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Nothing to LOL about
ARTICLE

T.H.E. Journal Volume 37, Number 6, ISSN 0192-592X

Abstract

Schools fear the predatory behavior that lurks around social networking sites, where the exchange of personal information can make users sitting ducks for hackers, thieves, cyberbullies, and scammers. So they're caught in what appears to be an all-or-nothing choice: take advantage of the academic opportunities that social networking sites can provide, or prohibit their use altogether in order to avert the security breaches that may result. For now, the majority of schools are erring on the side of caution and opting for the latter, relying mostly on traditional filtering software to carry out that effort. But does it have to be one or the other? This article discusses an emerging middle ground between a complete blockade and total access--new security technologies that can filter out inappropriate content more effectively than their predecessors can, enabling the legitimate use of social media while warding off attacks. New content filters can reduce the threats brought by social media considerably. While content filters have traditionally focused on blocking traffic, they are now beginning to take an active role in classifying the content that comes across. The latest firewalls have several capabilities that make them better suited to detect malicious code before it hits a school's network. Many of them belong to an emerging group of devices that provide unified threat management (UTM) services, which combine multiple security technologies within a single appliance. Unlike their older counterparts, today's firewalls can detect specific application "signatures" and block them even if the unwanted application attempts to come across port 80--the port that most web traffic funnels through and, consequently, is left open by IT administrators.

Citation

Ramaswami, R. (2010). Nothing to LOL about. T.H.E. Journal, 37(6), 24-26. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from .

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