Anti-Virus Protection - Do your devices need it?

What is AV (Anti-Virus) Software

Anti-virus software, also known as anti-malware, is a computer program used to prevent, detect, and remove malware. Malware is any computer programme designed to spy, steal, open backdoors and do harm or damage to a computer operating system, data or user.

Do I need it?

Sadly, if your device connects to the internet or any other devices you definitely need AV software.

Anti-virus and anti-malware should be chosen wisely. Running AV/AM software is always a trade-off between “snail-speeds” and “good-performance” even on brand new devices. Finding the balance between user frustration, security, productivity, and the price is an important decision for any organization. 

But whether or not your school needs to buy AV software depends on the type of device and OS (operating system) you use, whether the device is connected to other devices (including external drives and removable media) and to some extent, the online behaviour of your users.

Windows PCs and laptops

Some new PCs and laptops come with purchasable AV software preloaded. Usually, the software is a time-limited, trial version and you will be prompted to subscribe for further protection.

However, if your PC or laptop uses Windows 10 OS it has Windows Defender built in. Windows Defender is free AV software that works seamlessly in the background. There’s no need for the users to do anything.  Windows Defender provides sufficient protection for most school PCs/laptops.

Apple Devices

iOS, the Apple operating system was designed to be as secure as possible.  It only allows Apps to be downloaded from the App Store and all apps on the App store undergo rigorous security checks before they are allowed into the App Store. There is virtually no chance of an app containing a virus.

There are no AV apps in the App store because Apple maintains that they are not necessary. If you search the App Store for ‘anti-virus’ you will find a number of apps listed but these are not AV products. They provide safe/private web browsers, password managers, anti-theft alarms and or other similar products.

If your Apple device has been jailbroken you lose the inbuilt security that the iOS provides.

Android devices

Generally speaking, you don’t need AV but if you are installing apps outside of Google Play, installing an Android antivirus app is one way to keep yourself safe.

For more information see this Tech Advisor article 

Chrome books

No anti-virus software is needed. Chromebooks come with built-in malware anti-virus protection, with multiple layers of security. The AV protection stays up-to-date automatically, so you are always running the latest and most secure version. Chrome manages your updates silently in the background.

Anti-virus software and servers

Windows Server 2016 has inbuilt Windows Defender. Older server operating systems do not have an integrated AV. If you decide that you need AV for your server, talk to your tech support provider.

Anti-virus software is on one part of a school’s technical security arrangements. Using supported versions of operating systems, allowing regular updates and applying patches is also necessary.

And finally, it’s also important to remember that people play a huge part in system security. Your hardware/software choices are responsible for about 40% of your system security. The other 60% is down to the human factor. Most security breaches are the result of poor user behaviour – downloading infecting attachments, falling for ‘phising scams’, activating malware by clicking links in dodgy emails etc.

( See related articles Cyber Security Protecting Your School  and Ransomware )

Schools should equip their staff with at least basic security training and carry out short surveys during the year to assess security and, if necessary, invest in additional professional training.



Myths and Legends

Myths and Legends is one of E2BN’s most loved sites. The site features over 40 animated and narrated myths and legends from around the world. Each myth is also available as text and is accompanied by a number of high-resolution photographs of places and objects associated with the story which can be downloaded and used to create wall displays or can be put into presentations.

Where does it fit in?


Year 3 and Year 4 Programme of Study requires pupils to become familiar with a wide range of stories including myths and legends. Go to myths to watch and listen to a wide selection of myths and legends. As well as an abundance of English myths and legends there are also a number of stories from around the world. Hear how Finn MacCool, builder of the Giant’s Causeway, hid whilst his clever wife outsmarted the enormous Scottish giant, Brenandonner. Or compare the African myth Kaang’s People with the Chinese story, The Black Egg. There are also stories from Norway, Ghana, Germany, Russia and the Sioux Nation.


The History Programme of Study requires pupils to study the Ancient Greeks in Key Stage 2. Greeks myths give an insight into the achievements and culture of Ancient Greece. The Myths site has professionally animated and narrated versions of ‘Arachne the Spinner’, ‘Daedalus and Icarus’, ‘Pandora’s Box’ and ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’. Children will love listening to and watching these stories.

Sample Lesson plan based on Theseus and The Minotaur

Lesson Plan Resources:

Web Filter Breach Procedure - What to do when the filter goes wrong

No online web filtering system can claim to be 100% effective. There will be occasions, however infrequent when a pupil or a member of staff sees something online that they should not. Knowing what to do in these circumstances should be part of every school’s safeguarding procedures.

The information below has been designed to help E2BNProtex users navigate this area. If your school uses a different filter the broad principles will still apply.

Assuming that the inappropriate content has been discovered when other people, especially children, are around. your first task must be to minimise exposure. Flick off the screen or confiscate the device. Deal with the issue discretely. If a pupil is involved remember that they may be upset by the content and fearful of ‘getting into trouble’. The safeguarding of pupils must always take precedent.

You also have a duty to protect yourself and to ensure that the filtering breach is dealt with appropriately.

Follow our step by step guide

If the content could be illegal i.e. contains child sexual abuse imagery or terrorist/extremist material

Whilst this very unlikely it is not impossible so…

  • Quarantine the device. With a PC you need to remove the power supply, on a laptop remove the power supply and battery. If the suspect illegal material is on a tablet switch it off. Remove the device to a secure area – a locked cupboard or the Head teacher’s office.

The device and its contents are potentially a ‘crime scene’ and must be preserved as such.

  • Do not view the material or copy, share, screenshot, disseminate or show the material to anyone. (It is illegal for you to see it)
  • Do not delete or amend the material (it is illegal to tamper with criminal evidence)
  • Do not attempt to ‘investigate’ the source of the material (your actions could hamper any criminal proceedings and make you criminally liable)
  • Do not allow anyone other than the police to remove or access the device (and get a receipt)
  • Contact the police and follow their instructions.
  • Contact E2BNProtex on 01462 834588 to discuss the incident and initiate filter log analysis
  • Follow your school’s appropriate safeguarding and disciplinary procedures

If the material is legal but ‘inappropriate’ (Inappropriate could mean anything from a game site that you don’t want children accessing during lesson time or mild but age inappropriate cartoons to gruesome anti-vivisection sites or pornography)

Make a block page request by going to and completing the online form. To have a page or site blocked you will need to add the site(s) URL to the ‘URL to blocked field’ highlighted in red. Use the comment field to describe the circumstances around discovering the inappropriate material and which filter profile was being used e.g. Staff, Student.


  • Make a note of the TrackID number that comes on the screen following your submission.
  • E2BN will receive notification of your block request.  We are usually able to prevent access to the URL in your school (and in all other schools) very quickly. However, it may take up to four hours for the block to take effect.
  • When we have processed your request you will receive an email from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. referring to the TrackID and telling you how we have dealt with the site/URL.
  • If you believe that the nature of the site is such that it needs to be blocked as a matter of urgency please make a note of the URL and ring the E2BN office on 01462 834588 or (if your school has an admin account) speak to the school’s account holder
  • Follow your school’s appropriate safeguarding and disciplinary procedures.

GDPR - It's Not Over Yet


In the run-up to 25th May 2018, someone in your school was very busy making sure that the school’s data policies and procedures where GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant. Old data was destroyed, current data was scrutinised and 3rd party data handlers’ assurances were sort. You might have received some training about looking after personal data and you were probably told about how your employer handles your personal data.

It would be easy to think that you were now done with GDPR but have you considered all of your data? 

The signing in / out system?

  • All schools collect personal data (name, company, car registration) about people who visit the school but rarely provide a privacy statement at the point of collection.
  • How do you ensure that the paper-based log doesn’t get lost or stolen?
  • What happens to the personal data, which often includes an image, collected by computer/app based sign in/out systems?

Display of photos and names?

  • Many staff rooms have a little display of photos of children who have particular medical conditions or special safeguarding needs. Consider if this display is necessary and whether it poses a potential data breach risk.
  • Do school visitors use the staff room? Why are you sharing this personal data with them?
  • In your next staff meeting cover up the display. Ask staff to name the children and their special medical condition or safeguarding concern. If your staff can’t recall which child has a special medical condition or who isn’t allowed to be collected by their dad the display not achieving its aim.
  • Is there a better way to make all staff aware of individual pupil’s health and safeguarding issues without broadcasting them to every casual visitor to the staffroom?

Computer Display Screen?

  • Do all staff lock or log out of systems when they leave their devices? It's amazing what you can find out by glancing at an unmanned PC or laptop. 
  • Is there a line of sight between the device screen and the door, or worse still a window? Imagine that the Head is typing up your reference or a disciplinary notice, or maybe the SENCo is writing a safeguarding report. Now, imagine someone else is peering in through the window and reading over their shoulder? That's a data breach!

Becoming, and remaining, GDPR compliant is a big task but schools are good at compliance.  However, in the rush to write new policies, clear out the file stores and seek assurances from 3rd-party suppliers of their compliance it is easy to overlook the more human aspects of data protection.  Most data breaches are due to human fallibility. So as well as looking at your office systems take a 'data walk' around your school and actively look for places where personal data is collected or processed. Consider paper-based as well as computerised data. Think about the physical environment as well as the device being used. How and where do your staff handle data? Think about who else could take that 'walk'. What personal data could they see, steal or change? 

For more help on GDPR please see our partner company, Data Protection Education's website






Schools wanted for Times Table trials

The Standards and Testing Agency is looking for schools to trial the new times tables test that will be statutory for all Year 4 pupils from 2020 The STA is particularly interested in working with schools with a high proportion of SEND pupils or with intermittent broadband in order to test accessibility. To get involved in the trial please see the STA's development update


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