Monday, December 28, 2009

MyLibrary DV Service Ending 12/31/09

Our vendor, Recorded Books has decided to cease offering "MyLibrary DV" effective 12/31/09.

As an alternative, remember the Lansing Library offers DVDs for checkout, including many TV series, or series originally aired on cable TV.

The Reference Desk can also request other DVDs from area libraries through our InterLibrary Loan service.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Flu Resources from Ebsco

Early in September, as public concern about Pandemic H1N1 and the upcoming flu season began to grow, the medical and nursing editors from EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) responded by offering the latest evidence-based, flu-related information for free.

As the pandemic expands, we continue to offer free flu information resources, located at www.ebscohost.com/flu. We are pleased to provide public support via continuously updated, evidence-based clinical information from DynaMed and Nursing Reference Center, EBSCO's clinical and nursing point-of-care databases, along with patient education information in 17 languages from Patient Education Reference Center. Please visit this site often, post links to the site on your home page, and feel free to share, post, and email this link to your colleagues, patrons, family and friends.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank those who have provided such positive feedback from this effort. To learn about EBSCO's editorial processes for systematically identifying, evaluating and selecting evidence, visit this page.

Friday, December 11, 2009

WorldCat Scheduled Maintenance, December 13

OCLC will be conducting a maintenance install this Sunday, December 13, 2009, which is typically completed between 2-6 A.M., ET. WorldCat.org and WorldCat Local will be unavailable during this time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Library Newsletter Available

The November 2009-January 2010 Newsletter is available in the library or you can download and print your own copy from the website.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Register Now: Invisible Web

Computer class: "Invisible Web" October 16 at 10 a.m.
Details: http://engagedpatrons.org/EventsExtended.cfm?SiteID=9548&EventID=45326

Learn about the resources you can't find using Google!

If this program fails to meet the minimum registration, it will be canceled.

Try-It Illinois

October 1-November 30, 2009

Welcome to Try-It! Illinois 2009, the tenth annual statewide database trial, sponsored by Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White and the Illinois State Library.

Thanks to the partnerships between the Illinois State Library and the participating
electronic resource vendors, there is no charge for accessing these databases during Try-It! Illinois. Let us know which resources you like!

http://www.finditillinois.org/tryit/
Stop by or call the library for the user ID and password.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cyber Security Tip ST04-010: Using Caution with Email Attachments

National Cyber Alert System
Cyber Security Tip ST04-010

Using Caution with Email Attachments

While email attachments are a popular and convenient way to send documents,
they are also a common source of viruses. Use caution when opening
attachments, even if they appear to have been sent by someone you know.

Why can email attachments be dangerous?

Some of the characteristics that make email attachments convenient and
popular are also the ones that make them a common tool for attackers:
* Email is easily circulated - Forwarding email is so simple that viruses
can quickly infect many machines. Most viruses don't even require users
to forward the email—they scan a users' computer for email addresses and
automatically send the infected message to all of the addresses they
find. Attackers take advantage of the reality that most users will
automatically trust and open any message that comes from someone they
know.
* Email programs try to address all users' needs - Almost any type of file
can be attached to an email message, so attackers have more freedom with
the types of viruses they can send.
* Email programs offer many "user-friendly" features - Some email programs
have the option to automatically download email attachments, which
immediately exposes your computer to any viruses within the attachments.

What steps can you take to protect yourself and others in your address book?

* Be wary of unsolicited attachments, even from people you know - Just
because an email message looks like it came from your mom, grandma, or
boss doesn't mean that it did. Many viruses can "spoof" the return
address, making it look like the message came from someone else. If you
can, check with the person who supposedly sent the message to make sure
it's legitimate before opening any attachments. This includes email
messages that appear to be from your ISP or software vendor and claim to
include patches or anti-virus software. ISPs and software vendors do not
send patches or software in email.
* Keep software up to date - Install software patches so that attackers
can't take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities (see
Understanding Patches for more information). Many operating systems
offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable
it.
* Trust your instincts - If an email or email attachment seems suspicious,
don't open it, even if your anti-virus software indicates that the
message is clean. Attackers are constantly releasing new viruses, and
the anti-virus software might not have the signature. At the very least,
contact the person who supposedly sent the message to make sure it's
legitimate before you open the attachment. However, especially in the
case of forwards, even messages sent by a legitimate sender might
contain a virus. If something about the email or the attachment makes
you uncomfortable, there may be a good reason. Don't let your curiosity
put your computer at risk.
* Save and scan any attachments before opening them - If you have to open
an attachment before you can verify the source, take the following
steps:
1. Be sure the signatures in your anti-virus software are up to date
(see Understanding Anti-Virus Software for more information).
2. Save the file to your computer or a disk.
3. Manually scan the file using your anti-virus software.
4. If the file is clean and doesn't seem suspicious, go ahead and open
it.
* Turn off the option to automatically download attachments - To simplify
the process of reading email, many email programs offer the feature to
automatically download attachments. Check your settings to see if your
software offers the option, and make sure to disable it.
* Consider creating separate accounts on your computer - Most operating
systems give you the option of creating multiple user accounts with
different privileges. Consider reading your email on an account with
restricted privileges. Some viruses need "administrator" privileges to
infect a computer.
* Apply additional security practices - You may be able to filter certain
types of attachments through your email software (see Reducing Spam) or
a firewall (see Understanding Firewalls).
______________________________

___________________________________

Both the National Cyber Security Alliance and US-CERT have identified this
topic as one of the top tips for home users.
_________________________________________________________________

Authors: Mindi McDowell, Allen Householder
_________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2004, 2009 Carnegie Mellon University. Terms of use
US-CERT

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flu Resources

North Suburban Library system has put together an informative flu webpage.
Visit it at http://www.nsls.info/resources/FluResources/default.aspx

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

H1N1 flu resources

As public concern about Pandemic H1N1 and the upcoming flu season continues to grow, the medical and nursing editors from EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) respond by offering the latest evidence-based flu-related information available for free.

This free flu information resource is located at www.ebscohost.com/flu and will provide continually updated, evidence-based clinical information from DynaMed™ and Nursing Reference Center™, EBSCO’s clinical and nursing point-of-care databases, along with patient education information in 17 languages from Patient Education Reference Center™. Please visit this site often and feel free to share, post, and email this link to your colleagues, patrons, family and friends.

To learn about EBSCO’s editorial processes for systematically identifying, evaluating and selecting evidence, visit this page.

Internet Search Tools: Sign-Up!

A few spaces remain in the Sept. 19 hands-on computer class, Internet Search Tools.
Stop by the Adult Services Desk to sign-up. $5 deposit required.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

EBSCO Searching Tips

EBSCOhost Searching Tips


There have been some recent, subtle changes made to certain field code searching behaviors, which are summarized below.

Wild Card Symbols and Their Behaviors

Wildcard Definition: A way to find words with unknown characters or different spellings.

The Pound Sign (#) Wildcard Symbol (new):

There is a new wildcard symbol: #. When used, it matches any character, similar to the ? wildcard symbol. It will also return results if there is no character in that position. For example, colo#r returns color or colour.

The Asterisk (*) Wildcard Symbol

The asterisk (*) wildcard can be used between words to match any word. For example, a midsummer * dream will return results that contain the exact phrase, a midsummer night’s dream.

An asterisk (*) following a term operates as a wildcard. For example, night* will produce results for nighttime.

To be treated as separate words, asterisks must be separated by a space. For example, “A raisin * * sun” will return A raisin in the sun.

A single asterisk (*) used as the first or last term in a phrase is removed. For example, * car or car * are simply searched as car.

The Question Mark (?) Wildcard Symbol

If an asterisk * is preceded by more than one question mark wildcard symbols, they will be ignored. For example, ??* will be interpreted by EBSCOhost as *, and a??* would be interpreted as a*.

Standalone # or ? wildcards between terms are limited to representing one character.

Other Searching Functionality - Double Quotation Marks

Enclosing terms in double quotation marks prevents the application of the Thesaurus. For example, “car” returns car, but not cars or any other derivative of the terms in quotes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Safeguardng Your Data: Cyber Security Tip ST06-008

Cyber Security Tip ST06-008
Safeguarding Your Data

When there are multiple people using your computer and/or you store
sensitive personal and work-related data on your computer, it is especially
important to take extra security precautions.

Why isn't "more" better?

Maybe there is an extra software program included with a program you bought.
Or perhaps you found a free download online. You may be tempted to install
the programs just because you can, or because you think you might use them
later. However, even if the source and the software are legitimate, there
may be hidden risks. And if other people use your computer, there are
additional risks.

These risks become especially important if you use your computer to manage
your personal finances (banking, taxes, online bill payment, etc.), store
sensitive personal data, or perform work-related activities away from the
office. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

How can you protect both your personal and work-related data?

* Use and maintain anti-virus software and a firewall - Protect yourself
against viruses and Trojan horses that may steal or modify the data on
your own computer and leave you vulnerable by using anti-virus software
and a firewall (see Understanding Anti-Virus Software and Understanding
Firewalls for more information). Make sure to keep your virus
definitions up to date.
* Regularly scan your computer for spyware - Spyware or adware hidden in
software programs may affect the performance of your computer and give
attackers access to your data. Use a legitimate anti-spyware program to
scan your computer and remove any of these files (see Recognizing and
Avoiding Spyware for more information). Many anti-virus products have
incorporated spyware detection.
* Keep software up to date - Install software patches so that attackers
cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities (see
Understanding Patches for more information). Many operating systems
offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should turn it
on.
* Evaluate your software's settings - The default settings of most
software enable all available functionality. However, attackers may be
able to take advantage of this functionality to access your computer. It
is especially important to check the settings for software that connects
to the internet (browsers, email clients, etc.). Apply the highest level
of security available that still gives you the functionality you need.
* Avoid unused software programs - Do not clutter your computer with
unnecessary software programs. If you have programs on your computer
that you do not use, consider uninstalling them. In addition to
consuming system resources, these programs may contain vulnerabilities
that, if not patched, may allow an attacker to access your computer.
* Consider creating separate user accounts - If there are other people
using your computer, you may be worried that someone else may
accidentally access, modify, and/or delete your files. Most operating
systems (including Windows XP and Vista, Mac OS X, and Linux) give you
the option of creating a different user account for each user, and you
can set the amount of access and privileges for each account. You may
also choose to have separate accounts for your work and personal
purposes. While this approach will not completely isolate each area, it
does offer some additional protection. However, it will not protect your
computer against vulnerabilities that give an attacker administrative
privileges. Ideally, you will have separate computers for work and
personal use; this will offer a different type of protection.
* Establish guidelines for computer use - If there are multiple people
using your computer, especially children, make sure they understand how
to use the computer and internet safely. Setting boundaries and
guidelines will help to protect your data (see Keeping Children Safe
Online for more information).
* Use passwords and encrypt sensitive files - Passwords and other security
features add layers of protection if used appropriately (see Choosing
and Protecting Passwords and Supplementing Passwords for more
information). By encrypting files, you ensure that unauthorized people
can't view data even if they can physically access it. You may also want
to consider options for full disk encryption, which prevents a thief
from even starting your laptop without a passphrase. When you use
encryption, it is important to remember your passwords and passphrases;
if you forget or lose them, you may lose your data.
* Follow corporate policies for handling and storing work-related
information - If you use your computer for work-related purposes, make
sure to follow any corporate policies for handling and storing the
information. These policies were likely established to protect
proprietary information and customer data, as well as to protect you and
the company from liability. Even if it is not explicitly stated in your
corporate policy, you should avoid allowing other people, including
family members, to use a computer that contains corporate data.
* Dispose of sensitive information properly - Simply deleting a file does
not completely erase it. To ensure that an attacker cannot access these
files, make sure that you adequately erase sensitive files (see
Effectively Erasing Files for more information).
* Follow good security habits - Review other security tips for ways to
protect yourself and your data.
______________________________

___________________________________

Author: Mindi McDowell
_________________________________________________________________

Produced 2006 by US-CERT, a government organization.

Note: This tip was previously published and is being re-distributed
to increase awareness.

Terms of use

<http://www.us-cert.gov/legal.html>

This document can also be found at

<http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST06-008.html>

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Defending Cell Phones and PDAs Against Attack: Cyber Security Tip ST06-007

Cyber Security Tip ST06-007
Defending Cell Phones and PDAs Against Attack (View the article with links to related articles)

As cell phones and PDAs become more technologically advanced, attackers are
finding new ways to target victims. By using text messaging or email, an
attacker could lure you to a malicious site or convince you to install
malicious code on your portable device.

What unique risks do cell phones and PDAs present?

Most current cell phones have the ability to send and receive text messages.
Some cell phones and PDAs also offer the ability to connect to the internet.
Although these are features that you might find useful and convenient,
attackers may try to take advantage of them. As a result, an attacker may be
able to accomplish the following:
* abuse your service - Most cell phone plans limit the number of text
messages you can send and receive. If an attacker spams you with text
messages, you may be charged additional fees. An attacker may also be
able to infect your phone or PDA with malicious code that will allow
them to use your service. Because the contract is in your name, you will
be responsible for the charges.
* lure you to a malicious web site - While PDAs and cell phones that give
you access to email are targets for standard phishing attacks, attackers
are now sending text messages to cell phones. These messages, supposedly
from a legitimate company, may try to convince you to visit a malicious
site by claiming that there is a problem with your account or stating
that you have been subscribed to a service. Once you visit the site, you
may be lured into providing personal information or downloading a
malicious file (see Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for
more information).
* use your cell phone or PDA in an attack - Attackers who can gain control
of your service may use your cell phone or PDA to attack others. Not
only does this hide the real attacker's identity, it allows the attacker
to increase the number of targets (see Understanding Denial-of-Service
Attacks for more information).
* gain access to account information - In some areas, cell phones are
becoming capable of performing certain transactions (from paying for
parking or groceries to conducting larger financial transactions). An
attacker who can gain access to a phone that is used for these types of
transactions may be able to discover your account information and use or
sell it.

What can you do to protect yourself?

* Follow general guidelines for protecting portable devices - Take
precautions to secure your cell phone and PDA the same way you should
secure your computer (see Cybersecurity for Electronic Devices and
Protecting Portable Devices: Data Security for more information).
* Be careful about posting your cell phone number and email address -
Attackers often use software that browses web sites for email addresses.
These addresses then become targets for attacks and spam (see Reducing
Spam for more information). Cell phone numbers can be collected
automatically, too. By limiting the number of people who have access to
your information, you limit your risk of becoming a victim.
* Do not follow links sent in email or text messages - Be suspicious of
URLs sent in unsolicited email or text messages. While the links may
appear to be legitimate, they may actually direct you to a malicious web
site.
* Be wary of downloadable software - There are many sites that offer games
and other software you can download onto your cell phone or PDA. This
software could include malicious code. Avoid downloading files from
sites that you do not trust. If you are getting the files from a
supposedly secure site, look for a web site certificate (see
Understanding Web Site Certificates for more information). If you do
download a file from a web site, consider saving it to your computer and
manually scanning it for viruses before opening it.
* Evaluate your security settings - Make sure that you take advantage of
the security features offered on your device. Attackers may take
advantage of Bluetooth connections to access or download information on
your device. Disable Bluetooth when you are not using it to avoid
unauthorized access (see Understanding Bluetooth Technology for more
information).
_________________________________________________________________

Author: Mindi McDowell
_________________________________________________________________

Produced 2006 by US-CERT, a government organization.

Note: This tip was previously published and is being re-distributed
to increase awareness.

Terms of use



This document can also be found at

Monday, January 26, 2009

Greener Internet Searching

With "green" being so important now, did you know there is a greener way to search the internet?

http://www.blackle.com/

Blackle uses a Google Custom Search to display both the home page and search results on a black screen, reducing the amount of energy needed by your monitor.

Search results are provided by Google.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Understanding Hidden Threats: Corrupted Software Files

Cyber Security Tip ST06-006
Understanding Hidden Threats: Corrupted Software Files

Click here for a web version of the article with links to the other documents mentioned.

Malicious code is not always hidden in web page scripts or unusual
file formats. Attackers may corrupt types of files that you would
recognize and typically consider safe, so you should take precautions
when opening files from other people.

What types of files can attackers corrupt?

An attacker may be able to insert malicious code into any file,
including common file types that you would normally consider safe.
These files may include documents created with word processing
software, spreadsheets, or image files. After corrupting the file, an
attacker may distribute it through email or post it to a web site.
Depending on the type of malicious code, you may infect your computer
by just opening the file.

When corrupting files, attackers often take advantage of
vulnerabilities that they discover in the software. These
vulnerabilities may allow attackers to insert and execute malicious
scripts or code, sometimes without being detected. Sometimes the
vulnerability involves a combination of certain files (such as a
particular piece of software running on a particular operating system)
or only affects certain versions of a software program.

What problems can malicious files cause?

There are various types of malicious code, including viruses, worms,
and Trojan horses (see Why is Cyber Security a Problem? for more
information). However, the range of consequences varies even within
these categories. The malicious code may be designed to perform one or
more functions, including
* interfering with your computer's ability to process information by
consuming memory or bandwidth (causing your computer to become
significantly slower or even "freeze")
* installing, altering, or deleting files on your computer
* giving the attacker access to your computer
* using your computer to attack other computers (see Understanding
Denial-of-Service Attacks for more information)

How can you protect yourself?

* Use and maintain anti-virus software - Anti-virus software
recognizes and protects your computer against most known viruses,
so you may be able to detect and remove the virus before it can do
any damage (see Understanding Anti-Virus Software for more
information). Because attackers are continually writing new
viruses, it is important to keep your definitions up to date.
* Use caution with email attachments - Do not open email attachments
that you were not expecting, especially if they are from people
you do not know. If you decide to open an email attachment, scan
it for viruses first (see Using Caution with Email Attachments for
more information). Not only is it possible for attackers to
"spoof" the source of an email message, your legitimate contacts
may unknowingly send you an infected file.
* Be wary of downloadable files on web sites - Avoid downloading
files from sites that you do not trust. If you are getting the
files from a supposedly secure site, look for a web site
certificate (see Understanding Web Site Certificates for more
information). If you do download a file from a web site, consider
saving it to your desktop and manually scanning it for viruses
before opening it.
* Keep software up to date - Install software patches so that
attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or
vulnerabilities (see Understanding Patches for more information).
Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is
available, you should enable it.
* Take advantage of security settings - Check the security settings
of your email client and your web browser (see Evaluating Your Web
Browser's Security Settings for more information). Apply the
highest level of security available that still gives you the
functionality you need. In email clients, turn off the option to
automatically download attachments.

Related information

* Securing Your Web Browser
* Recovering from Viruses, Worms, and Trojan Horses
______________________________

___________________________________

Author: Mindi McDowell
_________________________________________________________________

Produced 2006 by US-CERT, a government organization.

Note: This tip was previously published and is being re-distributed
to increase awareness.