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School ICT Policies Thread, VNC Policy for technicians in School Administration; Hi all, My principal raised a valid point the other morning when i went to a meeting regarding an incident ...
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    VNC Policy for technicians

    Hi all,

    My principal raised a valid point the other morning when i went to a meeting regarding an incident on our network. She was quite shocked that we could easily monitor any computer screen in the school and that my junior technicians had free access to this.

    Her main point was that she could be writing up a confidential letter on her PC and we could view it without her knowing! Fair enough i suppose.

    Do any other schools have policies regarding the use of VNC?

    Cheers

    Mike

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    ascott2's Avatar
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    We use Impero at our school for access to machines. The curriculum machines are unrestricted which staff are aware of. If we want access to admin machines, the user is prompted if it is OK for us to do so. This was after someone raised a similar issue with our old system which was completely unrestricted. It is a bit of a pain if no-one is actually at the machine!

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    if im not sick of hearing about impero

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    oxide54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcloum View Post
    Hi all,

    My principal raised a valid point the other morning when i went to a meeting regarding an incident on our network. She was quite shocked that we could easily monitor any computer screen in the school and that my junior technicians had free access to this.

    Her main point was that she could be writing up a confidential letter on her PC and we could view it without her knowing! Fair enough i suppose.

    Do any other schools have policies regarding the use of VNC?

    Cheers

    Mike
    We just generally ask the user first, I know who I can connect to if they don't answer the phone and I generally tell them, normally because they had a document open and i had to tell them where i saved. But thats only when they've requested we fix something. Our VNC is pass word protected and only me and the technician know the password.

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    Just been readin up on VNC has an option to prompt the user to accept the connection. But we use TightVNC but i cant find any option like this, real VNC does. Looks like i'll have to change again!

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Like the person above, when viewing staff machines, our users are prompted to accept.

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    We generally ask the user to take control or are asked by them.

    For me it's simply a matter of trust though - I expect my techies to have the highest professional integrity and they don't randomly remotely view screens in the same way they don't randomly trawl people's My Documents folder.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    I dont install on the office PCs. It's a pain but it means I get some much needed exercise every now and again!

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    We only have VNC installed on the student curriculum machines - I decided against installing it on office / headteachers PC for this very reason.

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    We use Dameware for support which can be setup to notify users and when we remember to add the correct ini file it does. The problem is that in reality I could replace the ini file restart the service then view without the warning. I could also use Gencontrol which is free and can be installed then uninstalled remotely without trace.
    If your techs have admin rights then they can do this, yes you probably need a policy to make it a sackable offence.

    You could also use GPO to manage local admins on certain groups so only the IT manager can remote support office PC's. At the end of the day the IT manager will have access to all data as it's their job to be guardian of that data. This is a member of staff that SMT have to trust and have faith in if they don't then they have the wrong person.

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    Do you have encrypted MyDocuments with a randomly generated backup password stored in a safe which you dont have access to? If not then whats to stop you looking through her documents folder, or even taking a copy of the whole lot and publishing it on the net (for arguements sake)?

    As said its a matter of trust, and thats one of the reasons IT professionals in industry are payed a wage which reflects this.

  12. 4 Thanks to j17sparky:

    bossman (2nd December 2009), dalsoth (1st December 2009), danrhodes (2nd December 2009), TheRedGuy (4th February 2010)

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    As said its a matter of trust, and thats one of the reasons IT professionals in industry are payed a wage which reflects this.
    Or as stated some sort of tiered access where lower level techs wouldn't have access to managers data or computers, this would be left to higher level staff who are paid more or a lower level tech might get a look while the manager is present.

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    I think the documents comparison is a red herring - you'd generally find that permissions lock people out of places they shouldn't be, and that actions like taking ownership are logged. So, while you can't prevent people snooping, you can make sure you can find they've done it.

    The problem with VNC is that snooping without detection is possible.

    It's been a while since I've used VNC, but at the last place we had it run automatically for all students, but staff had to start the server manually (there was a shortcut on the desktop too, so we could describe it easily on the phone!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by theriver View Post
    I think the documents comparison is a red herring - you'd generally find that permissions lock people out of places they shouldn't be, and that actions like taking ownership are logged.
    Theres plenty of ways round it. MSs freely available SubinACL for example.

    The point is if the school wants me to be able to do my job effectively there is very little they can do to stop me getting at anyones files.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    I imagine a lot of us have better things to be doing than going through peoples documents/looking at their machines.

  17. Thanks to Edu-IT from:

    danrhodes (2nd December 2009)

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