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A World without Memory Keys

Pentagon_baseWe may all work in and around elementary- and secondary-schools but there’s a lot we can learn (and ignore) from the military and their headquarters, the Pentagon. After having some of its computers infected by a virus brought in on a memory key, the Department of Defense is banning this ultra-cheap and -convenient way to move files. They’re even going as far as confiscating any memory keys found on employees
     Talk about an over-reaction. The chances are that rather than Chinese or Russian spies trying to bring down the Pentagon’s computer networks, it’s probably the result of an honest mistake by someone trying to do their job just a little too quickly. In a real sense, you can’t turn back the hands of time and pretend that new devices, like memory keys and external drives, don’t exist.
     Sure there are computers that have sensitive data and should never be allowed to have information copied from them, but these are a small portion of the Pentagon’s – or a school’s – computers. What’s needed are well-thought-out policies that weigh the risks of a rouge virus with the danger of stifling legitimate information transfer. And, in a very real sense, that’s what schools are all about.

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