Ellsworth Publishing Co. (EPC) utilizes digital signatures with all its online delivered software to ensure that EPC programs that run on clients machines have not been tampered with. Users will notice this security feature prior to the software running on the user's system (the user will have to 'grant' access for EPC programs to run).
The information stored on EPC systems is entirely dependent upon what instructors (users) choose to enter for their students. If privacy is of supreme concern, instructors can simply assign each student a number or letter. There is no requirement on what users must use for password or identification purposes. Instructors will organize their classes and students in their own manner, subject to their district Internet policies. Generally, EPC views the data being stored as very low risk and very undesirable for anyone but the teacher for grading purposes, personally identifiable information is very limited (student name and password--subject to what is entered by the instructor). There are no requirements nor prompts for users': age, gender, social security number, address information, etc.
EPC does not collect nor log IP information of users, EXCEPT in correlation with use of the Message Center. Each message sent (by the instructor or student) is tagged with the user's IP address, computer name, and date/time sent. This feature was added to the system to prevent abuse by student users sending inappropriate messages to instructor/admins.
How is system data protected?
EPC servers utilize firewalls and enterprise grade Linux operating systems, that replicate data across multiple (raided) systems to ensure minimal downtime in case of hardware failures. In the case of a catastrophic event at a data center, EPC utilizes nightly encrypted backups to an offsite location.
How does EPC use system data?
EPC does hope to be able to use aggregate data from student progress to determine the statistical effectiveness of keyboarding programs. Example: Using lesson averages from 50,000 student files to determine median increases in speed and proficiency. This information would be aggregate and non-specific to any single or group of users. The actual school information, logins/passwords, teacher names, student names, are not saved but for short-term recovery needs (if an instructor accidentally deletes a student's file, it can be recovered within 3 weeks).
The technical support I have received has been second to none. Anytime I call I get an answer or help with my problem. There is no “hold” time like you get when you call tech support at larger companies.