Technology Safety at HCCMS

Check out the links below for information on HCCMS' tech safety. A special thanks to Mr. Jonathan Smith compiling the information below.

 

"There are ways around some of our safeguards.  This is true; there are ways around our web filter, some of our group policy settings, etc.  We have to try to strike a balance between security and functionality.  For example, I have set our group policy to prevent student from accessing the computer's display properties, but it is still possible for a student to change the wallpaper (and some students have figured out how.)  I know how to close this loophole, but it would disable all of the computer's right-click functions, which is not acceptable.

No system is perfect, but I am confident that the safeguards we have in place do a good job."

By Jonathan Smith, Technology Specialist at HCCMS 


Active Directory Group Policy

Our network prevents access to such functions as Control Panel, Run, and Internet Options.  Command Prompt is disabled

Example: Allows admin to make it so that certain functions do not even show up on student computers.  Makes it so that even with a flash drive you cannot run a program.




FortiGuard Web Filtering
Fortiguard is a hosted service designed to provide Web URL filtering for schools, libraries, government agencies, and enterprise businesses of all sizes. The FortiGuard Web Filtering solution consists of two parts, the FortiGuard Rating Server and the FortiGate multi-threat security system. The FortiGuard Rating Server is a master ratings database that consists of billions of web page addresses. The FortiGuard Web Filtering service can be activated on all FortiGate security systems to regulate and block access to harmful, inappropriate and dangerous websites which may contain Phishing attacks and/or malware such as spyware.
Example: This makes it so that certain websites are blocked like myspace.
IE-Spyad (FREE)
IE-Spyad adds a long list of sites and domains associated with known adware companies to the Restricted sites zone of Internet Explorer. Once you merge this list of sites and domains into the Windows Registry (using the convenient batch file), the Web sites for these companies will not be able to use cookies, ActiveX controls, Java applets, or scripting to compromise your privacy or your PC while you surf the Net. Nor will they be able to use your browser to push unwanted pop-ups, cookies, or auto-installing programs onto the PC.
Example: Places restricted websites on list automatically for filtering.
iTALC (FREE)
iTALC has been designed for usage in school. Therefore it offers a lot of possibilities to teachers, such as
• see what's going on in computer-labs by using overview mode and make snapshots
• remote-control computers to support and help other people
• show a demo (either in fullscreen or in a window) - the teacher's screen is shown on all student's computers in realtime
• lock workstations for moving undivided attention to teacher
• send text-messages to students
Example: A teacher/parent can shutdown or lock all computers from theirs. They can take a snapshot of children’s screen. They can watch what the student is doing as they are doing it.
KeyStroke Recording Software
A keystroke recorder (a.k.a. key logger) is a software tool that traces all or specific activities of a user in a computer system.
McAfee SiteAdvisor
This easy to use software for Internet Explorer and Firefox summarizes safety results into intuitive red, yellow and green ratings to help Web users stay safe as they search, browse and transact online.

Example: Shows you a rating for billions of websites and gives reasons for that rating such as questionable downloading. It will even tell you how many emails you will get per week if you visit a site.
SpywareGuard (FREE)
A real-time protection solution against spyware and other potentially unwanted software.
Detects browser hijacking attempts and more as they are happening.
Example: Looks for risky types of behavior in sites instead of specific codes.
Symantec Antivirus
Stops malware such as viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, bots, zero-day threats and rootkits.