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Windows Thread, Content filtering on laptops in Technical; We're looking to put minimal content filtering on staff laptops when they are used at home. At the minute they ...
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    Content filtering on laptops

    We're looking to put minimal content filtering on staff laptops when they are used at home. At the minute they can use the internet (wireless etc) at home without any controls (on trust!) but the LEA have decided that there should be some level of filtering.

    Problem is, apart from things like K9 (which is great for home use by parents) there doesn't seem to be a lot around.

    Has anyone else setup filtering for offsite devices like this, and if so any information would be useful!

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    Tyiell's Avatar
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    Hi,

    We've given it up as effectively impossible (without buying software at least - which the powers that be refuse to do!!). Now I'm playing with trying to write a script that detects whether the domain is present and changes the proxy settings accordingly (on at work to filter them, off at home so their home networks run). Getting nowehere on that, which is how things are going for me at the moment!!!

    Do let me know if you sus it out though, it would be nice to filter them constantly!

    Paul

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    You could use MobileGaurdian from Smoothwall - I think you need a UTM mind.

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    tom_newton (27th October 2009)

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    richardp's Avatar
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    hi Tyiell to do what you want you need to be looking at PAC files which can do exactly that. Just google PAC files and you should find plenty of examples for you to use.

    Richard

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    Set their dns to OpenDNS when not at school?

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    Ric is right you can set them up to use your own school filtering with smoothwall I am sure Gavin told me as much. We have had laptops for pupils set up this way through our LA but you have to fasten down the laptops tightly which may interfere with the teachers enjoyment of their laptop basically rendering them pretty useless.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    ... basically rendering them pretty useless.
    You mean useless for any purpose other than that for which it was intended

    EDIT: BTW - with MobileGaurdian, you can set it up to simply log usage and pull the logs onto your UTM. In this way you can monitor usage rather than block if you prefer.

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    bossman (27th October 2009)

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @Ric:

    yeah you get the idea

    But they won't He! He!

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    Whatever you use, unless you take away admin privs, they'll get around it easily enough.
    Ric is right about mobile guardian - it does need a "parent" - one of our UTMs, or Network Guardian/School Guardian (works with any or all of the above).

    That said, our lot (hello Gav) use their laptops for a lot more "techie" stuff than most teachers (eg. running Vmware, SSL vpn, phone system client s/w) and we don't get too much hassle from running them all unpriv'd.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    That said, our lot (hello Gav) use their laptops for a lot more "techie" stuff than most teachers (eg. running Vmware, SSL vpn, phone system client s/w) and we don't get too much hassle from running them all unpriv'd.
    As you say your guy's have much more savvy nuff said

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenWonder View Post
    We're looking to put minimal content filtering on staff laptops when they are used at home. At the minute they can use the internet (wireless etc) at home without any controls (on trust!) but the LEA have decided that there should be some level of filtering.

    Problem is, apart from things like K9 (which is great for home use by parents) there doesn't seem to be a lot around.

    Has anyone else setup filtering for offsite devices like this, and if so any information would be useful!
    Imran (SmoothWall external infrastructure sysadmin) and I are doing an experiment with a hosted Network Guardian to provide hosted web filtering which requires no client installation. Currently we are looking for a few volunteers to try it out for free.

    It requires a small config change to the proxy settings on the laptop and a username and password whenever the user wants to web browse (the browser will normally cache this so one only needs to remember it once).

    It comes with no warranty or guarantee or even support and may be stopped at any moment. However you can contact me or Imran for support and suggestions and we'll do our best to help you or pass it on to an official SmoothWall support agent.

    We're looking for a couple of users with a small number of computers or laptops. It can even be used for home filtering for teachers not just laptops for kids. My mother is a head teacher and she uses it at home.

    It is a black-box solution as in you can ask for filter settings to be changed but there is no front end to allow you to change settings yourself. But if something is blocked that should not be then simply don't use the filter and let us know.

    Of course you will need to lock down settings by the kids running as non-admin on the laptops.

    Send me a PM or email me for more info. Email is daniel.barron at smoothwall.

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    They have no admin rights on the laptops now, but I was hoping for a simple solution like K9 that would validate web requests against a central server.

    Will have to look deeper into Smoothwall or similar!

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    We use the LightSpeed Systems TTC filter in our district. It allows us to install an agent on our laptops that communicates to our central content database for content filtering and user reporting.

    Internet Management Solutions for Schools ? Lightspeed Systems


    Ben in SC



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