Skip to main content

Google Safe Search in Schools

There has been quite a bit of talk about safesearch recently as its moved to https which has caused issues for some with filtering explicit content. Google provide online documentation of how to do this here. I thought it might be useful to illustrate what each approach involves.

Via Chrome Management Policy

If a user is signed into a device using their Google Apps account, you can force SafeSearch using policy. So this works on ChromeOS devices and where users are signed into Chrome on a PC. It also applies anywhere.

So set this in Chrome User Settings in the management console:

While this policy applies offsite - it does not apply if a user in not signed into Chrome on a PC or signed into their own device with a non-domain account. Which brings on the next option for PC's.

Via Chrome Group Policy

If you use Chrome on PC's, you should manage it with the Chrome Group Policy adm. Once added to your domain controller, you can control the behaviour of Chrome, including forcing SafeSearch.

So this will force SafeSearch on for users of PCs on your domain for those who have the policy applied to them. This takes effect irrespective of whether they are signed into Chrome. This, however, does not apply to other browsers (IE for example) or BYOD devices. To catch those, you can go to the final method - enforcing at the network level.

Network level enforcement

If, like us, you use a squid based transparent proxy, you can enforce SafeSearch on any device that connects to your network in a few seconds. 

So log into your server running squid and dnsmasq and create the file + contents indicated in the lines above. Restart dnsmasq and thats it. Once done, users get a notification that SafeSearch is enabled and cannot turn it off - even on their own devices while on your network.

So this is what it looks like for the end user:



How you do the last step varies a little bit depending on how you run your gateway and dns - but it simply amounts to a dns reroute. Everything here should be viewed alongside how you do content filtering as this may include the option out of the box.



Popular posts from this blog

Delete a specific email using GAM

If a user send an inappropriate email to a loads of people or get stung by some sort of email exploit you can quickly delete the email from all of the recipients using a GAM command.
Step 1 - get the email header Go into Google Vault and search for the offending user or someone known to have got the message.
Click show details and grab the email ID. This will be a long string of characters followed by @mail.gmail.com
Step 2 - find out who has the email Go into Google Vault and find the original message sent by the offending user. Look at the details to see who got it. Copy the list and dump it into a spreadsheet. Clean up to just a list of emails with a column header 'mail'. Save as a csv file.
Step 3 - delete messages with GAM Put your CSV file in your GAM folder - this e.g. assumes its called mail.csv
Run:
gam csv mail.csv gam user ~mail delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEIDHERE doit

The alternative nuke option is:
gam all users delete messages query rfc822msgid:MESSAGEI…

How to push bookmarks to users in Chrome via the management console

With the release of Chrome and ChomeOS 37 an update to the management console has arrived that allows you to push bookmarks to users.

Under Device Management > Chrome > User Settings > User Experience you will now find the option to add managed bookmarks.


In the example above, the bookmarks are applied to the sub-OU of 'students' - so all our students will get these bookmarks. Simply add your url and the bookmark name, click the + and save. These will appear in a folder called 'yourdomain bookmarks' - see below:



Be aware that to get these bookmarks applied on a Windows/OS-X device the user must be signed into Chrome. Update: if you install the latest group policy template you can push the bookmarks via policy on PCs - details are given here.
Video Guide:

Managed Android Apps on ChromeOS on an Edu G Suite Domain

Android Apps via the Play Store have been available on consumer accounts for some time on selected devices. We have 1:1 Acer R11's and have recently had the opportunity to trial them on G Suite Edu accounts.

From the point of view of the end user, they see the Play Store App appear on the shelf and have to agree to the terms and conditions. After that, force installed and pinned apps are immediately installed and they get access to the Google for Work Store. This only contains apps you have approved for that user.

For the administrator the steps are:

Enable Play Store Apps for the domainEnable access to the Play Store for specific Sub-OUs or usersAdd apps to Play for WorkSet permissions for each app - can install, force install or pin to shelf. This can be done differently for each app and each OU and is therefore very granular. 
Issues so far

Apps take a while to appear in the Play Store for users. Initially only force installed apps appear.You cannot set the permissions of multipl…