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News

Internet safety software to be supplied to UK schools

Trustmarque Solutions : 04 September, 2008  (Company News)
Agreement between Securus and Trustmarque brings e-safety software to schools in the UK for full network policy management and safe computing practices
Trustmarque Solutions has signed a new agreement with Securus Software, to provide its e-safety software to primary and secondary schools in the UK. Securus Software is dedicated to protecting children through the use of technology.

Securus monitors ICT networks for inappropriate language and provides alerts should there be any unauthorised or inappropriate use of the facilities. It is safer than using blocking software alone, as Securus covers all computer applications, not just the Internet, and provides alerts when 'proxy bypass' sites have been used to bypass internet blocking. Securus Software provides website-locking, blocking and word filters, while also creating a record or incidents to provide physical evidence of any wrong-doing to ensure pupils and teachers are protected.

Rob Newburn, Information Security Manager for Trustmarque Solutions, comments: "With the rise of social networking and the greater dependence on technology in schools, there is a need for greater security to protect children from dangers such as cyber-bullying and online grooming. It is not enough to rely on Internet blocking software to keep students safe as blocking can be bypassed, while cyber-bullying and offline misuse goes undetected. This is why we were particularly drawn to Securus Software, as it is an expert in e-safety, and has a great product that we feel there is a real market for. There is a clear message that we can take to our customers, with real tangible benefits."

It is currently estimated that 49 percent of all young people aged 8 to 17 have a profile on at least one social networking site, and one in three teenagers have been victims of cyber-bullying. A government review of child internet safety, conducted by Dr Tanya Byron in March, showed that there is a real need to monitor and reduce the availability of inappropriate or harmful content. Key recommendations include the need to monitor ICT activity and keep a record of incidents. Industry self-regulation has also been sited as a key strategy and this is one way that schools can proactively support students and teachers.

Securus Software is currently used in over 1000 primary and secondary schools in the UK, as well as the Children's Service departments. The company has a strong reputation in child protection, and provides advice to organisations on the need for ICT protection, e-safety policies and the use of technology. The company hopes that the new partnership with Trustmarque will increase sales of the technology, as Derek Allen, Managing Director at Securus, explains:

"We are extremely pleased to have signed up with Trustmarque as it has a long standing reputation for excellence in software provision and a real understanding of the issues facing the education sector. This is a great move for us as we will now be able to leverage Trustmarque's existing relationships, which have been built up over a long time, within the public sector to promote the product to more schools. Cyber-bullying and online grooming are increasingly issues of concern, and with the help of Trustmarque we will be able to extend our reach to ensure we can help protect more children across the UK from online dangers and increase awareness of e-safety."
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