Simi Valley, CA – Aug. 30, 2016 – It makes the headlines often: A young man or woman in the U.S. ends his or her own life due to bullying or becomes radicalized and attempts to join ISIS or other hate groups. In both instances, adults in these youth’s lives are often left wondering what they could have done to intervene. Schools can play a key role in protecting students in this always-on and connected world. Impero Software, the leading remote monitoring and management software provider, helps schools stay on top of the latest threats to student safety so they can detect and address potential threats before they escalate.
Impero’s software alerts educators when a student uses words or phrases that match a term in its keyword library, which was updated this summer to include a more comprehensive list of U.S. specific terms related to bullying, self-harm, radicalization and more.
This gives educators an edge on internet safety by helping them monitor and analyze student activity on school devices.
“Students rarely tell adults that they want to join a gang or a terrorist group. They don’t brag about being suicidal or anorexic, or abused. They talk in code, especially when they are discussing something that is dangerous to themselves or others,” said Sam Pemberton, CEO of Impero Software. “We are already partnered with many respected charities worldwide, including some of the top organizations in the nation such as iKeepSafe, Hey U.G.L.Y and theNational Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders in order to crack this ‘code,’ and help educators stop potential problems before they start. This keyword library is a much needed resource for our U.S. customers.”
Impero’s keyword library includes terms such as “gkys” which is text-speak for “go kill yourself;” ”smack down” which is slang for severely injuring someone in a fight, “thinspiration,” a term often used by people with eating disorders, and “Yodo,” an acronym for “you only die once,” an extremist phrase used to promote suicide bombings and recruitment to violent extremist groups. The software also allows schools to add new keywords or phrases so that educators can incorporate such things as neighborhood-specific gang references or student nicknames. Students can also use the software to anonymously report concerns about themselves or others to trusted, trained adults.
Impero Education Pro works on all school devices using algorithms to detect when a student uses certain keywords or phrases. The system will alert those responsible for “safeguarding” issues within the school such as counselors and capture a screen shot or short video to provide context. This enables those alerted to analyze the activity and determine if it is a true threat or if there is another explanation (such as suicide research for a class assignment on Romeo and Juliet).
Educators can also use Impero Education Pro to block students from accessing the Internet or certain web sites and view screenshots and timelines of student activity. Administrators can create reports and export data on student or class activity, or on trending phrases.
“Before Franklin County Public Schools implemented Impero Education Pro, we had many instances of students searching for inappropriate terms, improper use of email, and questionable student online behavior,” said Jimmy Pack, Chief Information Officer for Franklin County Public Schools in Franklin, Ky. “Today the number of incidents reported has dropped dramatically and there’s been a noticeable shift in the way students conduct themselves online. Keyword monitoring is just one important piece of what makes Impero such a wonderful tool for our schools.”
Impero also offers classroom management tools that teachers can use to share their screens, send and share files with students, take over or lock students’ computers, create exams, assign tasks, send messages to students, or mute the sound to draw students’ attention back to the teacher. Schools can also use Impero Software for administrative tasks such as controlling passwords or setting computers to power on or off at certain times. For more information, visit www.imperosoftware.com.
Impero Software is relied upon by education establishments around the world. Founded in 2002, it is currently accessed via one million computers in over 70 countries, including by 500 U.S. districts. In the UK it is the market-leading provider of Classroom, Network and Internet Safety Management Software, with a greater than 40 percent market share of UK secondary schools and 24 percent of colleges.
The company provides intelligent school IT management to help teams cut costs and maximize productivity. Its cutting edge software and powerful learning tools assist schools in the day-to-day running of their computer networks, putting teachers back in control of the classroom and enabling them to proactively deal with internet safety concerns on a daily basis.