Frequently Asked Gopher Buddy Questions for End-Users

Q: I see a Gopher icon in my extensions tray. What does the Gopher Buddy Chrome Extension do?

Gopher Buddy has multiple features that school IT administrators can enable to assist with better Chromebook management and performance:

  • It can track device session data like Google username, device ID, IP address, timestamp, and session length. Gopher Buddy can collect this data only on school-managed devices for school-managed user accounts. This session data is identical to data collected by most other user-based online platforms. Data collected is stored in a secure database and made available to IT administrators for reporting & management purposes. No browsing behavior or geographic location data is collected.
  • You can configure Gopher Buddy to allow students and teachers to access useful information about their logged-in devices, like serial Numbers, asset IDs, or assigned users. Data that is otherwise difficult to access.
  • You can configure Gopher Buddy to nudge users to update their Chrome OS version.

Q: Doesn't Chrome already update automatically?

Yes, it's supposed to, but most updates also require a reboot of your Chromebook, and often, students do not remember to reboot after they download updates. Gopher Buddy's optional reminders ensure users don't forget.

Q: Why does it matter if my Chrome device has the latest version?

Google is constantly improving Chrome, making it more secure, and adding new features that software developers can use to build great apps. Certain applications can only run if they have the latest version.

Q: Help, I keep trying to update my device, but it never updates…

In some cases, if Chrome has gotten far behind, you may need help to update it from chrome://settings/help. If you believe this has happened to your device, let your teacher or technology department know so they can re-flash it from a USB.

Q: Does Gopher Buddy allow my school to spy on me?

By most normal standards of spying, No. Any secure web service you use, whether Gmail, Instagram, or Snapchat, needs to keep track of the logged-in account, what network IP address you are logging in from, and the timestamp of when you used the service. When a school or institution manages a secure online service, it's normal and even necessary for security reasons for these data logs to be visible to the service administrators.

Q: Can my network IP address be used to find my physical location?

If you use your device within a school-operated network, the answer is yes. Outside of the school network, unless your internet provider has agreed to cooperate with law enforcement, school administrators cannot use an IP address to know a user's geographic location.

Q: Is Gopher Buddy blocking me from visiting certain websites?

No. If your school chooses to block websites, they must use different software to do so. Web traffic control is not a feature of Gopher Buddy.


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