The school has a few security measures in place to ensure students are not going to inappropriate sites based on content. In this day there are more students being sent to YouTube to watch educational videos that are assigned by the teacher, so YouTube is not blocked. However, the issue that is students have figured out that in PowerPoint if they click "Insert" a "Video" they can search for whatever videos on YouTube and watch them within their slide, then delete them (or save them in their own PPT and share with their friends. The school has a web content filter that parents can monitor their child's internet history, but these videos do not show up. Additionally, it does not show up in the browser history. Is there something that can be done to at least detect these and have them logged in the browser history at least? I have done a lot of searching and the most that I found was setting a GPO that disables inserting videos in PPT, but that does not work because the students make presentations in PPT and have to post videos of themselves or other things in them. We are just trying to figure out how to detect it and go from there.

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    First of all, the first student who came up with this should definitely be encouraged to work in information security. They have the hacker mindset! Secondly, if I understand it correctly, the school allows YouTube for educational content, but not for entertainment - did I understand that right?
    – MechMK1
    Nov 18 '20 at 12:51
  • First, you are not the first person to say that...I had that same thought as well. Secondly, that is correct...generally speaking. The school does not say you cannot use it for entertainment, but when grades fall parents start questioning and kids do not have much when it comes to self control.
    – David
    Nov 18 '20 at 13:04
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    There are lots of ways to bypass controls if you allow access toYouTube. PowerPoint is not the only way to accomplish this. And kids have far more than just your network to use to distract themselves. You have a "best effort" level of responsibility. You cannot anticipate or block all possible routes to grabbing one thing from a bucket but not another.
    – schroeder
    Nov 18 '20 at 13:30
  • I'll be honest, a lot of students played "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" during class while I was still in school. You can't prevent students from "distracting themselves" if they don't feel like paying attention. As schroeder says, a best effort approach is for the best here
    – MechMK1
    Nov 18 '20 at 13:52
  • @schroeder I understand there are other ways, this is just the thing that came up and we are looking at figuring out. I guess that is how things work in school networks. A few years ago the only thing they did to block websites was a teacher in the computer lab looking at students browse and if something looked like they should not be there, they would submit it to IT to block...that was their form of "web content filtering"
    – David
    Nov 18 '20 at 14:28

When a video is embedded in a document, the browser is the document application, here PowerPoint. So it is perfectly normal that it does not appear in the browser history. But if you use an outgoing proxy, it should appear in the proxy logs, with a reference to the machine that downloaded it. From there on, it should be possible to detect unexpected videos and who whatched at them.

It is often enough to explain students that they are not anonymous when whatching videos and that their parents will be informed to have them stop it... Additionally, explaining them that anonymity in Internet is not as trivial as they think, and that not only the schoool but others like their future employer could search their past activity would be very profitable.

  • Ok, I will look into what that string looks like and see how we can identify it better. Thank you.
    – David
    Nov 18 '20 at 14:28

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