Blog

4 Ways Schools Can Drive Ed-Tech ROI and Compliance With Analytics

Author Headshot

It’s something we hear from a lot of schools: first came all the devices, then came a flurry of apps and applications and digital tools and curriculum to use with them. And now, it’s a little out of control with unused tools, redundant resources, unvetted apps. Analytics can give you the data you need to take back control and optimize all of that!

Read more on 4 Ways Schools Can Drive Ed-Tech ROI and Compliance With Analytics…

Leave a comment

DNS over HTTPS – What Schools Need to Know about Web Filtering with DoH

Author Headshot

Recently, Mozilla announced its plans to implement the DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol by default in the Firefox browser starting in late September. Soon after, Google announced its intention to do the same for the Chrome browser. The implications for web filtering and schools could be big. Learn what DoH means for schools that need to filter traffic and protect students.

What is DoH:
DNS stands for Domain Name System; it’s the system for matching the domain name of a site (like www.something.com) to its IP addresses that makes it easy to browse the web and get to your favorite sites. Historically all of that has happened via an unencrypted DNS connection. As the name DNS over HTTPs implies, DoH takes DNS and shifts it to a secure, encrypted HTTPs connection.

Why DoH:
Mozilla and Google are making these changes to bring the security and privacy benefits of HTTPS to DNS traffic. All those warnings about the security risks of public WiFi? With DoH, you’re protected against other WiFi users seeing what websites you visit because your activity would be encrypted. DoH can also add protection against spoofing and pharming attacks and can prevent your network service providers from seeing your web activity.

What Does DoH Mean for Schools:
DoH prevents network services from seeing web traffic – but seeing web traffic is something schools rely on for web filtering and reporting. Much like Google’s move to encrypted search and other services years ago, while this can bring greater privacy and security to many users, it can also have big, negative implications for schools. Schools rely on the ability to see student traffic to provide essential services like filtering, monitoring, and reporting on school-owned devices.

When Does DoH Take Effect:
Firefox has already started to gradually shift to DOH. Chrome is expected to start shifting some traffic by the end of the year.

Does this Impact Your School?
If you rely on DNS filtering, you may be affected: without proper preparation or solutions, traffic won’t be able to be reliably blocked and your filtering may be ineffective. For our Lightspeed Systems customers, we have you covered.

Why Lightspeed Systems is DoH-Ready:
If you’re using Relay, you’ll be ready for DoH because our Smart Agents are installed on the device to provide the most granular, decrypted filtering; they don’t use DNS.
Our Relay Rocket (for BYOD and IoT traffic) uses DNS, but we’ve prepared our technology for DNS over HTTPS and the Relay Rocket will block the DoH domains so traffic is forced back to standard DNS where it can be seen, filtered, and reported.
Inline Rocket Web Filter customers will also be able to filter traffic across DoH.

What Other Web Filter Users Should Do:
If you’re not using Lightspeed Systems Relay or Rocket, make sure that you will be able to effectively filter all traffic even with these shifts to DoH.
• If you’re using a different DNS Filter, or a DNS feature of other cloud-based filters, reach out to your provider to discuss if you’ll be able to ensure ongoing filtering with DoH.
• If you’re using an inline filter, you will be able to effectively filter over DoH (but you may be missing out on other benefits a cloud solution can provide).
Switch to Relay 🙂 and get all the benefits of Smart Agents, including hassle-free SSL decryption,

Read more on DNS over HTTPS – What Schools Need to Know about Web Filtering with DoH…

Leave a comment

6 Tips for Alleviating Parent Concerns About School Technology Use and Your 1:1

Author Headshot

More than ever, parents have questions about the technology their students are using at school – and bringing home. And chances are, these questions will come up at back to school night and throughout the school year. Relay can give you the controls to assuage parents’ fears – and the data to answer their questions.

Leave a comment

10 Tips for Going Back to School with your 1:1

Author Headshot

The end of summer means students are heading back to class soon, and you’re busy onboarding, getting devices ready, putting the final touches on your program or handing out devices to those returning students. We’ve put together 10 tips for going back to school with your 1:1 to keep your students safe and your operation running smoothly.

Read more on 10 Tips for Going Back to School with your 1:1…

Leave a comment

Relay Filter Policy Check-Up

Author Headshot

With students returning to school, it’s a good time to verify your Relay Filter settings to make sure your students are protected from inappropriate content. Relay provides the most powerful filtering available, backed by granular controls and the most comprehensive database — but for all of that to work, you need to make sure your settings are right.

Here are the top five settings we recommend you verify for your student groups:

1. Turn on Force Safe Search
SafeSearch is a setting for Google and Bing that helps block explicit images, videos, and websites from search results. This setting can be found in Internet Access > Default Rules.

2. Turn on Filter Google Image Search Thumbnails
With this setting turned on, thumbnails from websites in blocked categories will not be visible. The setting can be found in Internet Access > Default Rules.

3. Turn on Block Unknowns
Because our database is so comprehensive and updates in real time, any unknown URLs are typically either inappropriate or a security risk. This setting blocks any sites, URLs, domains, and IPs that aren’t categorized in our database. The setting can be found under Internet Access > scroll down or use Control-F to find the “Unknown” category.

4. Ensure YouTube is safe
YouTube continues to make news for inappropriate content, malicious users, and recommended videos that lead to bad content. The controls are all located in Internet Access > Video Rules.

Read more on Relay Filter Policy Check-Up…

Leave a comment

Introducing Relay Rocket – Filtering for BYOD & IoT

Author Headshot

Last week we announced the release of Relay Rocket, the latest addition to our Relay Filter.

What is it?
The Relay Rocket turns your standard DNS server into a Smart Agent to filter any network traffic that doesn’t have a Smart Agent installed. This could be BYOD, guest, IoT, or older devices.

Read more on Introducing Relay Rocket – Filtering for BYOD & IoT…

Leave a comment

Lightspeed is Heading to ISTE 2019 – See What’s New!

Author Headshot

It’s time for ISTE 2019 and Lightspeed Systems is excited to see everyone in Philly! The new products and features we’ll be showing off make Relay the one product you need to have for your 1:1 program and student safety mission!

If you’re heading to ISTE come see us in booth #1432; if you’re #notatISTE, here’s a rundown of the latest and greatest things we’ll be showing off.

Read more on Lightspeed is Heading to ISTE 2019 – See What’s New!…

Leave a comment