The system is easy to use and only takes a few minutes to set up
and maintain. There is no software or apps to download or install. The administrator console
can be accessed from any device connected Internet (i.e., computer, IPad, Phone). The
administrator only has to add individuals to the distribution list. Once that is done, you are
ready to go.
Once the distribution list is setup, students and staff can text a
message to the anonymous server. The server will then relay the message to the distribution
list while concealing the sender’s identity.
When your account is activated, you will receive a phone
number. For security and privacy concerns, this phone number is a dedicated number.
This number can send and receive standard SMS messages. We have chosen text
messaging because it can be the most anonymous way to communicate. It is a safe
mode of communication for students to report things because it can be done quietly and
they can delete the text conversation when they are done. Emails can be linked back to an
individual, and a voice could be recognized or overheard when reporting. A text message
can be quickly and quietly sent without drawing any attention to the sender. They can do it
from the stall of a bathroom or while on a noisy crowed bus. To report an incident, the
student simply has to send a text message to the given hotline number. They don’t have
to install or sign up for anything. It works on both smart phones and traditional cell
When the Anonymous Text server receives a text, it will
convert the sender’s phone number to an encrypted identification code. The sender’s phone
number is never stored on the server, so if there is ever a security breach, the user’s identity
will never be known. The recipient will not have any idea who sent the message.
The incoming message is relayed to everyone on the
distribution list. The administrator for the system can log into the administrator module at
any time and add and remove individuals from the distribution list. The incoming messages
are relayed via email usually within seconds of the time the original text message was sent.
The anonymous server is designed to be bi-directional. You may get messages that do not
contain enough information, such as “the above message is important,” but it may not
contain enough information.
Anyone on the distribution list can respond to the
message to request more information. Since the incoming message is an email,
they can simply reply like they would any other email message. They can do this from
their phone, computer, or tablet. Any response is carbon copied to everyone else on the
distribution list, so they know someone has responded.
Any response is carbon Copied to everyone else on
the distribution list, so that they know someone has responded.
The original sender will receive the request for more
information, and each message will include a responder code. This means the first person
on the distribution list responded. If the second person on the list responds, the code
would be R2.
All messages are saved in the system, so they can be
reviewed and exported. Only the system administrator has the right to do to this.
Additional Security is built in
Students may find it amusing to send prank messages to the
hot line. After all, if no one knows who is sending the message, how can they catch you?
There is a security feature built in to stop this. If you get multiple prank messages from a
sender, you can send a warning. The warning will let them know that their phone number will
be blocked after one more prank message. Once a phone number is blocked, only the system
administrator can unblock it. When the system administrator logs into the system, they can
see a list of all the blocked numbers, when they were blocked and who blocked them.
Users also have options. If a sender simply texts the word
HELP, a message is sent to the distribution list. However, when the command HELP is
texted into the system, the phone number is revealed so it can be called back.
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