NetSupport launches new safeguarding module, NetSupport DNA
NetSupport is pleased to announce the launch of a new student safeguarding module for the education edition of its IT Asset Management suite, NetSupport DNA.
In addition to its core functions of helping schools to save time and money, whilst increasing productivity, ensuring reliability and adding security to their IT systems, NetSupport DNA now provides staff with the tools to monitor and protect students whilst they are using school or college technology.
Alongside improving schools’ capabilities to manage their IT assets, this latest safeguarding update also helps them to comply with their obligation to implement IT monitoring solutions to supervise students’ internet use under the Government’s Prevent duty legislation to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
NetSupport DNA’s new “Report a concern” feature gives students the opportunity to ask a nominated and trusted member of staff for guidance across the range of safeguarding issues: from cyber bullying, sexual abuse, eating disorders and pornography to the potential for radicalisation – or simply concerning behaviour by another student.
Schools can nominate staff on the system and students using any DNA-enabled PC can select which teacher they wish to report their concern to. The member of staff is instantly alerted when a concern is raised and the system logs and tracks the issue to ensure that students are fully supported. For the students, reporting concerns is easy and discreet – and can even be done anonymously, if they choose.
In addition, the product’s comprehensive Keyword and Phrase monitoring feature uses advanced neurolinguistics technology to provide teachers with an insight into what students are typing (both online and in programs such as Word) and draws on an extensive database of keywords and phrases covering the spectrum of safeguarding topics. This means staff can be alerted to activity by students who are potentially open to physical or emotional harm and allows them to take the appropriate supportive action.
Additional security components are also provided within the product to enhance a school’s safeguarding policy. Endpoint security is provided as standard and allows IT managers to immediately apply an extra layer of security to their enterprise’s network. They can control the use of portable and removable USB devices on all PCs, and individual memory sticks can be assigned and restricted for use only by specific individuals or members of a department. Plus, internet monitoring is included; webcams can be disabled where appropriate; and Acceptable Use Policies can be distributed and enforced.
NetSupport has worked with internationally-operating organisation, the Internet Watch Foundation, to ensure the new safeguarding module of NetSupport DNA is as comprehensive and accessible as possible. In addition, the company has collaborated closely with local authorities and school safeguarding leads, as well as conducting its own research with groups of students on the language that they use every day.
Commenting on NetSupport DNA’s implementation and use, the Network Co-ordinator from Jack Hunt School (Trust) in Peterborough, Andy Duffy, said:
“We found NetSupport DNA was incredibly easy to install and configure. It literally took just 30 minutes to be up and running before we were live and capturing data from our network PCs.
“The product looks very different to “other” IT management solutions we have used, it’s really simple to use and all key information you need is accessible at a glance. It took me – and my colleagues no time at all to learn to use NetSupport DNA to access all the main information we need.
“I find it so much easier to use than other solutions. Visually, it looks lovely and is really easy to find the information you are looking for. My technicians find it very easy to use and are able to dig out all kinds of information they didn’t know was available.”
Talking about the Internet Watch Foundation’s collaboration with NetSupport, Nicky Peachment, IWF Commercial Relationship Manager, said:
“We use our expertise to work with partners across the world to eliminate online child sexual abuse material, so we welcomed the opportunity to assist NetSupport as it developed this important safeguarding technology which we are sure will be welcomed by schools.”
Commenting on this new update, NetSupport’s Managing Director, Al Kingsley, said:
“The increasing use of technology in schools brings with it the responsibility to keep students safe. Schools that have already invested in IT management tools to ensure cost efficiencies and secure their networks can now leverage the benefit of these extra safeguarding features at no additional cost – and those wishing to enhance their safeguarding policies will find the product’s additional management and security features (including webcam blocking; options to ensure the secure use of USB memory sticks; and the enforcement of schools’ Acceptable Use Policies) a major plus point.
“We’ve put our money where our mouth is and any school can download and try the product for free.”