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Managing IT Costs

We’re delighted to share a recent article published in Nursery Management Today about managing IT costs. From a new infrastructure to the best value support contracts, there are many ways to save on your IT costs.

New partnership with Smoothwall for digital security in schools and academies

We’re always looking for the latest and very best products for our client schools to make sure they’re safe, secure and that the IT infrastructure is running smoothly. With that in mind, we’re delighted to announce our new partnership with Smoothwall. These innovative and dependable solutions for digital security have been engineered from the ground up with the safety of students and the demands of busy teachers and educational administrators in mind.

We’re in the process of moving all our client schools over to Smoothwall because they offer great value; a complete safeguarding solution which is reliable and doesn’t impact performance. From an effective firewall that doesn’t slow performance to stringent data protection tools, Smoothwall has it covered. You can select which tools are for you or deploy the complete solution for 360 digital security in your school or academy.

This cost-effective, high performance digital safety solution includes:

  • Smoothwall Filter: A safer, digital learning environment with real-time, content-aware filtering.
  • Smoothwall Firewall: All the features of Smoothwall Filter with an advanced firewall for total protection.
  • Smoothwall Monitor: Helping schools detect online risks before they become real-life incidents.
  • Smoothwall Classroom Manager: Enabling student focus for teachers and time-efficiency for schools.
  • Smoothwall Record Manager: Time saving record management to help schools better identify children at risk.

Your engineer will be in touch to help you manage the transition at a time that doesn’t impact the school. You can find out more by downloading the brochure or visiting the Smoothwall website or drop us a line and the JSPC team will be happy to answer your questions.

Free Cyber Security Workshop

We have teamed up once again with the South East Cyber Protect Team to raise awareness of cyber security issues within schools and provide advice on how to protect your school from cyber crime.

The cyber security workshop takes place on Thursday 4th July 10:00 – 12:00 at the Charmandean Centre in Worthing.

Police Cyber Security Advisor, Chris White will be covering a range of topics including the latest cyber security trends, threats and vulnerabilities across a number of areas including:
* Personal and corporate security
* Identity theft
* Cyber frauds and scams
* Phishing, smishing and vishing
* Password management
* Social engineering tactics
Reserve your place on this free workshop today to learn more about how to protect your school – and yourself – from the latest cyber threats.

Success with ESET Internet Security

JSPC wins largest growth award from ESET for the second year in a row

The ESET conference is always a highlight of the JSPC calendar. It gives us a chance to hear from ESET all about their latest products designed to provide anti-virus and internet security. We know this is a very important issue for schools, and one which we take seriously. That’s why we work closely with ESET as a silver partner to ensure we can offer the very best products to protect schools from malware and viruses.

This year, as well as learning all about the latest developments from ESET, we were delighted to have been awarded the Largest Growth Award by ESET for the second year in a row. The award shows that our collaborative approach with schools, including providing education about the importance of cyber security, helps to grow our business and ensures that schools across the South East are well protected against malware threats.

Last year saw a lot of high-profile stories in the news about organisations that had been hacked, and the cost to a school of fixing such an issue can be immense and can also damage a school’s reputation. Our proactive approach with schools to implement ESET has meant that this threat is not adding to the pressure of school administration and doesn’t impact on any of the rest of the infrastructure.

The introduction of GDPR legislation also played a role in the growth; schools had particular security requirements relating to security to comply with the new requirements and ESET had a solution which allowed schools to not only fulfil but even exceed the minimum requirements to ensure that the school was well protected.

We recommend ESET is because it provides endpoint antivirus protection, file and mobile security and offers remote management for schools. Not only does it protect against hackers and other cyber threats, but also proactively seeks out potential issues within the system and identifies them before they become a threat. This ensures schools can keep focussing on their top priority of education.

We’re delighted to have received the largest growth award from ESET once again, and we’ll continue to work closely with schools to provide the very best in internet security. We might try for a hat trick on the award front, but we’ll keep our focus on what each school needs to ensure they remain protected as internet security requirements evolve.

Internet Safety Day Poster Competition Finals

We’ve had a tough time judging the first round of our annual Internet Safety Poster competition. We asked pupils from schools across the South East to create a poster to help inform their friends and other young people about how to stay safe on the internet.

It was very difficult to narrow it down to a shortlist. What we did notice, as well as some wonderful creativity, was that there were a broad range of ways that children need to protect their safety online. From cyber security and the danger strangers may pose on the internet to cyber bullying and seeing inappropriate materials online.

The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day was “Together for a better internet” and this theme was clear across the posters, which advised speaking with parents and older siblings, being kind of classmates online and even protecting younger siblings from the internet. It was lovely to see the different interpretations and clear understanding of this message.

Some posters focussed on a single issue, and others looked at ways to stay safe across all internet activity. All of them show that events such as Safer Internet Day are very much needed, but they’re also having a positive effect. The competition was open to children from 4-11 years old and even very young children are aware that they should be careful online. That’s a great message to get out to kids as early as possible. There are lots of positive possibilities for the internet but helping children understand some of the basics of e-safety can be invaluable in making sure they are well protected.

Next week we’ll be getting together with MP Tim Loughton who will be judging the current finalists and deciding on the winners. There is a new Chromebook and digital cameras for the school up for grabs, and we’ll be announcing the full results as soon as we’ve let the schools know who the lucky winners are.

Internet Safety Poster Competition

We are delighted to announce that we are once again running our poster competition to highlight Safer Internet Day. The theme for this year’s event is “Together for a better Internet” and so we’re inviting pupils across the South East to put their heads together to come up with posters which raise awareness of the importance of Internet safety – and possibly win a shiny new Chromebook or digital camera for the school.

The poster competition is open to pupils from ages 4 – 11 and the deadline for entries is 28th February. The entries can be drawn, painted, collaged or even designed on a computer. The judges will be looking for creative and interesting designs which effectively deliver the key messages of Safer Internet Day.

In previous years, we’ve had dozens of entries from schools right across the South East and we’re looking forward to looking at all the posters again this year. If you need a bit of a nudge to get you started, the UK Safer Internet Centre has a fantastic page of resources about Safer Internet Day including education packs, tips for parents and carers as well as children and the opportunity to register as a supporter and put your school on the map.

Entries should be sent via the school. Please send your creations to shelley@jspc.co.uk, give to a JSPC Technician or post to JSPC Computer Services, Units 1-3 Seadown Parade, Bowness Avenue, Sompting, West Sussex, BN15 9TP by 28th February 2019.

Prizes for Schools
1st Prize – Chromebook
2nd Prize – Digital Camera
3rd Prize – Digital Camera

PLUS, all winning entries and a selection of our favourites will be shared far and wide online and via social media to spread the word about staying safe on the internet.

Terms and Conditions
1) There are 3 prizes available for the JSPC Internet Safety Day Poster Competition. All of these prizes will be presented to the school attended by the winning pupil.
a) First Prize is a Chromebook
b) Second Prize is a digital camera
c) Third Prize is a digital camera
2) The competition is open to any school in Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire for pupils aged between 4 and 11 years. Schools are not required to be JSPC customers.
3) Only one entry per pupil is permitted.
4) Entries will appear on the JSPC website and the JSPC Facebook Page and Twitter. The school will be listed but names of pupils will be withheld – unless the child would like to be named.
5) The school and pupil agree that their poster will be reproduced to be distributed in JSPC’s monthly e-newsletter and that the name of the school will be listed.
6) All prizes will be presented by a member of JSPC Computer Services on a date to be confirmed.
7) Prizes are non transferrable, non refundable and cannot be exchanged.
8) Entries must be submitted by 5pm on 28th February 2019.

Nursery Management Today

A great start to the year – we are featured in the latest issue of Nursery Management Today with an article about establishing some new healthy IT habits for 2019.

NMT Sept Oct 2017 IT-2

When it comes to cyber security, check it twice

Christmas can be a vulnerable time for security threats so make sure you and your IT systems are prepared

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but in amongst all the parties and mince pies, it’s worth taking a moment to double check your IT security is up to date, because it can also be a bumper time for cyber criminals. We take a look at some of the reasons why individuals and organisations may be more vulnerable at Christmas.

Tracking spending patterns

Our spending patterns vary in December and make it harder for AI computer programmes to spot potentially fraudulent transactions. It is estimated that the UK spent £8.2bn over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend and that’s just a fraction of the Christmas shopping we’re all doing right now. The banks expect a spike in spending at this time of year, which makes it easier to slip through a fraudulent transaction in amongst all those online orders and trips to the shops. Make sure you’re checking your statements regularly – not only will it help you spot any potential fraud, it also has the added benefit of keeping you within your budget.

Card Not Present provides opportunity for fraudsters

There is a rise in the number of fraudulent CNP, or ‘Card Not Present’ transactions. It is considered a weak link in security protocols because there are many ways for criminals to obtain the card details and there is no need to provide a PIN or demonstrate that you have an accurate signature match. CNP fraud is expected to rise to £680m by 2021 so make sure you keep your card details safe and if you’re running a business that takes card payments over the phone, make sure you’ve got all the right virus protection and programmes for securely processing the payments without storing the data.

People are the greatest threat to cyber security

This time of year, people are very busy. They’re rushing to get their work done, thinking about the Christmas break, perhaps they’re hungover from a Christmas party the night before or just very tired from all the preparation. This means that people may be distracted or tempted to cut corners and that’s when you become more vulnerable to a cyber-attack. Make sure that your firewall and security settings are up to date but remember that people’s actions are just as important as the technology you have installed. Be aware of what you’re doing while you’re online at home, and if you manage a team, make sure they remember that especially at this time of year, all the right procedures can protect the business and your customers from data breaches and card fraud.

 

Hints and Tips: Cleaning your Clevertouch

More and more schools are embracing Clevertouch screens as part of the digital classroom, and tablets are becoming an important learning tool as well as a popular home and business device. There are a lot of uses for touch screen technology, and whether you’re using it for a class of school children or not, the screen will get dirty over time. It’s important to clean the screen to make sure you’re getting the most from the investment – and can see the screen clearly!
Do you need any special equipment?
You don’t need a lot of specialist equipment to keep your screens clean. We would recommend using gloves when cleaning the screens – this is partly to protect your skin from the cleaning fluid but also because it stops you accidentally adding more marks while you’re trying to clean them away. You need to avoid acidic or corrosive cleaners as these are likely to damage the screen. Water is also a no-no; if this gets into the workings of the screen or tablet it can cause a lot of damage. Clevertouch recommend model 50 of the sprayway detergent for their screens but if you don’t have this, the best approach is to use an isopropyl cleaner which is designed for this purpose. The only other equipment you’ll need is two glass cleaning cloths, which are anti-dust, lint-free or made of microfiber.
How do I go about cleaning the Clevertouch?
These rules apply to cleaning a lot of technology, but many people forget to take some of these points into account and learn the hard way that a simple mistake or skipping a few steps to save time can cost you a lot more in the long run. That’s why we’ve put together a list of “do’s and don’ts” for cleaning a Clevertouch or any other touchscreen device.
– Don’t just put the screen in sleep mode
– Do turn the screen off and unplug the cable
– Do put on your gloves before starting
– Don’t spray directly onto the screen as there is a risk of moisture getting in at the bottom of the  screen
– Do shake the cleaner and spray on the cloth
– Do wipe side to side in the same direction
– Do wipe the screen with a dry cloth afterwards in the same way to remove any remaining marks

We’re always on hand to help people with their technology, so if you’ve got any questions or want to know more about looking after your personal or business devices or your school’s technology, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Successful Cyber Security Workshop for Schools

We had a full house at our Cyber Security Workshop for schools in Shoreham this week. The popularity of the event reflected the concerns many people have after so many cyber-attacks and data leaks made the headlines last year. Schools are under pressure to make sure their IT is secure and we decided to put on an event with the experts to help everyone understand how to set up and maintain IT security.

Our speaker was Chris White, his experience working for the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit meant that he had extensive knowledge and a clear understanding of the challenges schools are facing. His presentation took in not only IT security for schools, but also some great tips for everyone on how to keep their data secure and avoid falling prey to phishing emails, identity theft and even simple but essential tools such as password management.
The event at Shoreham airport was a great success, we managed to provide some valuable information to schools across the region and we all learned from the experts who work on the front line of this challenging area. Technology changes so rapidly that we all have to keep up to date to make sure we’re staying safe and this free workshop at Shoreham airport was a great way to help our clients and make sure our solutions were in line with the aims of the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021.
Given the popularity of the event and the fact that the security threat is always evolving, we’re looking into running more workshops n partnership with the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit in the future. We’re always happy to hear from people who have suggestions for other events – if there’s something you’re stuck on or you want to discuss with your peers, our events are always informative with plenty of chances to discuss the issues with professionals from other schools to get some perspective and insight into the issue.