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And the winner is...


You might recall that we've been running a competition for schools to design an E-Safety Poster and win a prize. We've received many fantastic entries and have been busy narrowing these down to 12 finalists, which we have now shared in full on our Beebug Facebook page.

The winning entry will be the first screen on rotation within our BeeSafe software and will run for several weeks. You can see a video and what this does and how it works here. The winning school will be awarded a certificate along with a 12" Linx 2in1 Tablet!

We also plan to put into rotation several more of the finalists over the next few months. We will speak to the schools before doing so.

So without further ado, the winning entry is...

Welldon Park Primary School - Harrow


Congratulations! It was a very hard decision.

We were very impressed with all the entries we received. So much so that we'll be giving a £20 Amazon voucher away to each school that entered.

Well done everyone! We'll be in touch soon to arrange prizes and presentations.

Windows 7 End of Support is getting closer

Windows 7 EOL The Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System was one of the most popular computer platforms of all time. It is still in heavy use today, but its days are numbered! All software products have a life cycle and nothing lasts forever.

With ever changing hardware and increasingly complex software, operating systems need to be regularly updated to keep pace with these developments. As time goes on weaknesses and vulnerabilities are discovered that require security patches to prevent malicious software from breaching these systems.

The Microsoft Support Cycle?
The table below shows the history of Micosoft Operating Systems (OS) and their life cycles. Each OS has a mainstream support termination date and an extended support termination date. The mainstream date shows when an operating system will stop receiving new features and the extended support date shows when there will be no more security patches and fixes available.

What does this mean?
Currently as long as your Windows 7 computers have Windows 7 Service Pack 1 installed on them they will continue to get security patches and fixes until January 13th 2020. These computers will function as normal and Windows Updates will be available to patch any vulnerabilities.

What happens after January 13th 2020?
Any computer running Windows 7 will continue to work. However, there will be no further patches or security fixes. This means as soon as a vulnerability is identified, malicious software will be created that takes advantage of it. Whilst you can continue to use your Windows 7 computers after this date the risk of infection/spyware/malware and other malicious software is greatly increased.

What can we do?
January 2020 may seem like a long way off, but we know how tight school budgets are and how important future financial planning is. These are the options you have:


  • Depending on the age of your computers you may already have a Windows 10 COA sticker on the unit. If so then that computer is already licenced for Windows 10 and can be upgraded.
  • Older computers may have Windows 7 or Windows 8 COA stickers. These will need upgrade licences to legally use Windows 10. You can either buy these as one time upgrades or the school could opt for a Microsoft licencing agreement (OVS-ES) which would entitle you to upgrade rights for any version of Windows as well as licences for Office 2016.
  • Finally, if the computers are very old or performing poorly you could opt to replace them with modern hardware which would include Windows 10.

Please note that in most cases you will require Windows 10 Pro (Professional), Education or Enterprise to use any computer on the school’s network (Active Directory Domain). The standard version of Windows 10, sometimes referred to as Windows 10 Home is unable to join a Domain.

If you decide to move to Windows 10 our team are here to help. Other points to consider are software compatibility and licences. As a rule of thumb most software programs that work on Windows 7 will run on Windows 10. It is worth checking that mission critical software is supported prior to any upgrades. It is also a good time to move to a current version of Microsoft Office. Most Windows 7 computers will have Office 2010 installed on them. This product goes end of extended support in October 2020.

Our Beebug Security software suite (which is FREE of charge with any of our support packages) is of course fully compatible with Windows 10.

Contact us for more information.

Design an E-Safety Poster and Win a Tablet for your School!


We recently announced the BeeSafe Buzzer! a new safety button that is included free of charge with any BeeSafe subscription. We have since deployed the Buzzer! in a number of schools and it has been well received.

What is it?
The BeeSafe Buzzer! is a a friendly floating Bee that hovers around the desktop, on top of other windows. It is there to help students protect themselves while using a computer. In the event that a student is exposed to inappropriate content or cyberbullying, the Buzzer! is there to protect them. They simply need to click on the icon to immediately blank the screen, removing the offending content from site.

If this sounds familiar, that is probably because you have heard of Hector Protector, the floating dolphin from Hectors World by ThinkUKnow. While the basic features are similar, the Buzzer! has additional safeguading features. Unlike Hector, the safety screen cannot be removed by a simple click. Each time the button is pressed the system generates a random unlock code which is displayed at the bottom of the screen in words so that the adult supervising them can then key in the digits. This helps to ensure that an adult is aware of the situation and discourages from over use.

The other big difference is reporting. A click on Hector simply covers the screen, the Buzzer! actually reports the content back to the BeeSafe system. A new screenshot capture is generated and flagged that it was initiated by the Buzzer! Optionally, BeeSafe can be configured to email staff members each time Buzzer is activated.

What does it cost?
The Buzzer! is free to any schools with a BeeSafe subscription. If you don’t have an e-safety monitoring solution (if not why not!) then BeeSafe is available from as little as £550 per year!

How can I use it?
A quick call to our support desk on 01727 840303 or an email to support@beebug.co.uk from an authorised member of school staff is all it takes. The solution can be site wide or targeted to groups of workstations.


You mentioned a competition to win a tablet?
Our skills are technical and not artistic, therefore we need some e-safety inspired images for the Buzzers! "blank" screen. We would like these to come from your students. The best entries will be put on rotation and the students school will be credited.

The best entry will be the first screen on rotation and the school will be awarded a certificate along with a 12" Linx 2in1 Tablet! The tablet will be awarded to the school to use as they see fit. Entrants must be under 12 years old and attend a school with a valid BeeSafe subscription. The winning entry will be judged by a panel of Beebug staff.

The closing date for the competition is 6/07/2018 and we'll announce the winner on 12/07/2018. The winning image will then start to appear the following week.

Entries to the competition as well as any queries should be directed to support@beebug.co.uk or the support desk on 01727 840303.

GDPR Preparation for May 2018

GDPR During our investigation into GDPR both for ourselves and for our clients, we've uncovered a vast amount of conflicting information.

This seems to be because several companies and organisations are attempting to “cash in” on peoples fear of GDPR. They want customers to sign up for long periods of time, 4 years is the one we hear the most. Perhaps this is because they know you will realise that you don’t really need the service but are now tied in? This means the information sent out is aimed towards organisations signing up to services that they may not actually need.

We have had discussions with a number of companies and consultants, but found a meeting with a particular specialist in Data Protection legislation and former ICO employee the most informative. From this meeting we have produced these documents to help you see to the heart of GDRR and avoid the common “myths”.

Speak with Beebug before signing up to any long contracts or if you have specific questions or would like further guidance.

Downloads:

GDPR – Guidance.pdf
GDPR – Myth Buster.pdf

Contact us for more information.

Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Plan - Do you have one in place?

Disaster recovery All maintained Schools and Academies are required to have an up-to-date Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Plan (BCDR)

A key part of your BCDR plan should be an effective offsite backup. This is your last line of defence in a major data loss situation. The importance of this was highlighted recently with the WannaCry ransomware attack.

In the past, online backups have been slow, hard to manage and costly. Thankfully this is no longer the case. We recommend two affordable options using Veeam Cloud Connect:

  • Complete Cloud Backup – Total peace of mind. All files and configurations are backed up off site to an encrypted cloud Server. In the event of a complete disaster, everything would be recoverable. Storage costs increase with size of data so may not be feasible for some establishments.
  • Hybrid Cloud Backup – In some scenarios the Complete Cloud Backup could be cost prohibitive. If this is the case, we recommend that you at least identify critical data that you require as part of your BCDR and backup only that. The less data that you backup offline the lower the cost will be.

Veeam Cloud Connect Backup.

Veeam Cloud Provider Beebug recommends Veeam Backup for Hyper-V. Providing fast, flexible, and reliable recovery of client hosted applications and data. This is especially effective when paired with local network storage to comply with the 3-2-1 backup rule:

  • You must have at least three copies of your corporate data.
  • Those copies must be stored on at least two different types of media.
  • At least one must remain offsite.
Veeam Cloud Connect is an easy, efficient way to get additional backups offsite and into the cloud. With Veeam Cloud Connect, you get:

  • Cost-efficient virtual machine or agent cloud backup, utilising data de-duplication and compression
  • Reduce management and operating costs with a single management interface
  • Complete security with end-to-end encryption using a secure SSL connection, at source, in transit and at rest
  • Utilising built-in WAN acceleration, compression, forever incremental backups and all the industry-leading Veeam features
  • Fully scalable, on a pay-as-you-grow basis, responding to your changing needs
  • No hidden costs

Contact us for more information and competitive pricing.

Veeam partner

Lets Work Together.

If you would like to speak to us, pick up the phone or drop us an email, we will be pleased to help.

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