I recently talked about the different types of cyberbullying. Today I'd like to take you through some of the ways the Barracuda Web Filter can help you mitigate these risks in your school.
The Barracuda Web Filter is an award-winning appliance that allows an organization safe access to online applications and other web content. It does this by blocking threats and by allowing IT administrators to configure the types of content the web filter should allow. It has tons of features that fit perfectly into a K12 environment, including technologies designed to protect users from activities like cyberbullying.
The Barracuda Web Filter has multiple layers of protection against spyware and viruses. This protection defends network devices by monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic. In other words, devices are protected from websites hosting malicious scripts or drive-by downloads, and they are also blocked from sending data to the Internet. If the network already has malware installed, it does not allow the malware to communicate to the command server.
You still need to have a good anti-virus solution on your desktops, but the Barracuda Web Filter will stop a bully who tries to use Cryptolocker to ransom homework, or TSPY_PixSteal to send private images to a remote FTP.
This protection also defends users who are targeted for social engineering attacks. Imagine a cyberbully or other Internet predator targeting a group of kids with a scam that would trick them into intentionally installing a program that they didn't know was malware. The Yearbook kids, for example, would have a lot of pictures that could be of interest to an Internet creep. The Barracuda Web Filter can prevent this type of software from being installed, even if the users think the software is ok.
Social media controls
Controlling the use of social media and other sites is easy with this appliance.
- Allow access to Facebook pages while blocking access to other pages, apps, and games
- Allow access to YouTube for Schools while blocking public YouTube
- Monitor outgoing content like social posts, tweets, and web-based emails
- Archive outgoing content to a Barracuda Message Archiver if desired
The Barracuda Web Filter also has the capability to filter and inspect SSL transactions to untrusted websites. This means that it can block data leaks and malware infections that are attempting to hide in SSL traffic. For more information on this feature and others, check out this whitepaper (pdf).
Cyberbullying becomes much more difficult when the bully's movement is restricted.
Robust monitoring and reporting
Barracuda Web Filter allows admins to examine user activity and generates detailed logs based on:
- Browsing, by domains and content categories
- Time spend online
- Bandwidth consumption
Admins can configure reports from these logs, and schedule them for automatic delivery as desired. For example, Technology Directors may want to get an Internet report each week so that they can look for problem areas such as misconduct or bandwidth problems.
The monitoring and reporting features in the Barracuda Web Filter provide authorities with evidence needed to respond to cyberbullying or other Internet crime.
If you'd like to learn more about how the Barracuda Web Filter can help you protect your students from cyberbullying, take a look at the product website here. You can also read more about how these schools are using the Barracuda Web Filter to create a safe computing environment:
- Frederick County Schools
- Paulsboro Public Schools
- Dysart Unified School District
- St. Michael's Grammar School
- Southfield Schools District