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WebScreen™ 2.0

Education-orientated web filtering

Service Pack: Core Service

Subject: Safeguarding

WebScreen™ 2.0 is a highly-scalable web filtering system that targets the particular needs of the UK education sector. It draws upon Atomwide's experience of providing unprecedented levels of protection from undesirable content for end users. The service pays particular attention to web sites likely to be visited by UK school-based users, rather than sites popular in other sectors such as business.

School-focused internet filtering

After using off-the-shelf web filtering applications for a number of years and finding them to lack the flexibility and functionality which primary and secondary schools wanted, Atomwide decided to develop its own product. The result was WebScreenTM, a highly scalable filtering system that targets the specific needs of the UK education sector. In recent times the original WebScreenTM product has been significantly developed and WebScreenTM 2.0 created.

School control over filtering

WebScreenTM 2.0 offers a highly flexible web filtering system designed to help schools exercise a large degree of filtering control at all levels. While a large degree of control is possible, it is not always necessary. Schools have the option to engage as much or as little as they wish with the filtering system. Some users may even prefer not to engage with the system at all.

Flexible hierarchy of settings

The system is based on a hierarchical structure in which settings can be configured at four levels; Atomwide, RBC, Local Authority and School. Schools will initially inherit settings from the relevant levels above them where applicable, in the instance of a school subscribing to TRUSTnet the Atomwide policy would be inherited, and schools will then be able to amend the policies to suit their own requirements.

IP-based, Time-based and User-based policies

Filtering is possible on a per-IP and per-user basis, where the two methods can be used independently or in conjunction with each other. Filtering policies can be created for different IP address groupings and/or groups of users. Groups can contain just staff members, just pupils or a combination of both. Policies groupings can contain a number of variations which differ slightly from the base policy and variants can operate at pre-scheduled times which can be defined in one minute increments if needed.

Reports can also be produced either on general surfing activity in terms of sites allowed or denied or for a specific IP address or logged-in user. There is also the option for a school to force all users to authenticate via USO authentication(provided to schools with the TRUSTnet Core Service package) in order to have any web access at all. In these cases, full user activity reporting will be possible.

Block page control

When users encounter a block page under an IP-based policy, they may have an option to log in. In such instances, the user's surfing would be covered by their own user policy, which would over-ride the IP policy assigned to that machine, and the user's access may become significantly less restricted. Block pages also offer a degree of configurability, where schools can enter establishment-specific messages that will be shown to users when a block page is encountered for a specific category.

WebScreenTM 2.0 can be operated by users of varying technical ability (particularly at school level) as understanding and active engagement with the system is not required for it to operate successfully and protect school users.

WebScreenTM 2.0 is available to all schools as part of the Core Service subscription.