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Schools get protection from spam and hackers

9 August 2004

Schools get protection from spam and hackers

The government is investing $9.5 million to help schools create a safe cyberspace for their students through screening out hackers and filtering websites and email including spam, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

"Contracts have been signed with four providers which will give state and state-integrated schools a choice of free products and services that enable safe and secure internet use," Trevor Mallard said.

"The contracts are good news for schools as they can now be confident in providing a safer online computer environment for their students at no cost.

"Our government wants students to learn to work well using the innovations of the internet age, through accessing the information and resources available online. That plays an important role in our commitment to raising student achievement. But we want to be sure they are well-protected when they do so.

"By having a safer internet connection teachers will be able to focus on the important role of educating our students rather than having to waste time manually monitoring and controlling the online environment."

Trevor Mallard said Telecom and Watchdog had been contracted to provide 'managed' internet services to most New Zealand schools, while SurfControl and IBM will provide software for email and content filtering for those schools wanting to manage their own services.

Managed internet services include: a firewall which screens all inbound and outbound traffic protecting schools’ computers and servers from outside hackers, system scans and unauthorised breaches; content filtering to prevent access to inappropriate websites; email filtering to prevent the sending or receiving of offensive material and oversize attachments; and management of spam and junk emails such as inappropriate advertising, chain letters, jokes, image files and screen savers.

The government funding means services are free to schools for three years with additional services available at a cost, depending on the option they select.


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