You are here:

Nothing to LOL about

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


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.


Ramaswami, R. (2010). Nothing to LOL about. T.H.E. Journal, 37(6), 24-26. Retrieved August 16, 2022 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on April 19, 2013. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact