Since 2005, Opendium has been helping schools across the UK to protect children. The most obvious part of our work is to protect children from the internet's many dangers whilst safeguarding and promoting the huge number of ways that the internet can be used for their benefit. Beyond that, people live much of their lives online these days and our products are perfectly placed to spot
We have submitted a consultation response, which is published below, to the Government's recent Online Harms whitepaper. The response answers several of the consultation questions, but also aims to provide some insight into the work we do and the problems we face helping schools to safeguard the children who are under their care.
We have recently rolled out some updates to our default web proxy overrides, which are explained in this blog article.
Both Web Gateway and UTM provide the same overrides system under the Web Proxy -> Filter Override Editor and Web Proxy -> Filter Overrides & Walled Garden pages. The overrides allow parts of the system's functionality to be disabled for requests to certain types of content. Overrides are usually used for the following purposes:
We recently attended a conference held by the Police Service's Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU). The conference was intended to provide an opportunity for a wide variety of organisations involved in online safety to get together and discuss topical issues. There were delegates from online safety suppliers, such as ourselves, as well as from the Home Office, SO15 Counter Terrorism Command, CTIRU, internet service providers, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) to name a few.
One of our customers reported problems accessing Lloyds Bank's corporate payments gateway, having already called Lloyds. Lloyds had told them that there were no problems and to clear cookies, add the site to the ActiveX trusted sites list, etc. Still not working, so must be a problem with the customer's firewall.
The first thing we did was to point a browser at https://payments.corporate.lloydsbank.com/ (on an independent internet connection) and nothing happened - it just sat there waiting. So clearly Lloyds were having some problems.
Moving services into the cloud, which have traditionally been handled internally, is increasingly popular for schools. It is a very attractive proposition: schools can reduce the amount of space dedicated to computer hardware and save administration costs.
For services such as email, this is often a no-brainer. Using a cloud based email system means you don't need a technician to spend their time applying security updates to the email server. You don't need to operate a hardware replacement cycle for the server or allow for premature hardware failures.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), replaces the existing Data Protection Act on May 25th 2018. Organisations who do not comply can be fined €20 million or 4% of their global annual turnover, whichever is higher.
Schools will need to closely examine many parts of their operation in order to ensure they are compliant, but one often overlooked aspect is how GDPR can be accommodated by a school's online safeguarding processes.
[This article was originally published in September 2017]
One year ago, the current safeguarding statutory guidance for schools and colleges came into effect. The Department for Education's Keeping Children Safe in Education commenced on 5 September 2016, replacing the previous July 2015 edition.
The new guidance extended some responsibilities to colleges, where they had previously only applied to schools. It also added useful signposts to other, related, guidance and generally sought to clarify the previous version.