Can GoGuardian See Your: Screen, Location, Internet History, Pros And Cons
GoGuardian provides a suite of tools that enables institutions and districts to easily monitor devices, and better understand and keep their students safe online. It’s a popular toolset used by various educational institutions both on campus and outside campuses.
While the tools provided by the company provide extensive functionalities, students and other third parties have raised privacy concerns over the availability of these tools on Chromebooks and other devices provided by districts.
This article aims to provide insight into what GoGuardian can track on personal student devices and devices given to students by districts and institutions.
Why Do Schools Use GoGuardian
Let’s begin by taking a look at why educational institutions use GoGuardian. GoGuardian suite of tools includes:
- GoGuardian Admin for web filtering
- GoGuardian Teacher for classroom management
- GoGuardian Fleet for Chrome device management
- GoGuardian Beacon for suicide and self-harm alert
- GoGuardian DNS for network management
GoGuardian Admin enables districts to easily set up and apply filtering policies on devices and subsequently manage them remotely. The system provides detailed analytics to enable districts to monitor how Chromebooks are being used by their students.
While concerned parties have complained about privacy issues regarding the use of this tool, the advantages of leveraging the tool seem to assuage these concerns.
Pros Of GoGuardian Admin
With access to students’ Chromebooks, GoGuardian Admin is an invaluable tool for educational institutions, parents, and students. Advantages of its usage include:
- Determine/track student online activity
- Easily locate stolen Chromebooks
- Protect student online activities even at home
- Restrict undesired YouTube categories, keywords, and channels
- Inappropriate online content filtering
- Activity flagging by marking questionable content for review
Cons Of GoGuardian Admin
While GoGuardian Admin has its advantages, it also comes with its challenges. The most voiced out challenge related to the use of the tool is the issue of student privacy. Users have
- No online privacy
- Little control over which sites are blocked
GoGuardian Teacher assists instructors in maximizing the benefits of utilizing technology in the classroom while limiting the hazards of online learning.
It enables a teacher to see what pupils are doing on their devices and whether these activities are related to ongoing classroom work. Teachers are also able to determine students who might need help in real-time.
Pros Of GoGuardian Teacher
GoGuardian Teacher is a great tool for managing classroom sessions. Teachers can keep track of student activities during class sessions and provide help to students who need it. The advantages of this tool can be summarized into the points below.
- Eliminate online distractions
- Track student online activity during class session
- Identify and provide support to students in real-time
- Direct flow of digital resources from single dashboard
Cons Of GoGuardian Teacher
Any cons of the GoGuardian tool are overshadowed by the multiple advantages. That said, privacy concerns are the biggest challenges to this tool usage.
- No student privacy
GoGuardian Fleet is a tool that is used to keep track of all the Chrome devices and repairs. It enables districts and educational institutions to synchronize, find, and update Chromebook information.
Pros Of GoGuardian Fleet
- Update school devices
- Track and report repairs
- Less focus on deployment
With many reported instances of students causing harm to themselves including suicide, GoGuardian becomes an invaluable tool that can help institutions identify students at risk of potentially harming themselves.
GoGuardian Beacon leverages powerful machine learning to monitor search engines, chat, social media, email, online apps, and other platforms in order to determine students who are most at risk of committing suicide.
Suicide rates among young adults aged 15 to 24 have risen during the 1950s, according to the American College Health Association (ACHA). Suicide is now the second leading cause of mortality among college students.
Pros Of GoGuardian Beacon
Schools in our modern societies are now playing a pivotal role in suicide prevention among students. GoGuardian and schools are able to:
Identify suicide search and ideation
Notify relevant authorities in school to help students
Schools become proactive in identifying and assisting students in need
Notify parents of students in need
Provide details about suspicious student activity
Escalate alert until action has been taken to help student
GoGuardian DNS is a unified and scalable cloud filtering solution built to help keep users safe. It has been designed to filter all student and staff devices on school networks regardless of their platform, including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and guests’ devices.
GoGuardian DNS helps protect students’ personal computers connected to the school’s network by providing an easy-to-use interface for configuring the school’s filtering policies.
Pros Of GoGuardian DNS
Protection of students on the school’s network is essential for every educational institution. This prevents students from accessing inappropriate content while focusing on the most relevant content to their academics.
- Block malicious or fraudulent websites
- Block inappropriate content
- Realtime protection
Cons Of GoGuardian DNS
- Some websites blocked
- Track visited websites on school network
Can GoGuardian See Your Screen
Now that we have an understanding of the functionalities of GoGuardian, let’s take a look at what it can see. Answering whether GoGuardian can see your screen or not isn’t quite simple as it depends on the type of device you’re using. But the short answer is:
Yes, GoGuardian can see your screen, and any other internet activity if you’re using the school or district-issued Chromebook. GoGuardian can also see the screen and any activities on a personal computer’s Chrome Browser which is logged into the school’s account.
It’s worth noting that the capabilities of GoGuardian are limited on a student’s personal computer as GoGuardian cannot see any student activity so long as the student is not logged into the school’s email on their Chrome Browser.
Even in the case where students are still logged into their Chrome Browser with the school’s email, GoGuardian cannot see or monitor the student’s full computer screen outside the Chrome Browser.
Students can still use other Browsers without any worries about a third party seeing their online activities. In the event of a district-issued Chrome, GoGuardian can see every activity performed on the device including accessing your website history, bookmarks, login information, and can even block inappropriate sites.
If you’re using your personal computer, GoGuardian cannot see your screen but your internet history may be available to your institution if you’re logged into your browser with your school account.
In the event that you’re on the school’s network, the school would be unable to see your screen if you’re using your personal computer but can identify any sites if you’re on the school’s network.
If you’re using a school-issued Chromebook with GoGuardian, you have zero privacy as GoGuardian has access to and can monitor everything.
What GoGuardian Can Monitor
|Monitored Activity||School-Issued Chromebook||Personal Computer|
Note that Yes/No in the table above means:
Yes (If you’re logged into your Chrome Browser with your school account)
No (If you’re logged into your email on Chrome, using a different browser, or just using your computer without browsing)
Can GoGuardian Only See Chrome
Yes, GoGuardian can only monitor activities from students logged into their Chrome Browsers with their school accounts. However, Microsoft’s Edge browser is compatible with Chrome Browser extensions making it possible for GoGuardian to work on Edge. Student activities outside these two browsers (desktop activities and Mozilla’s Firefox or Apple’s Safari browsers) cannot be seen by GoGuardian unless students are using GoGuardian Gateway, or the GoGuardian App.
Can GoGuardian See Your Phone Screen
No, GoGuardian is a browser extension for Chrome browsers that require students to be logged into their school accounts. GoGuardian cannot see phone screens as the extension does not work on mobile phones. The GoGuardian DNS can however detect and filter access to certain websites on their network.
Can GoGuardian See Your Location
Yes, GoGuardian Admin can track and locate any student’s Chromebooks. While some users might consider this feature a breach of privacy, its intended purpose is to enable educational institutions to easily locate stolen Chromebooks.
Can GoGuardian See Deleted History
Yes, deleted history is still available to GoGuardian as it saves a record of websites visited along with the amount of time spent on these sites. Keep in mind that any information including search history and login information on your school-issued Chromebook is easily available to GoGuardian.