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Choose Privacy Week

MonitorMay 1-7 is Choose Privacy Week, an ongoing program of the American Library Association that invites library users into a national conversation about privacy rights in a digital age. The Choose Privacy Week website has programming resources for libraries and includes the March 9, 2014 broadcast of "60 Minutes" which provides a good basic introduction to the activities of data brokers and how online personal data is tracked, bought, and sold without users’ knowledge. This 15-minute video is excellent (and worth sitting through the commercials!).

After you learn about how personal data is tracked, bought, and sold, you might want to follow up with tips about how you can lead a more private life online. Try the "60 Minutes Overtime" video, "How to defend your privacy online."  Skip ahead to 2:59 for some recommendations.

And don't forget about iLibrarian's 2013 post, "A quick guide to Private Browsing," which covers the Private Browsing and Do Not Track features for most popular browsers and includes "how-tos" and screenshots.

Are you concerned about your privacy in the digital age? What special steps do you take to preserve it? I have to confess, I hadn't paid too much attention to this topic in the past, but now I'm considering options like DuckDuckGo and Disconnect for more private browsing! 

More TechBits posts about privacy:

2 Questions about YouTube

YouTube-logo-full_colorHow do I embed a YouTube video in a PowerPoint presentation?
Apparently, there's a trick to it that involves a few edits to the embed code! See this short (1:36) YouTube video, "HOW TO Embed a YouTube Video in a MS PowerPoint 2010"  for the details. 

How do I download a YouTube video?
A quick internet search turns up a ton of applications that will do this task. However, the real question might be, "is it legal to download a YouTube video?"

According to YouTube's "Download YouTube videos" support page, 

"In general, downloading videos that other people have posted on YouTube is not allowed. However, you can download MP4s of your own uploads."

See section 4 YouTube's Terms of Service for more details about permissions or restrictions related to the use of the service. 

Thanks to Kristine for passing these questions our way!

DDoS attack on Typepad affects some SCLS sites

Thumbs_down_smiley2Did you miss us? At various times since Thursday, April 17, Techbits and some SCLS blogs and member library websites hosted by Typepad were unavailable due to DDoS (or Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks on Typepad. As reported on TechCrunch,

Though Typepad has not yet publicly shared much information about its attackers, the typical scenario involves an attacker knocking the victim’s site offline using a flood of traffic, then refusing to stop the barrage until the victim company pays a small amount of “ransom.” ...

SAY Media [Typepad's parent company] has responded that they, too, received a “ransom” note which didn’t specify an amount. The company ignored the note and focused instead on mitigating the attack. They are also cooperating with the FBI on this investigation.

As of April 23, Typepad service and websites have been restored (hopefully for good, this time).

During the attacks, Typepad staff communicated with users on Twitter, posted updates on the Typepad Status website, and posted a Response to Typepad Downtime on their "Everything Typepad" blog. SCLS staff followed the news and posted information on the SCLS Status wiki.

What You Need to Know about Heartbleed.


So, by now, I'm sure pretty much all of you have heard about the Heartbleed bug, and you're probably wondering to yourself, "How does this affect me?". I'm here to attempt an answer to that question.

First off, What is Heartbleed?  Heartbleed is a software bug in a program called OpenSSL.  OpenSSL is used by web servers to manage secure, encrypted, web communications.  One feature of OpenSSL is to keep your secure connection active through times of inactivity by sending and responding to "heartbeats".  A heartbeat is a small message that is sent at regular intervals to the server and the server then responds by sending the message back. The message includes 2 parts: the message (a string of characters) and the length (a value matching the number of characters in the message).  The problem is that, until recently, OpenSSL wasn't verifying that the number in the length was the actual true length of the message.  So if you sent a heartbeat with a really small message and a really big length, the server would send you back the message plus any data that was stored in memory just after where your message was stored; which could have included, potentially, your username and password.

Here's a list of popular online services and whether they were vulnerable and whether you should consider changing your password.

As far as we know, no SCLS-hosted services are affected by Heartbleed, as we are not currently using OpenSSL for secure connections. Some services we use, such as SurveyMonkey, were affected and we have changed our login information for those cases.

Real time malware map

Seems like not a week goes by anymore without hearing about some new virus, Trojan or Kasglobeother bit of malware attacking PCs.  But have you ever wondered what these attacks look like?

Kaspersky has released an interactive map of malware.  They’ve taken their data and plotted it out on globe so you can see the various threats and where they’re coming from in real time.  Leave the map alone and it will spin on it’s own and show you a country.  Using your mouse you can spin the globe and take a look at where the attacks are heaviest.  If you click on each country, you can get statistics on how many attacks have happened so far that day and a global ranking of each country.  

The map can be found at: http://cybermap.kaspersky.com/  (The map seems to work best in Chrome)

Creating a live web link in an Adobe Acrobat pdf document

This trick allows your audience to easily reference another url/document from an Adobe Acrobat pdf file.  This will not work in Adobe Reader.

  1. Open your pdf document in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Click on “Tools” in the Toolbar, located in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Select the “Content” section.
  4. Under the “Add or Edit Interactive” Section, select “Link.”  (Your icon will turn to a plus sign.) 
  5. Click and drag the cursor to highlight the text where you want to insert the web link.
  6. A pop-up will appear called “Create Link”.  Make sure “Custom Link” is selected.
  7. Click on the “Next” button.
  8. Click on the “Actions” tab.
  9. Under “Select Action” drop-down, select “Open a web link.”
  10. Click the “Add” button.
  11. Copy and paste the url into the pop-up window.
  12. Click the “OK” button, then again.
  13. Save your document.

OverDrive News & Training

OverDriveIconBruce Smith at WiLS reported on Monday about some changes that happened to Wisconsin's Digital Library yesterday. First, OverDrive Help has been updated and is very streamlined. Take a couple minutes to check it out. It's very easy to use! Second, you'll  notice that Featured Collections has moved to the left hand column to better highlight these collections. 

For those of you who use Reports in OverDrive's Marketplace, you'll be pleased to know that there is new training available. OverDrive reported yesterday that there are four new training modules that will cover Collection Usage, Website & User Statistics, Purchases & Subscriptions and Exporting Reports. The ones most applicable to most SCLS libraries will be Collection Usage & Website & User Statistics. You can find the training at OverDrive's Learning Center

In last week's Online Update, there is an article about OverDrive Support training. For those of you who are on the front lines in providing OverDrive support to your patrons, I'll be starting a 5 week online course on April 21 (register here). The course, created by WiLS, is designed to help the transition from WiLS providing direct patron support via email to libraries providing that support. The transition will take place on June 2.

First look at Office 365

FirstLookOn March 12, the Technology Committee approved the proposal to replace SCLS' current email service with Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 for calendaring and email. You can read more about the project in the Office 365 Overview.

There are a couple of opportunities coming up to have a first look at Office 365: