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Security risks via WordPress in schools?

  1. I have been told by my local Education Department that a WordPress blog that I am developing for use by teachers could pose a security threat if it is unblocked within the school wide network. Students might access unacceptable adult material on other WordPress sites. Is this plausible? My site is hosted by WordPress, and uses VideoPress to show videos.

  2. If what you are asking is this:
    Does allow blogs with "mature content" the answer is yes.

    If what you are asking is does allow blogs with pornography the answer is no. From the TOS
    Please don’t:
    •Post explicit sexual materials that can be considered pornographic, such as explicit images or video of sexual acts or close-up images of genitalia;
    •Post links or banner ads to adult-oriented affiliate networks, such as pornography site signups;
    •Post links, text, or images promoting or advertising escort services;
    •Post images of extreme violence or gore without associated context or commentary;
    •Post images of child pornography;
    •Post content that promotes pedophilia, such as blogs with galleries of images of children where the images, content surrounding the images, or the intent of the blog is sexually suggestive.

    In case you have other questions I'm flagging this thread for Staff attention.

  3. You may want to check out edublogs as it's also a WordPress multiuser blogging platform (wpMU) and it's specifically for teachers and students.

  4. Can the school just white list your individual blog URL and not everything

  5. Thanks for your information, but that is not what I am concerned about, which is that the Education Department site blocking prevents everyone in schools from viewing my totally harmless site because they have fears that if they unblock it, students might accidentally or intentionally find their way to inappropriate material via WordPress. Is this likely or possible.

    I guess just about anything is possible to a determined hacker, but how likely is the risk?

  6. auxclaas, they could white list it, but that is what they don't want to do. They perceive a risk.

  7. I would think that if your individual URL was white listed then if a student tried to visit my site (G rated boating safety info) the attempt should fail. The final word would need to come from your IT people and not a plain Admin type.

    Being able to OK or block sites is a regular industry that is used by many companies to keep the unwashed masses from visiting porn sites.

    If I were you I would go find the system Admin types and buy them a cup of tea and donuts and sit down with them and explain your problem, there should be an easy fix that keeps everyone feeling safe.

  8. To update my original question, I am told that to make my blog visible in schools, they would have to unblock VideoPress, where the videos are stored. Apparently within VideoPress there are some videos that are inappropriate for school students, so the site is blocked. I was told that if you Google VideoPress you can see some of this inappropriate material. I can't.

  9. Thanks Auxclass: What I am looking for is the information to bring to the nice conversation with the cup of tea. Is there a genuine risk. What I don't understand is that apparently unblocking involves opening up the whole videopress domain, rather than just my harmless little site.

  10. More work for your Admins - but can they unblock based on a specific VideoPress file? I have not worked with VideoPress to know if the URL has specific to your account info or is it just a video/1234abc?

    Most any domain has adult content at some place on it and even if you went to the Edublog as noted above there would still be the issue of where the video files would be located.

    Good luck -

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