network (for the last 8 years)
    3) HP National reference site and test site for new devices (wait till you see what’s coming out late next year, just returned from their head office in Grenoble in France)
    4) Cisco showcase site (Multiple 4507R with 2xsupcards in both) – 99.9% Network up time, tested by Cisco
    5) Liverpool City Council – Best practise for LP
    6) E-safe Education
    7) Zentek Computers

    Just off the top of my head, a few more I think!

    If anyone would like a look around or test some bits, you are more than welcome.

    We have over 100 new test devices for BSF, we where on Newsround tonight regarding all our test devices. Phones / PDA’s / Laptops / Text style keyboards / biometric logons / biometric catering systems / text message service to ALL parents)

    LOTS /LOTS MORE, Worth a look trust me!!! J

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