Browsers and Insecure Websites

You've no doubt read all of our recent blog postings lately about HTTPS, like SCLS and https and More on HTTPS, where we've talked about the big push on the Internet to make ALL websites secure. So we worked to secure our website along with all of your websites as well (thanks, Rose!).

This big push to make all websites secure was coming from the browser companies who were starting to display messages saying if a site was secure or not.

Like Firefox that pops up a message box telling you if a site is insecure when you log in.

Firefox_Message

Chrome is also going to be displaying a message starting with version 68 which comes out July 24, 2018.

Chrome_Message
I think these browser messages may over time become more of a warning than a recommendation because Internet security is becoming so important to users, especially with all the data breaches that have been happening. If you have any vendor websites that you log into that are not secure ask them how soon they will be secure. Be safe when surfing!

Google My Business

GoogleMyBusinessHow do people find information about your library? I bet you think a lot about what you put on your website, but have you thought about the accuracy of information when people try to look up your library from a mobile device and Google steps in with results?

I find that I often rely on the Google listing for a business, rather than navigating to the business' website and trying to find information there (especially for hours, address, directions, phone number, and reviews).

Google My Business is a free listing service created by Google in 2014, and your library most likely already has a GMB page. It's an excellent idea to 1) claim it if you haven't already, and 2) verify/update the information on it. Information that administrators can add/edit includes library hours, description of your library, map pin/location, URL, phone number, organization type, and photographs. The built-in analytics can give you a good idea of how patrons found the listing, and what actions they took (did they call you? did they click over to your website?).

This Computers In Libraries article, "How to Create a Google My Business Page" covers why and how to take control of your Google My Business page and is definitely worth a read! 

People Counter Kits are available


I don't see anyone to count!
SCLS has two people counter kits available for any member library to use. These kits can be kept for 14 days are intended for in-library use only.

Kit 1 is a Bi-directional people counter kit – this is an easy to use basic people counter kit that will provide a count of how many people entered and exited your library. Two counters are included with this kit that also contains.

2 Transmitters
2 Receivers with displays
1 Magnet for resetting the counter
1 Instruction guide
Extra Command Strips

Kit 2 is a USB people counter kit – this is a more advanced people counter. Rather than a display to see how many people entered and exited the library it downloads data to a flash drive that connects to a laptop where you can see how many people passed by the counter every hour. This would be beneficial if you are interested in seeing trends as to what day of the week and during what time of the day the library gets the most traffic. This counter doesn’t indicate which direction people traveled so you will have to divide the total by two to get an accurate count. Two counters are included with this kit that also contains.


2 Transmitters
2 Receivers
1 laptop with people counter software and a power cable
1 Magnet for turning on the counter
1 USB cable
1 Instruction guide

 

General Data Protection Regulation law - what?

Europe's General Data Protection Regulation law goes into effect May 25, 2018.  The definition from Wikipedia is "The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA.

This law has been seven years in the making and, in light of other recent news about data privacy infringement, seems to be very timely.  If companies and websites that you may use have a global presence (like Google), you are probably seeing an increase in "required" information bits about how that company or website is protecting your privacy and/or changes you should make to your account to increase the protection of your personal data.  

Here's a link to an article in The Guardian (UK) that I was reading in my last copy of American Libraries Direct.

And an article from The New York Times May 6, 2018 

Enjoy! Heidi O.

CAN Opportunities

I occasionally post about Community Area Networks (CANs) in this blog. If you are curious about what a CAN might do for your institution and your community there are two upcoming opportunities to learn more in Wisconsin.

The first is at the WiscNet Connections Conference in Madison next Monday and Tuesday (May 14 & 15). Advance registration is closed, but you may register at the event. CANs are a thread throughout the conference. 

The second is also sponsored by WiscNet and it is WiscNet's Community Conversation: CANs in Stevens Point on June 12. "Invite your stakeholders to learn the “What, Why, and How” of CANs; connect with others to glean ideas for the next steps to help your organization and community move forward with your own aspirations of connecting and sharing resources and applications for the common good."

 

 

Chrome blocking autoplay videos on PCs

ChromeiconYou've opened a web page and just started reading when suddenly you're spending the next few seconds trying to hunt down that annoying autoplay video that's blaring out of your speakers. Sounds familiar, right?  Annoying, right? As time has gone on, browsers have started coming up with ways to fight the problem but  most have required you to fiddle with settings or possibly install an add-on.

Starting with version 66, Chrome is going to be muting autoplay videos. There's a default list of over 1,000 popular sites that will be allowed to autoplay videos and Chrome will learn from your browsing behavior to know which sites to mute or unmute. Once you've "trained" Chrome, they say it will block about half of your unwanted auto-plays though it will still allow those videos that are muted when they autoplay to run. At least it'll save your ears.

More on HTTPS

Chrome-SecureDo you remember this TechBits post about http and https? If you have time, read it over again and be sure to watch the 3-minute CommonCraft video because you're going to be hearing a lot more about https in upcoming months.

What are the advantages of https?

  • Confidentiality - information is passed securely between websites and browsers
  • Authenticity - when you see that little lock, you know you're really talking to the website that belongs to that name
  • Integrity - that lock indicates that the content of the site hasn't been changed by a 3rd party on its way to your browser

Chrome and Firefox are the browsers at the forefront of the push to move all sites to https. They already warn you that a page is "not secure" if it is http and prompting you to put in a username and password.  Very soon (July 2018 for Chrome), they will be alerting users that ALL http pages are "not secure."

The winds of change are blowing
As websites move to https, a couple of things will happen:

  • Everyone with a website will be scrambling to configure their sites to be https
  • Very old browsers may not be able to use https sites

SCLS has a team of folks looking at what needs to happen to move SCLS websites and SCLS-hosted library websites to https, and we and will be sharing more information on the SCLS Technology News blog and in Top 5 emails as we have more details. If your library has a website that isn't hosted with SCLS, you may need to look into what steps to take to enable https for your website.

In the meantime, if you're looking for some more in-depth information, try these posts:

2D barcode scanner available

Xenon Barcode ScannerWe are now offering the Honeywell Xenon 1900 a 2D barcode scanner for sale on our website. The advantage of a 2D barcode scanner over a traditional barcode scanner is that it can scan a barcode on a screen. If a patron comes into your library with a photo of their barcode on their phone, this scanner will read it. This scanner also comes with a built-in stand. It only costs $230.00 which is about $100.00 more than the standard barcode scanner. I'm starting to feel like I'm starring in my own infomercial trying to sell you something, but I'm not, because we can't break this up into three easy payments. I just wanted to give you a little bit of information about a new product that we're offering now.

The new 2D barcode scanner is perfect for check-out stations but is probably not ideal for the other areas that use barcode scanners throughout the library. We will still continue to offer the less expensive Voyager 9540 model as well.

Like the other Honeywell Voyager series barcode scanner we purchase, this scanner comes with a 5-year warranty. As a side note, the spec sheet for the Xenon 1900 series scanner says it can withstand up to 50 drops to concrete from a distance of 6 feet. I wonder if that would be equal to one drop from 300 feet and if that would be covered under warranty?

2018 Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference

Wisconsin-2018-01_3Mark your calendar for the Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference, January 23-25, but draw a big red circle around January 24, because that's when the Tech Trends Track programs are scheduled! The Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference is a state-wide virtual conference developed by the Nicolet Federated Library System and supported by 15 other library systems in Wisconsin. The program lineup includes practical and inspiring web-only sessions that you can attend whether it's 40 degrees or 40 below. This year we're looking forward to these technology-oriented programs (30 minutes each):

  • Best of the Web 2018 (register)
  • Sharpening the Bleeding Edge: Four Technologies that Librarians Should Watch (register)
  • Tech Notes from the Field (featuring TechBits author Craig, so don't miss this one) (register)

To attend, simply register for as many programs as you want. There are no registration fees and anyone is welcome to participate. Sessions will be recorded for those who can't attend online.

Community Data - How do we compare?

Want to understand the industries, occupations, poverty, education, cost of living, and more in your community? 

Want to go further and see how you compare to other communities, the state, or the nation?  

Want to know how your community has changed over time? 

If so, here are a few resources to help make the analysis easier: 

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DataUSA: https://datausa.io/

Combines multiple public U.S. Government data sources into one visualization tool. The data sources are cited so you can check for more current data or actually get the underlying data so you can generate your own charts. Don’t miss the ADD COMPARISON option which allows you to compare to another community.

 

2017-12-29_0912_001

Applied Population Lab: https://apl.wisc.edu/

The Applied Population Lab, Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison publishes research on Wisconsin trends. The reports and chartbooks tend to be at the county level, but many of the websites can be searched by village or town. Be sure to check-out their Wisconsin Food Security Project: http://foodsecurity.wisc.edu/ and the GetFacts: https://getfacts.wisc.edu/ websites.

 

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American FactFinder: https://factfinder.census.gov

The primary source of data used by many websites. The advanced search allows you to get the details by geographic areas including summary data for a neighboring community, the state of Wisconsin, or the entire United States. Explore the various topics including Product Type-Comparative Profiles that looks at trends over time of demographic, economic, housing, and social characteristics for populations of 5,000 or more. For details on what data can be compared, go to Comparing American Community Survey (ACS) Data: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/guidance/comparing-acs-data.html