Manage your own filtering policies

Quite a lot of the schools on the network are not aware of one of the services that we deliver as part of HICS,. With this in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to post about it. So, if you want to manage your own filtering policies, you have one of two options:

1)      You can sync Netsweeper (the HICS filtering platform) with your Active Directory. Being perfectly honest, I have received mixed reports on this but it remains an option and further information can be found here: http://hics.lea.herts.sch.uk/tech/content-filtering/web-filtering-devolved-ad-integrated/

2)      You can tailor your own WF1/2/3/4/5 policies.. This is very straight forward to administer and I am happy to talk you through it step by step. You would still have ‘WF1’ in your proxy settings for example, but you it would be your WF1 policy rather than ours. You would manage this via a web portal and I would provide you the credentials. You would then also be able to run web reports yourself on IP addresses. So, if you wanted YouTube in WF3, it’s a quick and easy change. In the meantime, if any inappropriate websites get brought to our attention, The Connectivity Service Desk would rerate these sites accordingly, and these changes would filter its way down into your locally managed filtering policies. If you have any queries, I am happy to elaborate further, so feel free to get in touch.

Thanks,

Kevin Crawley

Posted in Web Filtering | Leave a comment

Bing

I have today put https://bing.com on WF1 only – in line with Yahoo. http://bing.com is still fully accessible and I suggest if users want to use Bing, then they go to the HTTP site instead. As explained previously, when search engines go through HTTPS, it enables users to disable some of the safe settings that are forced on through HTTP. Users can then search on any term they want. Web pages will obviously still be blocked by Netsweeper but searches will return inappropriate material and this is particularly concerning with image searches. Herts County Council, Herts for Learning and ICT Partnership Working Group are investigating long term solutions. I hope this makes sense but if you wish to get in touch, please feel free to do so.

Thanks,

Kevin Crawley
kevin.crawley@hertsforlearning.co.uk

Posted in Web Filtering, Websites | Leave a comment

Problems emailing Microsoft addresses?

I have spoken to four different schools who use internally hosted Exchange servers. These schools all have an RM SMTP feed and are experiencing intermittent issues when trying to send/receive to/from Microsoft email address (hotmail.com, outlook.com, live.com etc..) .

As explained previously, email isn’t delivered as part of HICS but a communication may prove helpful. RM have told these schools that some DNS records need to be created to get this matter resolved. That part is obviously Updata and we have sent these DNS requests onto them to be created. However, so far, it appears that these DNS records have not had impact that we were hoping for and very little seems to have changed. I have a few contacts within RM and have sent off some emails asking for their thoughts on this and I am awaiting their response. I will put updates into this post.

Thanks,

Kevin Crawley

Posted in Email, Exchange server, RM, SMTP mail | 1 Comment

Transparent proxy issues on LD5

We have received reports of transparent proxy issues for the LD5 schools. It appears some pages are timing out and you need to keep refreshing the session for the page to load. Updata are investigating and I’ll add comments to this post to keep you informed on progress.

Thanks,

Kevin Crawley

Posted in Service, Transparent Proxy | 6 Comments

HICS Technical Forum

In November, I arranged Updata coming into the Herts for Learning office in Stevenage and invited along Network Managers from Secondary Schools for a Q&A session. Please see attached the minutes from this meeting. If anyone has any questions relating to this, please get in touch.
HICS network managers event November 2014

Thanks,

Kevin Crawley
kevin.crawley@hertsforlearning.co.uk

Posted in Service | Leave a comment