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Unsure How To Stay Safe Online? Help Is Available!

Given today’s online climate, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Our recent technology survey revealed that this was one of the top concerns among our library users, prompting us to plan more events and education on that topic. Even if you’ve had security training in the past, security recommendations are changing all the time. As the person in charge of technology security at the library, I can tell you it’s no small feat to secure a network and online services from intruders. Even if you put all of the proper measures in place, all it takes is one user to click the wrong link or open an unknown attachment and the worst-case scenario could happen.

As such, the best line of defense is to make sure individual users know how to recognize and avoid traps and how to practice good technology hygiene (like keeping your computer and its software up-to-date). Once upon a time, it was easy to spot a scam. You knew no Nigerian prince would contact you looking for help, and those weird characters in the middle of the word to trick spam filters were a dead giveaway. These days, criminals are getting a lot better at spoofing emails and other communications to make them look legitimate.

Even if you think you know everything about cybersecurity, you still have more to learn. Fortunately, there is a reliable online resource that can teach you general concepts and help you with your cybersecurity questions, presented by the National Cybersecurity Alliance. There is a lot of information there, so I would suggest starting with these two sections of the website:

One of my favorite things about this resource is that the topics are broken down into short, easy-to-understand parts with practical advice. As an example, one of the longer articles is an 8-minute read called How To Tell If Your Computer Has a Virus and What To Do About It. Dating scams, travel tips, hacked accounts, smartphone security, and many other topics are represented in articles all estimated to take less than 10 minutes to read.

One drawback to this resource is the fact that almost all of their education resources are written. If you prefer your education in video format, try this Tech-Talk collection or

What are your biggest cybersecurity concerns? Let us know in the comments. Until then, stay safe!

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