September 26, 2013 • Written by Mark Nelson
People! Ideas! Communities! Information! Canada’s libraries foster connections between people, ideas, communities, and information.
In October, these types of connections will be celebrated during Canadian Library Month. This year’s theme is “Libraries Connect”, highlighting how libraries enable people to connect with others, foster the development of ideas, and promote the growth of strong communities.
At this very moment, from coast to coast to coast, Canadian libraries are connecting people with information, providing endless opportunity to people in our diverse communities. For generations, libraries and librarians have worked at the grass roots level, providing services to communities. Today, in Canada, over 23,000 librarians and library clerks serve in over 22,000 libraries in incredibly diverse communities, from major metropolitan areas to towns and rural hamlets, from research‐intensive universities to colleges of art and design.
As well, academic libraries, school libraries and special libraries add to the creativity and personal, professional and academic growth of many Canadians. These libraries serve everyone from students and faculty to those working in the corporate, government, legal and non‐profit sectors.
For additional information please refer to the Canadian Library Month Website:
September 24, 2013 • Written by Mark Nelson
The Red River College Library receives plenty of inquiries about the wireless networks here on our campuses. As usual we try to answer all of our Patron’s questions, though it must be said that we do not control or manage the wireless networks here at RRC. At the Library we are users, just like you!
In fact, it is the Information Technology Department that manages the wireless networks at the Notre Dame Campus and throughout the Exchange District Campus. However, though we do not control the system, the Library can still provide some assistance in this matter.
Lesson #1: If you can’t connect, make sure you are in an area where there is coverage
First of all, users should know where the wireless access points are located. Wireless is fully available throughout the Roblin Centre and the Patterson Global Institute at the Exchange District Campus. In the Notre Dame Campus full wireless coverage is available in Buildings A, C, D, E, F and Z and certain common areas, such as the Library, the cafeterias (Buffalo, Voyageur, Otto’s, Hard Drive ), the Cave Lounge, and the North and South Gyms. There is only partial wireless coverage in buildings M, J and B.
Lesson #2: Make sure you use your correct username and password
Windows 8 allows you to store your username and password
Additionally, Staff and students should connect through the Wireless Network named RRCWireless. You should take note that this network does not operate like an open wireless, such as the wireless at “Starbucks” or “McDonald’s”. A user needs to enter their credentials to obtain a connection. When challenged, use your normal RRC network username and password to login. If you are having troubles, please review more detailed instructions on our web page, as connections may sometimes be tricky.
As for devices, iPhones and iPads usually connect very easily. Just enter your RRC username and password and you are usually connected in seconds. Other operating systems, such as Android, may require additional settings. Further, devices such as Kobo may have trouble connecting as they normally do not have the correct WPA2 protocol required for a connection. Please refer to our webpage for more detailed info and instructions.
Lesson #3: Don’t use RRCGUEST!
A common problem that occurs is users try to connect to the network named “RRCGUEST”. This network is for guests to the college and is not meant to be used by students and/or staff.
Connections to “RRCGUEST” require a special username and a password that must be obtained in advance, by making a CASELOG request to Information Technology Solutions. The Library does not know any of the usernames and/or passwords and we cannot issue you with one.
Please note, those staff and students that have College-issued laptops and devices, should submit a Caselog if they have troubles connecting to the Wireless network. However, the RRC IT Department cannot support those that have personal devices. If you have a personal device and you just can’t seem to get it connected to the RRCWIreless then come to our Helpdesk in the Lower Learning Commons of the Roblin Centre, or to the Help Desk in the Library Computer Lab at the Notre Dame Campus. Our staff is available from 8:00AM to 4:00 PM and they are great at helping students with these types of problems.
Reference: Library Help and Guides – Red River College Wireless
September 4, 2013 • Written by Mark Nelson
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are powerful, allowing you to meet, interact and share with people around the world.
However, with all these capabilities come risks; not to just you, but your family, friends and employer.
In this blog entry I will discuss what these dangers are and how to use these sites more safely.
A common concern about social networking sites is privacy.
- Potential dangers include:
- Impacting Your Future: Many organizations search social networking sites as part of background checks. Embarrassing or incriminating posts, no matter how old, can prevent you from getting hired or promoted.
- Attacks against You: Cyber criminals can harvest your personal information and use it for attacks against you. For example, they can use your information to guess the answers to your “secret questions” to reset your online passwords, create targeted email attacks or apply for a credit card using your name. These attacks can also spill into the real world, such as identifying where you work or live.
- Harming Your Employer: Criminals or competitors can use any sensitive information you post about your organization against your employer. In addition, your posts can potentially cause reputational harm for your organization. Be sure to check with your organization’s policies before posting anything about your employer.
- Harming others: We have to always remember that the things we post on social networking sites is very public and others may be offended by what we post. Sometimes this may be what we call Bullying; at other times it is more innocuous, however it may still be negatively received.
- Limit the information you post. Don’t post anything personal. Yes, privacy options can provide some protection; however, keep in mind that privacy options are often confusing and can change frequently without you knowing. Facebook is notorious for doing this.
In Facebook, on the right side of your posts, is a security settings dropdown. Check it and make sure it is set to at least “Friends”. Avoid “Public”
In Facebook, the default is to give you minimum security. In fact, currently, when a new Facebook account is created the user’s posts will be public. This is not a good idea. In fact it is recommended that users change their default settings so that ONLY FRIENDS see their postings.
- The privacy of your information is only as secure as the people you share it with. Limit your friends. In fact if someone is a stranger to you, then do not become friends with them.
- Be aware of what information friends are posting about you. It can be just as damaging if they post private information or embarrassing photos of you. Make sure your friends understand what they can or cannot post about you.
- You may change your settings so that posts and photos where you have been tagged are only seen by you and are hidden from your friends. If one of your friends posts something you are not comfortable with, ask them to take it down. At the same time, be respectful of what you post about others.
In addition to privacy concerns, social networking sites can be used by cyber criminals to attack you, your workstation or your device (Smart Phone). Here are some steps to protect yourself:
- Login: Protect your social networking account with a strong password and do not share this password with anyone or re-use it for other sites. In addition, some social networking sites support stronger authentication, such as two-step verification. Enable stronger authentication methods whenever possible.
- Variety of Passwords: Try not to use the same password for all your sites. Try to vary the password in some way. When one site gets hacked, then the hackers may try to use the same password to break into your other accounts. Don’t use the same password for banking as you do for facebook!
- Encryption: Many social networking sites allow you to use encryption called HTTPS to secure your connection to the site. Some sites like Twitter and Google+ have this enabled by default, while other sites require you to manually enabled HTTPS via account settings. Whenever possible use HTTPS.
- Email: Be suspicious of emails that claim to come from a social networking site; these can easily be spoofed attacks sent by cyber criminals. The safest way to reply to such messages is to never click the link in an email, but to go to the website directly, perhaps from a saved bookmark, and check any messages or notifications using the website.
Look out for certain types of scams:
- Twitter Scams:
- Users sending you a direct message such as “Did you see this picture someone posted of you”. This is a scam. Don’t click the link! The user may even be a colleague or friend. The reason they are sending you these messages is because they have been scammed.
- If you click something and then you are asked to login to Twitter, be careful. Check the address bar of your browser and make sure you are actually providing your username and password to the real twitter.com web site.For example if you see something like the picture below you will know that you are not giving your information to the REAL twitter.com: (look carefully at the address!)
Note that the address is not exactly Twitter.com. This is an attempt to steal your password (Phishing). Don’t login!
Social networking sites are a powerful and fun way to communicate with the world. If you follow the tips outlined here, you should be able to enjoy a much safer online experience. For more information on how to use social networking sites safely or report unauthorized activity, be sure to review the security pages of the sites you are using.
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