Education Case Study
Protecting Students and School Network
ContentWatch's ContentProtect Security Appliance Becomes Teacher's Pet
In 1981, when Jeff Richards and his wife opened Lake Fern Montessori Academy, a small private school with students ranging from preschool to seventh grade, he never dreamed he would need to protect his students from personal technology, even with his school situated in close proximity to some of the most technologically advanced areas in the U.S. - NASA.
However, last year students started asking if they could bring their own computers to school and Richards was faced with a dilemma. Richards understood what a resource it could be for the kids to have access to the Internet"”in fact the students' high-tech parents expected and demanded it. But he also knew that he would have his work cut out for him managing their Internet usage, keeping the access appropriate, and keeping his network secure.
Though hesitant at first, he relented, and immediately began installing free Internet filtering software on the students' computers and on school-owned computers. But shortly after installing the software, Richards ran into problems that prompted him to find a more robust solution. First, an older student was able to bypass the filter and came in contact with inappropriate content; second, viruses were introduced to the server; and third, because the filter wasn't entirely reliable, teachers still had to keep track of students' Internet usage.
"The teachers were the ones beating me on the head about this," commented Richards, who is the school's self-proclaimed Jack-of-alltrades. "They are pretty busy with the multi-level classrooms and didn't want to have to be constantly looking over the students' shoulders to monitor them." So Richards started researching hardware solutions that would fully protect both his students and his network, and that's when he read about ContentWatch's ContentProtect Security Appliance. "I read that ContentWatch's appliance was reviewed by Government Computer News and was named the Reviewer's Choice," said Richards. "I quickly realized that the appliance was the superior solution for what I was trying to accomplish."
The ContentProtect Security Appliance combines award-winning Web content filtering, anti-virus, anti-spyware, bandwidth management, and Instant Message/peer-to-peer control with a clean and easy user interface to give network administrators greater control of the network without having to install software on every computer on the network. Its all-in-one approach solves the problems created when users, applications, and threats battle for network resources. The ContentProtect Security Appliance also makes it easier for administrators to manage distributed environments, see usage reports in real-time, and allows administrators to quickly identify and control the users, applications, and threats that impact network performance.
"The appliance itself has been a piece of cake to set up and use," said Richards, who is a self-learned IT manager with no formal IT education. "The flexibility of the appliance has been a big thing to me because I've been able to group users, giving teachers and students specific rights, and I no longer have to worry if unauthorized content is being accessed on the Internet or the network."
The appliance is saving Richards time and money when it comes to antivirus and anti-spyware because it helps him be proactive instead of reactive. He also likes that in addition to the award-winning Internet filtering and protection, the box comes with basic anti-virus. "Before we had the appliance, there were a few instances when viruses were introduced on the server, but I've had nothing get on the network since installing the appliance," said Richards. "With the appliance I can see how many viruses are getting blocked, as well as spyware. I'm basically able to run my clients with no anti-virus, which cuts down on buying more software and time spent because I don't have to run to go through and make sure the antivirus definitions are up-to-date because it is automatically updated."
And now with the appliance, Richards, the school staff, and students' parents have peace of mind that the students and the network are protected.
About ContentWatch, Inc.
Based in Salt Lake City, ContentWatch delivers family-safe computing solutions for the home, library, education, government, and small/medium business markets. ContentWatch's mission is to be the world leader in thought and technology by creating Internet management tools and services that provide homes and businesses with a safer, more productive Internet experience through its patent-pending contextual analysis engine. ContentWatch Internet Management solutions are used in over 125 different countries.