Other security experts confirm that the Superfish software can be easily removed with applications from Lenovo and other firms.

“There are multiple fixes available for Superfish now, from Microsoft, Lenovo and various anti-malware companies,” says Aryeh Goretsky, researcher, ESET. “As far as I am aware, they are effective in removing the adware and its associated digital certificate, however, it is a good idea to manually verify the files and certificate are no longer present on the system after their removal.

While apparently none of these laptops were sold directly into the education market, some students may have bought them for their own use on campus.

Typically, K-12 institutions – primarily high schools – will dictate a specific type of device students must have, e.g., an iPad, Chromebook or something else, post-secondary institutions tend to embrace a bring your own device (BYOD) environment. Each provides its own challenges in terms of security.

K-12 need to choose the device that fits best with their environments. So some go with iPads and the Apple environment, some choose devices that work better with Google applications, etc.

For example, Marian Catholic High School, an 1100 student, 9-12 institution in the southern suburbs of Chicago, for example, chose to iPads for students starting in the fall of 2014. The decision followed examination and discussions with other high schools already using the technology, discussions with various technology experts and other research efforts, says Joelyn Carlasare, the school’s director of technology. “It was the most robust in terms of applications. It was a clear choice for us.”

Teachers started with the iPads in 2013 in order to become familiar with the technology, says Steve Totorello, the school’s principal. That year parents and students were informed of the plan to require all students to have the devices at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. The school offered workshops and training again before the current school year. Those sessions, letters home and the school’s website all discuss safe computing, Tortorello says.

Mike Carlson, the school’s director of networks, says the school protects itself against malware from infected connected computers and other outside threats through a web filtering firewall and other defenses.

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