Asset Management

Closing the School Year: Leverage Prey for Secure Device Collection

Getting your devices at the end of the school year can be tiresome, unless you have the right tool for the job, like Prey. Get in to know more!

June 30, 2023

With the advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and One-to-One Mobility programs in schools, the dynamics of learning have dramatically transformed. These advancements have undeniably facilitated educational pursuits, breaking barriers and providing students with ample opportunities to explore and learn. However, as the academic year winds down, the Herculean task of efficient end-of-year device collection emerges, carrying significant importance. Ensuring all the devices are collected, maintaining their integrity, and protecting the sensitive data they contain becomes paramount.

Enter Prey, the white knight of secure device management. This innovative solution takes on the challenge of device collection, ensuring your devices are not just safely returned but also ready for the next academic year. Prey provides an array of features and capabilities that cater to the specific needs of educational organizations. Its comprehensive device management extends to a multi-OS and multi-device environment, covering Android, Apple, Chromebooks, and PC devices with the promise of data security, device tracking, and streamlined device collection.

Device Collection: Best Practices

Successfully managing the collection of devices requires a strategic approach. Best practices for device collection include establishing clear communication with students and staff, tracking and locating devices efficiently, ensuring device security and data protection, and implementing a system for device check-ins and inventory reconciliation.

These steps contribute towards an organized and seamless device collection process:

  1. Keep track of your inventory: It is essential to maintain accurate records of the device fleet. Tracking and labeling loaned devices enable efficient identification and retrieval during the collection process. By having a comprehensive overview of the devices loaned, schools can effectively manage their inventory and ensure all devices are accounted for.
  2. Send early reminders and alerts for device return: Clear and timely communication plays a vital role in successful device collection. IT teams should send early reminders and alerts to students, parents, and staff members, emphasizing the importance of returning devices by the specified deadline. These reminders can help prevent delays and ensure a higher rate of device returns. Also, communicate what will happen if devices aren’t returned. You can “freeze” devices after the collection deadline to disincentivize a rogued student’s wish to hold onto the device over the summer for personal use.
  3. Determine the physical collection site: Inform and communicate with the students and staff about the proper collection sites. This will ensure that devices will be properly sent to collection sites where they can be inspected and serviced.
  4. Missing/stolen device procedure: Protecting the security and integrity of devices and sensitive data is paramount during the collection process. Implementing security measures such as device locking and encryption can prevent unauthorized access and safeguard confidential information. Activating a device tracking tool can also be helpful to retrieve stolen devices, these tools can provide crucial information that can be delivered to authorities. By prioritizing device security, educational organizations can mitigate potential risks and maintain data privacy.
  5. Clean and Refresh Devices: Before the start of a new school year, it is essential for educational organizations to clean and refresh devices. This involves wiping data and performing factory resets on devices to ensure a fresh start for the upcoming academic term. By cleaning and refreshing devices, schools can remove personal data, optimize device performance, and provide a secure environment for the next batch of students.

Surviving end-of-year device collection with Prey

The end-of-year device collection holds immense significance for schools. It not only determines the security of sensitive data and the state of costly devices but also shapes the preparedness for the upcoming academic year. A flawed collection process may result in lost devices, compromised data, and unnecessary expenditure on device repair or replacement. Therefore, a smooth and effective device collection process is crucial.

In the following sections, we'll dive deeper into how Prey can assist in streamlining device collection:

Streamlining device collection with Prey

The thought of collecting hundreds or even thousands of devices might feel like trying to herd cats. However, with Prey's device management features, this seemingly daunting task can be as smooth as a hot knife through butter. By using the Loans and Users Assignment feature, you can easily set up loans with return dates and activate security measures when overdue. The Inventory Management feature provides a detailed overview of each device, making it easier to manage the fleet:

  • Multi-OS and Multi-Device Compatibility: Prey supports various operating systems, including Chromebooks, Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, and Ubuntu. This means that no matter what mix of devices your school uses, you can manage them all under a single platform.
  • Persistent Connection: Prey maintains a stable, active connection with each device, facilitating real-time communication and action. This ensures you can always reach your devices when you need to initiate the collection process.

Tracking and locating rogued devices for efficient collection

IT admins can easily turn on Prey’s tracking features to monitor the whereabouts of their devices, especially the ones that failed to return on time for any reason. Its Global View offers a bird's eye view of all devices' locations, providing different location methods like GPS, Wi-Fi triangulation, and Geo-IP. Prey's tracking system also records the devices' movement history, aiding in an efficient collection process.

Here’s how Prey can help you with this:

  • Geolocate: This feature allows schools to locate devices and schedule alerts with geofence Control Zones. For instance, if a device moves outside of a designated area, an alert will be triggered, helping locate devices that may have been misplaced or taken off school grounds.
  • Global View: This feature displays your entire device fleet on a map, giving you a comprehensive view of all device locations at once. This can be especially helpful when you need to find a large number of devices during the collection process.
  • Aware Tracking Settings: This feature allows for all-day or on-demand device location tracking. For example, you can set it to track all devices' locations at the end of the year to ensure they are all returned to the school.
  • Location history data: Prey provides the convenient option to generate a comprehensive report that includes the location history data of devices. This report meticulously captures crucial information about the device's whereabouts and timestamps, thereby greatly aiding in the recovery of missing devices.
  • Stolen Evidence report: When the admin user activates the missing mode, Prey enables the creation of an automated missing report, which diligently sends back valuable information such as location history, screenshots, Wi-Fi info, GPS coordinates, pictures, etc. These detailed reports serve as crucial evidence for the police and greatly assist in the recovery efforts of missing devices.

Notifying users and sending reminders for device returns

Prey not only facilitates device tracking but also manages device loans. It allows schools to set up loans with return dates and activates alerts when these dates are overdue. This feature simplifies the task of reminding students and faculty to return their devices, reducing the risk of late or lost devices.

Here’s how Prey can help you with this:

  • Loans return dates: This feature enables the set-up of device loans with return dates and activates security features when overdue. It helps to keep track of due dates and sends automated reminders to users for device returns.
  • Message Alert: Using this feature, you can communicate with users or contact the current device holder to arrange a proper retrieval.
  • Security Automation: This feature allows you to schedule actions based on specific events. For instance, you could set up an automated reminder to be sent to users a week before their device is due for return.

Ensuring device security and data protection during thecollection

When students fail to comply with collection policies, Prey ensures rogued devices and the data within them are secure through remote features like  Lock, Wipe, and Factory Reset. These features provide protection against unauthorized access and data breach.

Here’s how Prey can help you with this:

  • Screen Lock: This security feature can block access to laptops, mobiles, and tablets to prevent unauthorized use or data access during the collection process.
  • Remote Wipe: This feature allows you to remotely delete documents and app user data on the devices.

Automating device check-ins and inventory reconciliation with Prey

Prey goes beyond just tracking and security. It also offers robust inventory management tools that allow schools to automate device check-ins, thus facilitating smoother inventory reconciliation. With features such as custom labels, hardware information, and user assignment, schools can easily manage their device fleet, ensuring no device is left off the radar.

Here’s how Prey can help you with this:

  • Smart filtering and device grouping: This feature allows for easy grouping and finding of devices based on customized labels or their technical characteristics. For example, you could group all the devices due for collection and track them easily.
  • Device Hardware Information: This feature provides details such as the IMEI, serial number, and hardware specifications of each device, aiding in accurate inventory reconciliation.
  • Global Fleet Location: This feature allows you to view your entire fleet's position at the same time, making it easier to check in devices from various locations.

Remote Wipe and Factory reset for EOY processes, clean and refresh technology for next school year

At the end of the academic year, devices need to be cleaned and refreshed for the next term. Prey allows for Remote Wipe and Factory Reset, enabling schools to erase all user data and restore the device to its factory settings. This clean and refresh technology ensures that every device is ready for the new school year, minimizing potential issues with data security or device performance.

Here’s how Prey can help you with this:

  • Remote Wipe: As mentioned earlier, this feature allows schools to remotely erase all user data on a device, which can make for easier and faster device lending processes.
  • Factory Reset: This feature lets schools restore the device to its factory settings, making it ready for new student data in the upcoming school year.

School's Out with Prey: year-end device collection made easy

The digital age has truly revamped the educational landscape. Although chalk and blackboards still have their charm, we've come to see laptops and tablets as essential tools in modern classrooms. But with this tech upgrade comes the daunting task of device management and security.

Prey’s capabilities make it an ideal choice for educational institutions seeking to enhance their device management and security infrastructure. It offers tracking features that ensure devices are always accounted for, robust security measures that protect sensitive data, and easy-to-use device management tools that simplify fleet & lend administration. For organizations in the educational sector, investing in a solution like Prey means investing in the safety and security of their technological assets.

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