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Nailing Students Violating Internet Policies

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 18 Oct 2002

Need to identify students who are violating policies, and nail them dead to rights? Check out these ideas, from those who know (these are from the new School Cool Solutions Advisory Board). Here are some things that render students speechless when you confront them (and their parents) with the evidence.

1: For lab machines, we simply lock them down tight. For Residence Students, we have a very detailed and organized setup on the infrastructure level that allows us to link IP addresses to MAC addresses to rooms very quickly (even using DHCP). My advice will always be to document, document, document and keep all your log files.

2: If you are using BorderManager it is really easy to log what the students are doing. It logs the username, ip address, date and time and the url's of where they went in a text file. I have written a few scripts to search through the files and look for key words. I print it out and present it to the students, that usually renders them speechless. They always try the trick "Someone else must have my password." but we still ban them and discipline them for not keeping their password secret. You can even view realtime logs in BorderManager and look at a specific students' tracks. It is a brilliant tool.

3: We also use the BorderManager Access Control logs. We export the deny list each week into a text file and import that into Excel so we can filter the list by OU and create a printout for the building administrators.

We have recently been using Adobe Acrobat to create PDFs of these "printouts" so we can post them to a secure location of our intranet server (password protected). This allows us to get the information to the building adminstration faster and creates an archive of this information without having to buy a bigger file cabinet.

We have also been using a Cool Solutions tool, BRDSTATS.EXE, to create htm pages of statistics taken from the common log files. This program will allow you to see which users are doing the most web site access and which sites they access the most.

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