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Barracuda Blog

Are you ready for Chromebooks?

This post was submitted by Ben Bartle

Google recently announced selling one million Chromebooks to schools last quarter. These devices continue to increase in popularity all around but are especially attractive to students with limited pocketbooks. Inexpensive, lightweight, and reasonably powerful Chromebooks in themselves have a lot to offer.  The beauty of these machines is that they are built to make web browsing work as flawlessly as possible. There are no extra features or components to detract from the main purpose of accessing online content. And because modern web applications are so powerful and interactive, an entire curriculum can be built around this type of content delivery.

Google Apps for Education is one of the products that takes advantage of modern web capabilities. This suite provides numerous tools to connect and control user’s accounts, access and resources. However, even with the extensive tools Google offers there is still a lack of content control that allows schools to remain CIPA compliant. What do you do now?

For the unfamiliar, CIPA is the Children's Internet Protect Act, enacted in 2000, to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. From the FCC CIPA website:

CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections … The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).

Clearly, CIPA compliance is an important part of content management planning.

Barracuda Web Filter version 8.0 has you covered with Chromebook support. The Barracuda Web Filter can control and track Internet usage both on and off campus, providing safe, compliant Internet access to your students and teachers. The Internet user is protected regardless of where Internet access is obtained from, the home connection, a coffee shop or Internet café. Integration with your directory service provides reliable user authentication ensuring your report data is accurate and policies are applied properly.  

System Administrators will also benefit from the other new features in version 8, such as:

  • Custom dashboards that allow admins to customize their interface, giving them immediate access to the data they require most often.
  • Extended Data Patterns that enable additional keyword categories. Barracuda Web Filter version 8.0 supports categories such as medical terms (HIPAA), Social Security Numbers, credit card numbers and  privacy.
  • Wireless Access Point integration - with both Ruckus Wireless and Meru -- passes user authentication on to the Barracuda Web Filter. In other words, users can authenticate once to the wireless network, and receive all of their content security policies without the need to log on to the filter.

Start the school year right by protecting your students, staff and teachers with Barracuda Web filter.   Check out these resources for more information:

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The City of Westerville, OH employs the Barracuda Web Filter to protect its private and public networks