Windows Thread, Securus in Technical; Is anyone out there using Securus?
We're in the middle of a trial at the moment. It seems pretty good ...
17th June 2005, 04:22 PM #1
Is anyone out there using Securus?
We're in the middle of a trial at the moment. It seems pretty good at catching kids up to "naughty stuff", although we have found some bullying too. How do you cope with the amount of violations it captures?
It's a pity it doesn't come with some kind of Active Directory integration so that you could easily seperate pupils and staff before you began monitoring them.
One thing it's shown us is that the Instant Messaging problem we thought we'd solved is well and truely alive with Polish and Australian versions of online messenger.
IDG Tech News
17th June 2005, 04:29 PM #2
Can you tell us (me lol) a bit more about it?
Sounds interesting but what is it exactly?
17th June 2005, 04:31 PM #3
17th June 2005, 04:39 PM #4
Funnily enough - just literally got back from a meeting at a local school that's also trialling it. Have to say, I'm rather impressed with it. Especially the way it can even capture off-network workstations! Seems they get alot of false positives, but still.
Seems a little expensive, but certainly something I'll be looking into in more depth later.
17th June 2005, 04:53 PM #5
It's a box that sits on the network with some bespoke operating system on it, seems to be linux based. The workstations get a client to run which is small - about 1 Mb and comes in an .msi which is handy.
I'm not sure how the client works, and to be honest it's been driving me nuts trying to figure it out, but basically it captures any 'violation' on a computer screen. Now a violation can be swearing, bullying racism, pornography, paedophilia etc., etc.
The violations are not just captured in Internet Explorer, but EVERYWHERE. If someone opens up notepad or anything and types "I'm gonna beat u up" for instance, that'll be captured. "beat u" is a violation.
So, once there is a violation you can go to any workstation and put the IP address of the Securus box into a browser, log in and check out what's been happening. What you get is the computer name, the logged in username, the IP address, a screen dump of the violation and what word or phrase caused the violation.
When I saw that they were sending screen dumps to the securus box I thought that the network would grind to a halt, but there seems to be no difference that I can see.
If a client cannot connect to it's server for any reason it'll store the violations locally until it next makes contact. We haven't done this during our trial, and tbh I'm not sure that we would at all, but that means that if you install it on a teachers laptop, it'll continue recording violations while they're surfing the net at home during the weekend and upload the whole lot when they connect to the network again on Monday morning :P
Also, the violations are not just captured because you've typed something, it's anything that appears on the screen, so if you open an email with swearing that will be captured.
17th June 2005, 05:18 PM #6
Very big brother!! I like the sound of that a lot.
Originally Posted by eejit
Could be handy in proving bullying cases where the fools delete the emails!
Originally Posted by eejit
17th June 2005, 05:50 PM #7
Wow! amazing! etc... :P
Thanks for the heads up eejit! Sounds like somebody could be in for a lot of extra work
Any idea how much it costs?
17th June 2005, 07:50 PM #8
Mark - I can't remember the figures off the top of my head, but the box is something under a grand (probably £995) then it's so much a client (I think £8-10). I'll post the proper figures on Monday when I can get my hands on them.
17th June 2005, 08:12 PM #9
Thanks eej - better start saving the pennies
20th June 2005, 11:53 AM #10
Ok, the Securus box is £960 and the clients range from £9 to £13 depending on how many you have. You can take money from the "Social Inclusion" and "Behavior Management" budgets to help pay for it (It sure ain't coming out of mine )
They're giving out trials left, right and centre, so it's worth contacting them. It's interesting to see what's going on in your network behind your back if nothing else. They have a few resellers around the country I think, for us in Essex and East London it's a company called Computer Talk. (020 8595 7744 if anyone's interested, but all you guys seem to be in Lancs. or Wales)
21st June 2005, 10:11 AM #11
We've purchased Securus from a guy called Steve Ogden who deals with the North of England:
0870 991 8886 DDI
07830 312880 M
It's very clever at what it does, and you soon learn which "violations" to ignore, but the biggest tip I can give you is, don't tell the students you've got it, because our kids have gone nuts, thinking it's too "big brother", which is strange, considering how many of the watch "big brother" and don't see anything wrong with that!!
We managed to help a girl who was being bullied, so it's worth using.
Appleby Grammar School
28th June 2005, 09:24 AM #12
Stewart, how do you find the reporting aspect of it? It would be nice to view just the violations for: "IT Room03" - Period3, for instance. There is no way (that I can see) that you can group PCs into different rooms.
You can, of course, export the violations to a CSV and maybe manipulate the data once you're in excel, but it would be nice if the box itself showed a lot more varied reports.
28th June 2005, 09:53 AM #13
my school isn't big enough for that to be a problem, we only have 75 (networked) PCs here and less than 500 students, which is probably the reason we're one of the few schools that can afford it!
30th June 2005, 10:50 AM #14
- Rep Power
Thanks to Stewart, we are now trialling Securus too. I have been told that currently the server is £480 and I can't remember the client prices but the ones mentioned previous sound right. However, they say that version 3 is out soon and that the prices will be cheaper so it's worth waiting a little.
I hope that v3 will have more reporting facilities, and at least a basic search. But I can't fault Securus as a whole, I think it is amazing how it captures anything anywhere that appears or is typed in. We have had one boy who was posting links to porn clips onto a forum while at home, but then returning to the forum in school. I'm sure his parents will be interested in that!
30th June 2005, 11:04 AM #15
This sounds like a real nice system - how much drain on the network is there from this btw? (if no-one has already asked)
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