October is National ***** Month

October 12, 2009 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment

As a genealogist, I’m well aware that October is National Family History Month.  As a librarian, I was sadly unaware that October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  With the advent of social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, sometimes the joy and excitement of connecting with old friends and making new friends online blind us to the hidden dangers to our security lurking on these pages.  It’s so easy to get caught up in taking one more quiz, or participating in one more poll that your friends have taken and then posted.  But have you ever really read the fine print associated with some of these applications – I mean REALLY read it?  The word “Share” is prominent in all that I’ve read lately, and I’m just not that much of a sharing kind of person.

For years I’ve cautioned my sons about divulging too much personal information to strangers online.  Recently, my oldest son took me to task for my Facebook profile.  He works for the State Department (If he told me what he did, he’d have to silence me) and the first thing he was required to do was to “scrub” all social networking sites associated with his name.  He removed all personal, educational, social and work-related information from each of his profiles.  He then strongly advised me to do the same for mine.  While I haven’t followed his instructions completely, I have taken a second look at the information I’ve given out for the world to view.  Much of it I’ve removed and some I’ve changed.  I’ve stopped blissfully taking every new survey or quiz that pops up in a friend’s posting.  In other words, I’ve become much more cyber-security conscious.  Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month by reviewing the personal information that you’ve posted for friends and others to see, and make sure you’re comfortable with your choices.

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Upcoming Internet Librarian 2009 My IL2009 “Must Do” List

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Well Rounded Librarian by Kathy Petlewski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


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