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Internet Security

Discuss anything regarding the Internet applications: Web Browser, Email, Messenger and Skype

Internet Security

Postby carole stein on Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:21 pm

We are going to be using these awesome machines at the school where I teach.
We have a network that is wired and wireless. The machines are only used on the web or for msoffice applications. We have a part-time network person who sets up every machine on the network. It is really a hassel - Is there a way that this OS has a way to protect children while surfing on the web?

Thanx

Carole
carole stein
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:15 am

Re: Internet Security

Postby Chad on Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:40 pm

Protect them how? From viruses? From Trojans? From Worms? From Hackers? From Malware? From Ads? From SPAM? From Phishing sites? From Pornography? From Predators?

Well, the first 3 - 5 of them are covered because Zonbu OS is a distro of Linux. Linux does not run any of the 150,000 viruses that are made for Windows. There are very, very few viruses written for Linux. And the vast majority of the viruses "in the wild" meaning out on the Internet waiting for a victim, are for Windows only. Linux is just about as safe as Mac in that regard.

Hackers - if your network has a firewall, (and it should!) then you are protected no matter what the computers on the inside are like.

Malware (Spyware, adware) are programs that say they do one thing, and then do something else completely. Like they say they are a game, but they are really spying on everything you do on your computer. Again, these are 99.99% of the time written for Windows, and just like any other Windows program, will not run on Linux.* Also - Zonbu is a "walled garden" - meaning nobody can install anything except Zonbu. As long as they are running the OS that comes with the hardware - you're safe.

Firefox is installed by default, and Firefox has Ad Block Plus, which can easily be installed (Firefox extensions can be installed on Zonbu - that's about it), so the kids can be "protected" from Ads. There are also things that can be installed to look for phishing sites. However, that's more of a Network Admin thing than a end user terminal thing. In other words - if your part-time network guy sets up the entire network to block certain things (porn, myspace, phishing sites, facebook, etc.) then it won't matter what computers you use. Tell him to check out OpenDNS if he doesn't know about it already.

Protecting them from predators will be the most difficult, unless you block all social networking sites and instant messenger programs. (Zonbu comes with IM software pre-installed, and just like you can't install software - you can't remove software either.) But it is possible, I believe, to block the traffic, even if the software is there.

SPAM can be filtered out by whatever email service you use, but if the kids are going to have a computer that is "theirs" then Zonbu has an email client that can also filter SPAM.

I believe, also, that the Firefox on Zonbu has a content filter pre-installed, so you can filter porn/ads/myspace/etc. on a desktop-by-desktop basis - but it's easier, IMHO, to just block it on a network-wide basis. You could always do both - but if the guy is part-time and wants to keep things simple - network-wide is best.

If, somehow, one of your 733T students hacks the computer, or messes it up - whether on purpose or by accident - the great thing about Zonbu is that they can restore your computer to the latest release of the OS / software very easily. All the software will be there, just like when you bought it new (except with the latest release of all the software). That's another thing too that's great about the Zonbu system, especially for someone with a part time IT guy - the system updates itself. Worst case scenario he'd need to restart the systems once or twice a month to makes sure they are up to date.

Hope that helps.

(BTW, I don't work for Zonbu, in case, people have accused me of "Flaming" Zonbu on the forums. I'm just sharing my own opinion based on my own experience with a Zonbu Desktop.)

* There are ways to run Windows programs on Linux, and some programs are written for both OSes - but Malware / viruses are not written for both - and Zonbu can't run any Windows programs.
Chad
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:17 pm
Location: St Louis, MO

Re: Internet Security

Postby carole stein on Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:51 pm

The issue is CIPA - We are going to purchase 100 Zonbu machines The current part time network admin is leaving - we are probably going to hire a company to admin the network - I am probably the most techie of the teachers - I know enough to be dangerous - at the same time I know how to ask questions - These machines don't have to talk to each other - they need internet access - and share some printers -so what is the safest, re CIPA, lowest maintenance way to do this? There is 200 window machines - they will be gone - Why can't we build an easy wireless network, that "someone", not a high level IT person, can manage on a day to day basis, that allows for internet access and sharing printers - The Zonbu machine makes life very simple - which works in school - we will use Kiosk mode and the kids will save their data to a thumb drive -
Thanks anyone for their input

Carole
carole stein
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:15 am

Re: Internet Security

Postby spoirier on Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:21 pm

What method is currently used to filter web content on the Windows PC's? Our local public library uses:

http://www.securecomputing.com/index.cfm?skey=1209

to restrict access on internet PC's in Youth Services. It is a simple to setup and kiosk mode should prevent the kids from turning it off.
Where ever you go, there you are.
spoirier
 
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Re: Internet Security

Postby dkazoch on Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:41 am

Hello

There is an easy and free solution for this out there.

try http://www.opendns.com

This service is fool proof since you configure your router and even when people hack the machine you are still in controll what they can see and what not.

The setup is very simple and explain with pictures on the page. You will have controll on what you students can see and you will also see what they are going to see. So you can blacklist or whitelist certain sites.

Its great, its free and secure. I am using it at home and in my company.

Thanks,
Daniel
dkazoch
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:36 am


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