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Windows Thread, Staff home internet access in Technical; Do you allow your staff to use their school laptop at home on the internet? If so what security do ...
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    Staff home internet access

    Do you allow your staff to use their school laptop at home on the internet? If so what security do you have in place on the laptop? What software do you use in Windows XP to protect the laptop and user and of course the network when they reconnect?

    Do you use encryption on laptops that leave the school building?

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    I use PacketFence to keep the network secure from rogue/broken/infected laptops and/or evil users.

    No encryption. Data protection is on my TODO list.

    Also be aware of non-technical problems related to this issue. In particular, insurance. You must ensure that your staff have the laptop covered by their home/car/whatever else insurance as your school insurance is unlikely to cover the laptops (and it's likely too expensive to add them).

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    oooo, I never considered the insurance thing. Will have to look into that!

    So how does packet fence work? Do you install it on your server, is it open source/free?

    I am in the process of allowing it on our cachepilot so sorry for the questions, can't view the site till I finish adding it.

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    So how does packet fence work?
    Read the registration and remediation primer, the FAQ or look at the pretty diagram.

    Do you install it on your server
    There's a VMWare appliance you can use, or put it on a Linux box.

    is it open source/free?
    GPL.

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    I cant view the site, our cachepilot has blocked it. Whitelist won't allow it either grrr

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    We use VPN for the more advanced users, and sharepoint for the others. Never had any security problems as they both have secure connections.

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    so they VPN back into your school network and access the internet from there so it all goes through your filtering?

    I considered this but think it would be overkill for primary staff as they would not need to make use of network resources

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    In our (small) school, staff treat the laptops pretty much as they would their own with the small stipulation that they must use it on the school network from time to time for updates. I have been into other schools where the laptops are totally locked down.

    This made me wonder - do staff in this type of schools take the laptops home or do you have secure storage on site for them. One of the schools I visited had each teacher with their own data projector - some stored in the only space available in their room like a dodgy wooden cupboard with flimsy locks.

    I know that if I had restrictions on the use of my laptop I wouldn't give it space in my car or at home. Is it better to have laptops on-site or off-site? A different school that I visited this year have lost 11+ laptops over a matter of months - where staff have left them in school in poorly secured areas.

    I would be interested to hear the opinions from others, especially those who lock down their school laptops.

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    Our council in their desperation to recruit more teachers gave them a huge recruitment package, part of it was loan of a laptop for 4 years.

    These laptops staff more or less see as their own, generally I have no problems with them using them at home as most have common sense and bring them in regularly so the AV software updates. I do however refuse to maintain the computers or repair them if they're filled with privately owned software. As far as I'm concerned the instant someone installed their own ADSL modem, dial up, uTorrent or games they are on their own.

    I support school computers, used in school for the curriculum. I'm not there to help people get iTunes to work.

    Staff are responsible for their own laptops or ones in their departments. We haven't had any go missing in the past 16 months since I started though. Staff on the whole are pretty savy and won't leave them out although I must admit our pupils aren't a bunch of thieves either!

    Our "class in a box" laptops (20 laptops/printer/wireless in a cabinet) are stored out of the way, padlocked with very good locks and in locked rooms without windows. In other words only staff can get to them when they're not in use. It's not fool proof but it does mean that teachers "own" laptops are the only ones regularly exposed to possible theft and since the teachers are quite possessive of them they're well looked after.

    I must admit I'm pretty lucky with the staff I have in general though.

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    In my last school the staff laptops were domain members and locked down tight. This began to have issues for staff who wanted to use their own home broadband.

    Here they have them setup just to access our wireless points and so staff have full control over 'their' laptop - with the understanding that when it comes in with a problem or for an MOT, it will most likely be wiped and re-imaged. This stops itunes and games building up ;-)

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    So how does packet fence work?
    Read the registration and remediation primer, the FAQ or look at the pretty diagram.
    URLs are filtered for "Sexual Materials"?

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    With the issue of staff taking laptop home, i had one teacher who had managed to spill a whole glass of wine over the laptop...

    It was pretty much dead when they bought it back to school....

    As my previous place the teachers would never bring their laptops back into school as it was too much to carry for them.... i just left it up to SMT to deal with them.

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    Re: Staff home internet access

    Our AUP states that all the equipment in school is for education use only. That means that if the teacher wants to use our network/internet connection, they have the same restrictions as our desktop PCs. If they want to use "their" laptop at home then I do not support/install software etc. It is then their responsibility for AV licences etc. If they come to me they will be returned to the state that they recieved them in.

    The school provides this equipment and staff use it in accordance to the school AUP.

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