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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 Poster Competition Winners

The results are in! Thanks to some help from East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton judging from the excellent shortlist, we now have our winners for the 2019 Safer Internet Day poster competition.

Together for a better internet

The theme of this year’s campaign was “Together for a Better Internet” and this theme arose across many of the posters that were entered into the competition. The posters addressed a range of issues from cyber security to online games and social media.

Internet Safety Poster Competition Winners

First place was awarded to Ella Wotton Palmer, age 5, from Moss Lane School in Godalming for a colourful poster with a simple but very important message. 8-year-old Summer Gibbons from The Globe Primary Academy in Lancing and 11-year-olds Lara and Lloyd from London Meed Primary School in Burgess Hill took the two runner-up prizes.

First prize for the competition was a Chrome Book for the school of the winning pupil and two runners-up were awarded a digital camera for their school.

Stay safe online

We love running this competition every year as it’s a great way to keep the message of internet safety going throughout the year and giving back to the schools with some great prizes. The judging seems to get tougher every year, but we’re happy to have some great new posters to help us share the importance of staying safe online.

Look out for the prize-winning posters at JSPC events and remember – Be Safe Online!

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.

e-Safety and the momo challenge hoax

Parents and teachers were all on high alert last month when news broke of the momo challenge. The reports suggested someone was hacking into children’s phones and encouraging dangerous and harmful behaviour including self-harm. The story soon spread virally as concern grew, but a closer look at the situation showed that the whole story was a hoax. This comes as a relief to many, but the problem of identifying real threats remains – when you’re a parent or a teacher, it’s worth being careful of such warnings, but that does make you very vulnerable to hoax stories such as this.

Given the understandable worry and accompanying publicity that this story caused, it won’t be the last time that such a scenario will emerge. It can be hard to separate the hoaxes from the real threats, but the way to stay safe online isn’t to worry over every news story or potential threat, but to develop cyber security practices which mean that whether the next threat is real or a hoax, you know you’re protected.

We do a lot of work with schools on cyber security. We provide filtering tools for our broadband services which means schools can protect and monitor internet usage within the school. It’s even possible to see the detail down to individual users so that it’s easy to identify and support any children who may be vulnerable, either to cyber bullying or targeted for another online threat.

As well as the added functionality for safeguarding and content monitoring within the school’s internet access, we provide tools with a broad range of security products. However, the most important way that we help to protect schools is through comprehensive, free training that is regularly updated with the latest developments. The key to good security is to build it into your working practices and train staff to be part of the solution. There’s no point in installing the best firewall money can buy if someone has clicked on a virus in an email. It’s useful to monitor the internet usage of children in the school but you need to know what to search for and how to identify issues.

This is also good news for parents, who may not have the advantage of the same sophisticated IT tools available to schools. The most important thing is to make sure you know what your child is watching and interacting with online. Of course, you don’t want to terrify your children, but make them aware that there are dangers online – or even just remind them that they might lose access to their favourite games if a virus corrupts their IT device!

We work with Safety Net to deliver online training sessions for parents, teaching professionals and young people. As well as access to the online resources, bespoke sessions for a school can also be arranged involving assemblies, classes or workshops as required. Whether you’re a teacher or a concerned parent, such a session might help you feel a little more prepared when the next internet craze or security threat emerges.

ICT for Education Regional Conference in Brighton

We’re looking forward to attending the ICT for Education Regional Conference at the Amex Stadium in Brighton in March.

It’s always a very busy event and this year, we’re pleased to see sessions on google classroom tools and e-safety amongst other important topics. These are two areas that we’ve seen growing demand for over the past year as schools become aware of both the opportunities and challenges of the online world.

Our team will be at the event and on hand to chat through your current ICT challenges, any ideas you have for development or just if you want to find out a bit more about what we do and how we do it. You’ll also get a chance to try out some of the latest educational ICT tools.

The ICT for Education Regional Conference is always a great event and as well as the fantastic speakers and practical, inspiring sessions, it’s also a good place to network with your peers, share experiences and learn about new resources that may just work for your school.

We’re always looking to improve our solutions and our services, and we love catching up with other educational professionals. If you’re interested in attending the event on 22nd March, you can register online for a FREE delegate badge. Once you’re at the event. Don’t forget to come and say hello to our team on the JSPC stand.

Modern makeover for the JSPC Showroom

Showroom 1We were delighted to unveil the all new JSPC Showroom last month. We’re in our same location in Sompting, but we’ve completely modernised the space to reflect the cutting-edge technology available from JSPC.

Whilst we can all benefit from researching online, there really is no replacement for getting a hands-on test of any technology you might want to buy. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are on hand to help you consider your options from our new and refurbished PCs and laptops.

If you have a custom-built computer in mind, you’re also welcome to pop in and visit. You can see what is available and talk to a member of the team who will be able to understand any specifications or requirements and translate that into a PC that is designed to suit your needs.

Showroom 3

We’re delighted at the new look of the showroom but underneath the fresh coat of paint, it’s still the same dedicated, expert service and high-quality technology products, services and support that you have come to expect from JSPC.

Project Management Services for Schools

As part of our work supporting academies and schools, we’ve undertaken some large-scale implementation projects. From classroom extensions to whole new classrooms, Learning Resource Centres and even newly built schools, any new IT resource requires careful planning and management to ensure that the installation runs smoothly. That’s why JSPC uses the PRINCE2 project management method and why we use PRINCE2 qualified consultants to head up any new implementation.

What is PRINCE2 and what does it mean for the school?

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a structured project management method, which is widely recognised in both the public and private sector. PRINCE2 is methodical and process based, which is why JSPC has adopted it. We take all projects a step at a time and make sure that all objectives are met at every stage of the process. This can stop any problems cropping up further down the line, and save a lot of time once the solution goes live.

Does that mean our new IT will take longer to deliver?

In most cases, PRINCE2 doesn’t add any time to the length of a project. The guiding principal for any new installation is “more haste, less speed” and so having a clear system to check every stage of the project can often lead to a much smoother installation. There’s no point in taking short cuts to get a new system up and running if it breaks down the following week. We work on the basis of being both efficient and effective in all our IT projects.

What do you offer project management for?

Our expertise is with technology – from school computers to broadband installations and switching. If you’re planning any significant investment in technology resources, it’s worth ensuring that it’s managed correctly. This will ensure that the project stays on time and the budget doesn’t spiral out of control. Most of all, when it’s finished everything should work as its meant to. We’ve worked in schools and academies both as a sole provider and managing projects that require a range of different providers coming together to deliver what’s best for the organisation. In either instance, whether as a provider or as a consultant, we recommend an experienced project manager at the helm to keep a project under control. This will help you make the most of your resources and save you a lot of stress in the long run.

Beware new cybercrime scam targeting schools

Cybercrime targeting schools is on the rise and with the New Year is a new scam making the rounds. Knowledge is power when it comes to these kind of attacks, so we wanted to make sure that our schools are in the know about this latest attempt by fraudsters.

The most recent approach is for someone to ring the targeted school from the Department of Education (not the genuine Department for Education) requesting email contact details for the school’s Headmaster or Finance Administrator. They state the reason for requiring the direct email address and not just the school’s generic email is because they are sending across guidance forms containing sensitive information.

Once they receive the email address they will send an email containing a .zip file which could also be disguised as a Word or Excel file. The attachment will contain ransomware which once downloaded will encrypt files and then the fraudsters will demand up to £8,000 to recover them.

Contact us on 01903 767122 if you have any concerns.

Computer says no: tips for beginners

No one starts their life a computer expert, learning about technology is something that takes practice and time, but there are some things to be aware of which can save you a lot of hassle as a beginner.

Backing up

Technology makes lives easier and tasks quicker, but every now and then it can go wrong. Not backing up your important data is a common mistake that leaves rookie computer users in hot water. There are so many easy ways to back up your information these days there is really no excuse to leave it vulnerable.

Stop and read

With the ease of getting the job done faster, also comes the temptation to speed things up further, it is unlikely you would sign a document without understanding what you are agreeing to first, but frequently users click through terms and conditions accepting any request they see. At the very least, this can result in programs downloading onto your device without your knowledge.

Always hit save

Pretty much anyone you speak to who works with computers will be able to recall an incident where hours of work went to waste due to failure to click the save button. It is easy to do, you get so enthralled in the job at hand your neglect that simple step. Then your computer crashes or restarts and your document is no more. The lesson learned here is to click Save regularly, even if you are not yet finished.

Email attachments

One key cause of computer viruses and malware comes from opening email attachments. Even if the email is from a source you know and trust, be vigilant and open any attachments with caution. One of the key ways fraudsters like to tap into your computer security is by pretending to be someone you know, so if something looks suspicious, don’t open it.

Power surge

Devices which are plugged into a wall outlet are vulnerable to power surges. A way of protecting against this is by using a surge protector, this makes sure nothing is damaged if a surge travels through your power lines. If you use a desktop computer, it is recommended to use a UPS on your computer. This can be more expensive, but will protect your computer from a surge and will also temporarily stop it turning off should the power go off for a moment.

Keep up to date with scams

Finally, keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest scams and phishing tactics will help keep you savvy whilst navigating the online world. If you are in the know about viruses you are much more likely to use your computer in a way which runs the lowest risk of infection and if you are unlucky, recognising the signs of a virus will mean you can spot the problem promptly and take steps to remedy.