This article is for IT support.
What is Fallback Mode?
Devices running Linewize Connect will go into Fallback Mode when a user’s device has poor internet connectivity and cannot sync with your School Manager system. Fallback Mode will protect a user from adult content to comply with the CIPA (Children's Internet Protection Act) and Online Safety Acts. As soon as you install Linewize Connect on a user's device, Fallback Mode is able to protect the device (even before you assign a user to a device!)
The most common cause of Fallback Mode is simply a weak internet connection when the student isn’t at school, such as after school and on the weekends, at a place that has unreliable WiFi. However, users can enter Fallback Mode while at school. If this often happens for one or more users, it can indicate an issue you need to investigate further, such as a problem with part of your school’s network, an issue with Linewize Connect, user authentication problems, or users trying to bypass filtering.
While in Fallback Mode, your school’s custom block rules are not applied. Connect will keep a log of both blocked and allowed websites and this Fallback activity log will be uploaded to School Manager as soon as the device has a good connection to the internet.
You can use the steps in this article to find any users with devices that went into Fallback mode. You will also be able to investigate the details of the websites the user accessed and compare this to any Adult Content listed in the Blocked report for this period.
Finding Users with Devices in Fallback Mode
You can identify if any users’ devices have been in Fallback Mode by looking at the Apps and Websites report.
- Go to Statistics > Apps and Websites.
- Verify the date range at the top of your window to ensure the report covers the correct time period. If you need to change the dates.
- Select the date range button.
- Select one of the Presets or select Custom Range.
- Type “Fallback” in the Search bar.
- Select any event in the Application or Website column labeled as part of the Fallback Category.
- School Manager will open a list of users who had devices in Fallback Mode for the selected time period.
You can Export the names to a CSV (Comma Separated Values) text file.
- Select the User or Name to investigate (see next steps).
Investigating Fallback Time and Activity
You can see when Fallback Mode started and ended on a user’s device. By knowing the time of day, amount of time, and number of times the user was in Fallback Mode, you can decide if you need to review the user’s Timeline to see if they were trying to access restricted content.
Fallback Mode should be infrequent and only for a short duration of time. Multiple days of fallback activity, especially days with high data transfer can indicate an issue that needs further investigation or intervention, such as a student in a remote learning environment struggling with a poor internet connection or trying to bypass filtering to access adult content.
- You can select the User to see when Fallback Mode is active.
- Select a date to open the User's Timeline of activity on that day.
- School Manager will open the user’s Timeline filtered for "Fallback" events. Select Export Report to download a CSV file of the detailed Fallback data.
You can use a spreadsheet to find the time Fallback Mode started (MIN function) and ended time (MAX function). Using these times, you can estimate how long the user’s device was in Fallback mode. Remember that a user’s device returns to your custom filtering rules whenever it has a good internet connection, so the user’s device can go in and out of Fallback mode multiple times a day.
While in Fallback Mode, your school’s custom block rules are not applied. However, you will be able to see if a user visited gaming, video, or social media websites while the device was in Fallback mode or tried to access adult content. Continue to search for blocked attempts to access adult content in the next section.
Searching a User’s Timeline for Blocked Content
If you want to see if a user attempted to access blocked adult content while their device was in Fallback Mode, you will need to search in their Timeline.
- Make a note of the date and time the first Fallback event was logged for this user.
- Go to Statistics > Active Users in the School Manager menu and search for the student’s Username or Name. Select their username.
- Select User Timeline from the User’s dashboard. The User Timeline will load with all activity for the time period listed under the User's name.
- Select a date drop-down list and select Custom Range.
- Select the date of the Fallback activity from the Apps and Websites report.
We recommend selecting 6-8 hour time periods for fastest results.
- Go down the list to verify your data. Use the Find tool in your web browser (Ctrl-F / Cmd-F) to search for “Adult” or “Adult Content” if you want to check for any blocked content quickly.
- Notice the red color in the Verdict column and the 0B (zero bytes) in the Download column.
- If the blocked Adult Content has Fallback events immediately before and/or after the user attempted to access it while their device was in Fallback Mode.
- Do not use the Search because this will hide activity before and after Fallback protects the device. The events before or after Fallback can be clues to the user's actions.
- Select Export Report to download a CSV file of all Timeline activity for this time period.
- Open the CSV file in a spreadsheet program.
Tips for Researching Timeline Data
You can use a variety of spreadsheet functions to compare and summarize Timeline data. Here are some examples of how to find potentially risky content in the Timeline data.
You can use searches to see patterns of changes in the Type of activity in the list view. In this example, we have used a simple Find function in Google Sheets to highlight the allowed activity and make the blocked activity stand out.
Use a pivot table to find the MIN (start time) and MAX (end time) of Fallback mode. Subtract the end time from the start time and format the duration of hours to see when and how long a device was in Fallback mode.
Use a pivot table to count the number of Allowed and Blocked Verdicts in a list of Websites by Event Type. You can review the websites that were blocked during standard filtering and Fallback mode. You may want to share the lists of Blocked websites with the wellbeing staff.