Choose Privacy Week

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The American Library Association has designated this week (May 1-7) Choose Privacy Week. Now is the perfect time to learn why privacy is important and how to protect yourself.

You may not realize it, but librarians have a professional responsibility to protecting your right to privacy. The freedom to read and explore new ideas is crucial in a democracy, and since a cornerstone of library service is to provide access to books and information, we are committed to your right to read and learn whatever you want in private. The Robbins Library won’t share your personal information, including records of materials that you have borrowed.

But we have no control over the internet, so you need to protect your own privacy online. Here are some tips from the ALA to keep in mind when using public computers like the ones at the library:

  • Delete your browser history (instructions are here).
  • If you’ve logged into a site, remember to log out when you’re done.
  • Always disable the “remember me” function (which is just below your login).
  • When you’re logging into a site that requires a password, look for “https” at the beginning of the site’s address. If there’s no “s” the site isn’t secure.
  • Be wary about using public computers or Wi-Fi hotspots to conduct transactions that require sensitive information (like credit card information or your Social Security number.)

A complete tip sheet from the American Library Association is available here. More tips from the government are available here, including what to do if you think your privacy has been compromised.

Click here to learn more about why privacy is so important. More about privacy and your rights can be found in the video below, including thoughts from the authors Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman.

Choose Privacy Week Video from 20K Films on Vimeo.

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