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Anonymous proxy use in schools continues to be a problem

Bloxx : 04 September, 2009  (Technical Article)
Bloxx is warning of the continued threat to internet browsing safety for school children as a result of the use of anonymous proxies, an activity that can be eliminated with the use of third-generation web filtering technology
Bloxx, the innovators in Web content filtering, warns that the escalating use of and threat from Anonymous Proxies by students presents a clear and present danger to the safe use of the Internet across the education system. ICT managers need to proactively manage and protect students who are using anonymous proxies to bypass their web filtering solution to access the entire Web through a back door.

The Internet is an exciting and important learning resource that provides a rich source of information and knowledge across the complete education spectrum. However, the Web has a dark side which can potentially expose students to inappropriate or dangerous content and dramatically increasing risk, especially when they are able to view any web site

In the UK, various organisations including The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and British Education Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) have written consultation papers and prepared toolkits to highlight the risks to students being exposed to violent material, dangerous information and inappropriate content. Most education facilities will have an Internet Usage Policy and Web filtering solution in place but today Bloxx delivers the most comprehensive and complete protection against anonymous proxies.

"It is imperative that Internet access is properly regulated in an education environment. Students are increasingly finding new subversive ways to access Web content that is typically blocked or restricted by their education facility's Web filter," said Eamonn Doyle, Bloxx Chief Executive Officer. "Bloxx is committed to ensuring the Internet is a safe and secure learning environment for all students by delivering advanced functionality that protects and defends students from accessing inappropriate or dangerous content through anonymous proxies."

Bloxx has had significant success in helping schools, colleges and universities throughout the world deliver all the benefits of the web to students while reducing risk and liability. Bloxx appliances deliver additional protection over Web filters that use lists of proxy sites or basic keyword scoring. With the rapid creation rate of proxy sites these techniques alone are insufficient. Using advanced intelligence identification and analysis techniques powered by its patented Tru-View Technology, Bloxx analyses, categorises and blocks web pages in real-time at the point the page is requested even if no one has seen the content before, ensuring the highest protection for students.

David Holmes, Network and Systems Technician at Schoharie Central School District, New York, USA commented: "Our staff are now confident that the students are surfing the Internet safely, as previously with the SonicWall Pro 2040 solution, they could access any site unmonitored simply by logging on to an anonymous proxy. Who knows what they were looking at before they were caught? Now Bloxx blocks them instantly and the students are surfing the Internet in a much safer environment."

"Our previous web filter was simply unable to keep up with the level and number of proxy sites being created and consequently accessed every day. When we installed Bloxx, this problem was practically eliminated as it can spot and block anonymous proxies as soon as students attempt to access them. We have to keep up with the kids," added Barry Donovan, Network Manager at Christ's School, Richmond-upon-Thames, UK.

Bloxx appliances are easy to deploy, simple and straightforward to manage and standard features such as devolved administration and automated reporting will significantly reduce IT management time. Additional protection is provided via open source anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-phishing functionality.

An estimated 1.5 million + users already benefit from enhanced security and performance with low administration and no cost per user charges.

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