The Smoke Signal

New security to block Chrome extensions

New+security+was+put+in+place+this+morning%2C+Oct.+12%2C+against+extensions+in+Chrome.+This+change+took+place+from+students+bypassing+the+current+security.++
New security was put in place this morning, Oct. 12, against extensions in Chrome. This change took place from students bypassing the current security.

New security was put in place this morning, Oct. 12, against extensions in Chrome. This change took place from students bypassing the current security.

David Harnett

David Harnett

New security was put in place this morning, Oct. 12, against extensions in Chrome. This change took place from students bypassing the current security.

Rachel Cohen, Staff Editor

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Mr. Paul Zeller, the Director of Instructional Technology in the Pascack Valley Regional High School District, sent out an email to the PV student body at 11:28 a.m. on Tuesday.  

The email addressed that the technology department had viewed PV students installing Chrome extensions to bypass the content filter, breaching the Acceptable Use Policy found in the Student Handbook. Every year before receiving a laptop, all students have to agree to the policies in this handbook.

Zeller mentioned in the email that “these extensions put your personally identifiable information and our network security at risk.”

These extensions enable VPN proxies, which are servers that allow different computers than one’s own to access personal information.

“Once you use a VPN proxy, you are bypassing all the securities and anyone can access your information,” Zeller said.

When downloading and utilizing the extensions in Chrome, it allows perpetrators of Internet trafficking to have access to information on the student’s laptop. From there, the Internet traffickers can download software to the laptop.

The email also said that PV’s new security measure would “stop such extensions.”

With the increased security, Internet browsing on any student’s laptop can be shut down if they pose a threat of downloading any Chrome extension.

“We are simply enabling a feature that is blocking these particular extensions,” Zeller said.

Starting today, the new security was put in place.

All faculty members have been made aware of this situation and are not accepting explanations for late assignments if a student does not have Internet access.

Zeller offered a warning to the students.

“Do not put these things [VPN proxies] on your machine,” Zeller said. “You are comprising your own personal information. Once you are on a VPN proxy site, they can pick up your username, password, and account number, and I have no control to stop it once they elected the software on.”

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New security to block Chrome extensions