Tech Help

The Cranbrook Public Library provides help and tutoring for the public (September to May) for the following:

  • Computers
  • Smart Phones
  • Tablets
  • e-readers

Call: 250 426 4063 to set up an appointment or for more information.

Electronic Tech Books

A 2019 list of computer, social media, and technology books that are located at Cranbrook Public Library

 

Keeping Yourself Safe…

On the Internet

Always make sure to sign out or log out of your accounts, especially when using public computers or public internet access.

 

 

 

Don’t get personal on public wi-fi, anyone could be watching or hacking the network to glean that personal information.

 

 

 

 

Use two factor authentication wherever possible. This verification requires that a person not only know the password to an account, but physically have the device associated with that account, its an extra layer of protection so that the account knows that its actually you accessing it.

Don’t share your streaming video service passwords, remember, although seemingly innocuous, whoever has access to the password, also has access to the personal details associated with that account, including billing information.

Never give out your password to anyone that phones, texts, or emails you. If they phone you saying they are from a certain company and you are being hacked, etc., hang up, find the support phone number on the company’s website, and phone them directly. That way, you know you are talking to a person from that company and they can tell you if you have a real problem or if the person that just phoned you was a criminal. The same can be done with texts and emails. Never click on the links provided in texts or emails, instead, go directly to the website and login to your account. If there is a real problem, it will be displayed in your account information, otherwise, the email or text was fake.

If a “deal” seems too good to be true, it is. Any website links that have cheap electronics are probably going to fall into the scam category. If they tell you it’s free, or only 1 dollar and then ask you to fill out surveys to get the item, you are following a chain of scams. Under no circumstances in this situation should you ever give out personal information or credit/debit card information, the fine print you aren’t looking at is most likely signing you up for reoccurring payments on your credit/debit card.

Turn off one-click ordering on online shopping retailers and choose not to save your credit card information for future purposes, although it adds a few more minutes to the checkout process, if your account is ever compromised, there is less chance that your credit card information will be stolen and fraudulent purchases made using your account.

Delete any app or account you no longer use. Even if you aren’t using it, if you leave it floating around on the internet, someone else can hack in and pretend to be you. Don’t leave that as an option, delete unused apps and accounts.

On Social Media

Do not “check-in” on social media. This alerts people to your current location, and they can track your movements. Burglars can use social media “check-in” or pictures you post while on vacation to know that your house is unattended. Combined with other personal information that is posted on social media, they can find your house and break in, knowing exactly when you are not home.

Make sure you understand the privacy settings on each social media website/app you use. Privacy settings are not universal, and some are not turned on automatically. Before making any posts or putting any personal information on a social media site, check what the privacy settings are for every piece of information posted.

Don’t believe every post you see in your feed. There are many people out there wanting to feed false information to targeted groups to influence the way you think and feel about certain topics. Always verify the information you see on social media with a well known reliable source.

With the Internet of Things

It is important to realize that almost everything in your house is or can become a computer, because of that if they are connected to the internet or an app on your phone, they can be vulnerable to online attacks.

 

 

Make sure to turn off microphones and cameras that are connected to your internet devices when not in use as people can use them to spy on you. If you can’t figure out how to turn off you camera, simply cover it over with a piece of dark coloured tape.

Turn off your baby monitors when you are not using them, they can be hacked and used to spy on your home.

Check often for updates to devices connected to the internet. Those updates will help patch security vulnerabilities. If you choose not to update, you could be leaving whatever device open to easy hacking (whether that be your GPS, phone, computer, security cameras, CPAP machine, etc.)

With Your Mobile Devices

Always secure your mobile device with strong passwords or PINs. If someone gains access to your mobile device, they gain access to whatever accounts you have logged in on the device.

Always check the permissions on apps that are on your phone, whether you are newly installing an app or they are preinstalled on your device.

 

 

Don’t allow notifications to pop up on your lock screen, even if someone can’t get into your phone, they can still learn personal information from the emails, texts and alerts that pop up on the lock screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Auto-lock your screen. Setting your device to lock itself after a few minutes of inactivity is a good practice when using mobile devices in public places.
  • Turn off your Bluetooth when not in use, criminals that know how to use Bluetooth can easily access your phone through this convenient tool.
  • Make sure to reset your mobile device to factory settings and wipe your phone before selling, upgrading, or donating it, if you don’t, whoever holds that phone next will have access to all your personal information.

Block suspicious callers permanently by opening your call or text log and choosing the block number option.

 

 

 

Always bring your own charging cord with you. Public charging stations that offer cords could be used to collect your data, remember, USB cords aren’t just used for charging, they are also used to connect devices to computers to share data.

With Your Privacy

If you need to write down your passwords, do not leave them out in the open where people can see them, never take them out of your home and carry them in your purse, bag, etc. The best idea is to download a password manager app where you can store all your passwords. They way you only have to remember the master password to access them. These can easily be downloaded onto your phone and even use your finger print for authentication (such as Dashlane).

  • Change your passwords every 6 months, or if that is not possible at least every year.
  • Never type passwords into your phone when people can see your screen. Always check that there is no one directly looking at your device or can see your screen before typing any passwords or private information into it.
  • Do not give your passwords out to anyone, not even the person that is helping you with computer related problems. If you do give out your password, as soon as that person is done with your information, change your password immediately.
  • Any time there is a privacy breach mentioned in the news, change your passwords. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.

 

 

Works Cited

Rogers, Jeni. 200+ Ways to Protect Your Privacy : Simple Ways to Prevent Hacks and Protect Your Privacy–on and Offline. Adams Media, 2019, Find it in the Library.