Students circumvent filters to view inappropriate content at school

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 15, 2017

A recent cybersercurity audit review issued by the State Auditor’s office found evidence that inappropriate material was viewed on school computers.
The audit was conducted within nine Mississippi school districts.
The report does not state which school districts were audited, but did state that of the computers inspected, more than 80 percent contained evidence that students viewed inappropriate material on the device, such as pornography.
During the audit, 18 schools in those nine districts were reviewed, 11 were high schools while the rest were middle schools. The audit found 86 percent of the middle school computers and 82 percent of the high school computers contained evidence of inappropriate material.
All nine districts tested stated that policies were in place to prevent such material from being viewed on the Internet while using school computers. It was the conclusion of the cybersecurity audit review that the polices and filters in place were not effective. The report does not state if the computers tested were taken home by students or solely used on campus.
Pearl River County School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said that while the district does employ filters on the school’s network, the technology staff continually has to plug holes students find to circumvent them. One of the loopholes students previously exploited entailed utilizing the cloud to access previously blocked content, but that exploit has been addressed.
The audit states that the Office of the State Auditor will continue to monitor compliance of polices to restrict access to inappropriate content, but said the policies currently in place are ineffective.

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