Library Corner: Cyber Monday safety tips
Grand County Library District
The holidays are right around the corner, which means many of us will be doing our gift shopping online.
While it’s easy to get complacent in our current digital economy, it’s important to remember identity theft is a rapidly growing problem that can wreak havoc on your finances, credit score, and sanity. By taking simple precautions, you can greatly decrease the odds of having your information compromised or stolen.
Grand County Library District asked our information technology manager, Anthony Leyba, to share some advice to help you protect your privacy and keep your personal details secure. Anthony has been with GCLD since 2015 and is a strong advocate for taking control of your digital footprint.
Here are Anthony’s top tips for keeping yourself safe online:
1. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. As tempting as it may be to use one password for everything, it makes you incredibly vulnerable to attack. Hackers enter stolen email, username, and password combinations across hundreds of websites, so if you’re using the same one for everything, they potentially have access to all of your online accounts, even if only one is compromised.
2. Use a password manager. Wondering how you’re going to remember different passwords for dozens of accounts? A password manager is an encrypted digital vault that safely stores your login information to multiple accounts.
There are many highly-rated password managers such as Bitwarden, LastPass, and 1Password, among others, that will keep your passwords safe and accessible. You can even allow your password manager to create unique passwords for you and set up reminders to periodically change your passwords.
3. Keep a backup list of your passwords in a secure location. Even if you’re using a password manager, you’ll want to keep a record of your passwords, just in case you accidentally lock yourself out of your password manager account.
However, don’t keep this information in a place where it can be easily stolen. Instead, store it in a secure location, preferably under lock and key. Be sure to tell a trusted family member or friend how to retrieve your password information in the event you need someone else to access your accounts.
4. Use strong passwords. Although it’s usually best to let your password manager create most of your passwords, it’s hard to remember a string of random letters, numbers, and symbols. For quick access to frequently used sites, you’ll need passwords you can remember. For these accounts, use “pass phrases” instead of passwords, the longer, the better.
5. Use two-factor authentication (2FA) if the account allows it. 2FA is an additional layer of protection that lets the account in question know you’re the legitimate user.
By following these guidelines, you’ll significantly increase your account security, and with it, your peace of mind.
If you happen to be visiting the library and are thinking about fulfilling some of those items on your holiday gift-giving list, an iPad may be just what you need to help you get started.
iPads are now available at all GCLD branches for use within the library as long as you have a current GCLD library card. The checkout period is two hours, but if no one else is waiting, you may renew until closing time.
Think of all of the shopping you can get done, without distractions, just by visiting your local library! During this upcoming holiday season, stay safe online and happy shopping!
iPads are now available at all GCLD branches for use within the library.
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