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Digital Security

Learning Objectives
• Discuss digital security in libraries.
• Describe best practices related to digital security including computers and mobile devices.
• Discuss personal and professional security using social media settings.
• Define digital fingerprints and how they can impact digital security.
• Define and identify secure transaction sites.
• Define firewall and describe the connection to libraries.
• Define malware, virus, worm, and spyware.
• Describe remediation options against threats from viruses, worms, and spyware.
• Discuss library security issues related to authenticating users and restricting access.

Librarians and other information professionals spend much of their time on computers including networked systems, laptops, and mobile devices. They search for and create information as well as share computers with colleagues and patrons.

It is therefore crucial for them to provide safe access while following best practices for computer security, and to protect the privacy of their own and their patrons’ online identities.

Digital Security

shieldDigital security involves protecting a computer from intrusion by an unauthorized user. It also involves applying safe computing practices such as using secure transaction sites and protecting personal information in social networks.

Other digital security practice include:

Digital Security and Social Media

Many social media sites request personal information. It’s important to examine the privacy settings of each website to ensure that your personal information is safe and not being shared or sold without your permission.

Be aware of cookies. Cookies are messages that web servers send to your browser when you visit websites. They keep track of information. Before accepting cookies, be sure you feel comfortable with the security of the website you are using. If you’re concerns, you can clear your web browser’s cache, cookies, and history.

Try It!
Go to Protect IU and explore ideas for practicing safe computing.

Digital Fingerprinting

fingerDigital fingerprinting identifies computers and computer files.

Media files have unique digital fingerprints. Software can be used to scan media to ensure that copyrighted materials aren’t illegally uploaded to websites like YouTube.

Like cookies, digital fingerprinting is also used to track online activity. Digital fingerprinting can be used to trace the identity of a computer as well as the plugins, software installed, and screen resolution.

It can be used to track illegal activity or to find a missing computer.

It’s also used by companies like Google to focus ads based on the location of your computer and other information gathered digitally.

Web Browsers and Internet Security

secureThe latest version of most web browsers contain Transport Layer Security (TLS) also known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology.

This Internet security protocol encrypts sensitive information.

To ensure that a website is secure, check the location area. It should be https rather than http if sensitive information is being shared.

Firewall

firewallA firewall is a digital security system that controls incoming and outgoing network connections by determining what data packets will be allowed through.

Firewalls are used to protect library computers from potential outside threats. They may also be used to prevent users from certain online activities that may be illegal or harm the system.

On the other hand, firewalls can also cause problems when trying to access online services. This is particularly true of bandwidth intensive applications such as Google Earth.

Malware

Malware is malicious software used to disrupt the operation of a computer. It can also be used to secretly gather information by taking control of a remote computer.

A computer virus is malware that enters the computer as an executable file. When opened, the file replicates by putting copies of itself into other files on the computer. These files can perform harmful activities that corrupt data and cause other damage.

A worm is malware that replicates and spreads through a computer. Unlike a virus, a worm doesn’t need to attach itself to other files.

Spyware is malware used to gather information from a computer without the knowledge or consent of the computer’s owner. This software may track use, pop-up ads, or collect information.

Watch!
Watch How to Protect Your Computer from Malware.

Protection from Malware

A firewall can safeguard a computer from some malware attacks.

Software can be used to prevent threats from viruses, worms, spyware, and other types of malware. Often called anti-virus software, these packages sweep a computer for problems and check incoming files.

Symantec and McAfee are companies that provide digital security software. This software guards against virus, worms, spyware, and other security issues.

Digital Security in Libraries

Libraries have a wide range of digital security issues that must be addressed.

First, libraries need a way to authenticate users of the library’s local and remote web-based services. In most cases, users must enter a username or library number along with a password to gain access to library accounts and restricted access materials.

Second, libraries may have additional limitations on restricted access areas that go beyond authenticating users. Licenses may restrict remote access, limit the number of simultaneous users, or require additional authentication for digital downloads.

Libraries need to assist users in creating effective passwords for digital security.

Conclusion

Librarians should follow best practice in digital security.

Digital security involves protecting a computer from intrusion by an unauthorized user. It also includes using secure transaction sites and protecting information. Digital fingerprinting identifies computers and computer files for both good and bad purposes.

A firewall is a digital security system that controls incoming and outgoing network connections by determining what data packets will be allowed through.

Malware is malicious software used to disrupt the operation of a computer. It can also be used to secretly gather information by taking control of a remote computer. Computer viruses, worms, and spyware are examples of malware. Anti-virus software can be used to protect computers from malware.


| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Contact Us | 2014 Annette Lamb (Adapted from earlier s401 materials)

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