Year 7 to 13 Catholic Boys School, Auckland New Zealand

A common area of concern for parents when their son starts to bring their own device to school is around the question of device security.

These notes outline some practical ways in which you and your son can help to ensure that his device is kept secure and safe while at school and travelling to and from school.

Personalise your device

A device that is easily identified from others means it can be more quickly linked to its proper owner. To personalise a device you could:

a)    Name it

b)    Place stickers on it

c)     Decorate it in other ways – floruo pens, paint etc. could be used.

Passwords

A device should always have a username and password that is never shared with others so that other people cannot easily access it.

Passwords should be periodically changed – every 2 – 3 months.

Never write your password down and leave it your device i.e. in the same carry bag.

Anti-theft laptop recovery software

There is a range of software that can be installed on a laptop that can make it very difficult for a thief to then use the device and which can also track the device.

The following site has a review of some free Windows based software that can be used for data protection and tracking:

http://www.howto-connect.com/best-and-free-anti-theft-laptop-recovery-software-for-windows/

There is also the option to purchase software that combines antivirus, antitheft / tracking capabilities – information about one product can be found here: https://anti-theft.eset.com/?wrfsts=true

Similar tracking abilities are already built into iOS or MacOS devices. You do need to check that this tracking is turned on as it will be off by default.

Storing the device while at school

Lockers are available at school for use by students with digital devices.  Currently there are sufficient numbers of lockers to meet demand, however they are allocated on a first come first served basis. It is possible for a group of 1 – 4 friends to use the same locker to store their devices during morning break or lunchtime.  They could share the combination for a suitable padlock. Students should see Mr McLaughlan if they wish to hire a locker.

Using a lockable laptop carry bag

There are lockable bags that students could store their device in when it is not being used. This only make it more difficult to access the device but in combination with other measures it could act as a deterrent.

Students working together

When working together students can be the most effective means of preventing devices being vandalised or stolen. Some possible ways they could work together are:-

a)    Put all bags etc. together if playing out on the fields and have a student act as a “watcher” for that day. This role of “watcher” could be rotated each day.
Always put bags in a place where the owner can see it.

b)    Tie together all the bags with a padlocked light chain. This would prevent a bag being quickly walked off with as it would be tied to all the other bags. If each bag is also locked it would prevent someone from easily accessing the bag at the same time.

c)     Report cases of theft and suspicious behaviour immediately to a teacher or dean. If those responsible for taking another person’s gear are caught it can act as a real deterrent to others.

Viruses and other Malware

It is essential that the device your son uses has installed a robust antivirus program which your son is responsible for updating regularly. This should be about every week.  It is also strongly recommended that the device has an anti-malware program installed. On Windows devices a good option is Malwarebytes which has a useful free version. (https://www.malwarebytes.org/)

 For further information, contact 
Anthony Swanink on 09 838 9350 or email:a.swanink@liston.school.nz