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Why Passwords Matter December 17, 2012

Posted by CCLD in Technology.
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What a simple life we all would lead if we could use the same simple password for everything… something like our dog’s name or child’s name… You can be sure that is exactly what the computer hackers or internet thieves are counting on. Stealing from innocent people over the internet is rapidly becoming big business.

When a hacker uses software to crack passwords it starts by comparing the password to an extensive dictionary. Everyone should become as interested in protecting their financial integrity as they would in protecting their valuables in their home and car. You need to protect the valuables you have out over the Internet with the proper security and lockdowns by creating several strong effective passwords to use.

Here are some things you should not do:

  1. Never use a family member or pet’s name
  2. Never use any part of your social security number or birth date (if the thieves crack that password, then they just gained access to more crucial information, effortlessly.
  3. Never use the same password for all accounts (once they crack the password to one account, they have access to all the rest)
  4. Do not use any personal information
  5. Do not spell words backwards or use foreign words, password cracking software checks for these.

Helpful hints for safer passwords:

  1. Should be an alphanumeric password using uppercase and lowercase letters, plus special characters such as $, @, or !
  2. Password should be at least 8 characters long at the minimum, the longer the better
  3. Misspell a word intentionally or use your own shorthand
  4. Be creative, the word heartbreaks could be spelled: h3artbr8k$
  5. Make your password a sentence from a favorite song, book, quote or movie; just be sure to remove the spaces between each word.

Microsoft provides a website for you to test your password strength: https://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx

Some people have too many accounts that require a password and in order to remember all of them, they need to use a Password Manager. A Password Manager is software (sometimes free) that stores all your passwords in one place. This way you only have to remember one master password. There are several types of Password Managers; some types are software installed on your computer, a protected flash drive, a smart phone or a password management website.

For more information and how to get started with a Password Manager, try starting here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407168,00.asp

Deb Brimmer
Technology Coordinator

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‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas at Horseheads Library December 10, 2012

Posted by ackermanj in Horseheads.
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‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas, and all through Horseheads Library
were heard sounds from staff, patrons and volunteers (mostly merry!)

Carts of books and videos were put on the shelves with care,
In hopes that our patrons could find what they want there.

The staff was busy planning programs for the New Year,
storytimes, game days and performers that would bring all some cheer.

And I at my desk, gave pause to ponder,
My first year here, and lots of things full of wonder…

eReaders, iPads, a tornado and construction did appear,
but the staff handled it all (and lots more) throughout the year.

With strong support from our Foundation and Friends,
(upon whom we really depend!) soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread…

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
lots of community volunteers to help out here…

On Interact Club, on Youth Bureau, on Cheerleaders and Able 2!
On Crafters, and Book Club and Conversation Group, to name a few

and lots of others who willingly came,
movie viewers, storytime families and shelvers, too many to name.

To those who help us out, Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall
I want to thank-you, thank-you, thank-you all!

But I want to exclaim, in this season so merry,
Happy Christmas to all from the Horseheads Library!

Janet Ackerman
Supervisor of the Horseheads Library

Top Art Books of the Year December 3, 2012

Posted by roganp in Recommendations.
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Out of the ShadowsBooklist magazine, the reviewing source from the American Library Association, listed the Top 10 Art Books of the year in the November 1, 2012 issue. Steele Library owns many of them and I have ordered the rest so they will be available shortly. If you want to consider buying one of these for an art lover on your holiday shopping list, call 733-8603 and ask to speak to me; I’ll give you the entire list. The ones that are available to browse at the library, right now are:

Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams

This is the story of an unknown nanny who took over 100,000 snapshots of street life in NYC and Chicago documenting urban America in the last half of the twentieth century. After her death, the negatives which were the contents of her storage locker came to light and a star was born!

How Music Works by David Byrne

This book affirms the power of all types of music, including birdsong, whale calls, the recording industry and the work of author, painter, photographer and producer Byrne.

Marilyn: The passion and the paradox by Lois Banner

Could it truly be fifty years since Marilyn died? Feminist Historian Banner celebrates the star’s genius and elucidates her suffering.

I’m Your Man: the Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons

This is the biography of singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Cohen.

Phyllis Rogan, Reference Librarian
Steele Memorial Library

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