Noticed that an ebook you’ve previously seen no longer appears available? There are several possible reasons, but the most likely one right now is that it was removed from our collection because of its cost. The Library has many sources for ebooks, and the largest one is a company called Ebook Library (EBL). We have some 200,000 EBL records in our catalog, of which we own only .6%. The rest are there for access as needed, and we don’t pay for them until they’re actually used. This is a recently developed program called Demand-Driven Acquisitions (DDA). A vastly oversimplified description is that for the first four uses, the library pays a percentage of the full purchase price, and the fifth use triggers an automatic purchase. DDA lets us offer a tremendous range of ebooks at a small fraction of the full purchase price. Over the last four years, we’ve paid less than $500,000 for access to more than $8 million worth of books.
However, in the last two years, many publishers have decided they weren’t making enough money, so they dramatically hiked their fees for those first four uses, which has sent our library’s costs skyrocketing. We’ve shifted some funds from print purchasing to cover the additional ebook costs, but the only way to moderate expenditures for the longer term is to remove the most expensive titles, along with titles from the most expensive publishers.
What to do? If you’re not finding something you’d previously seen, or if you come across a catalog link that doesn’t work (removing the catalog records tends to lag behind the actual ebook access), email us right away, and we might be able to get it back. If we can’t, we’ll work on finding another way to lay hands on the material for you.
Several members of our community have recently reported being prompted to install MacKeeper on their Apple computers running Mac OS X. MacKeeper is malicious software of the adware variety. While MacKeeper offers legitimate services for a fee, it also opens security holes in your system that can introduce other forms of malware and adware which cause problems for your web browser and OS X operating system, such as performance or integrity issues. Do Not install MacKeeper!
MacKeeper is offered by the company Kromtech (formerly ZeoBIT) and has been identified in issues such as fraudulent installs masquerading as other anti-virus applications such as ClamXav. MacKeeper is also known for predacious distribution practices employing other adware to market and distribute their product through pop-up ads. It has also been used to distribute other malware exploits such as OS X/Agent-ANTU as reported by researchers at BAE and Sophos.
If you suspect that you may have installed MacKeeper please contact the Help Desk at x2200 for help removing this software.
Mobile devices have become one of the primary ways that we communicate and interact with each other. Powerful computers now fit in our pockets and on our wrists, allowing us to bank, shop, view our medical history, work remotely, and communicate from virtually anywhere. With all this convenience comes added risk, so here are some tips to help secure your devices and protect your personal information.
Password-protect your devices. Protect the data on your mobile device and enable encryption by enabling passwords, PINs, fingerprint scans, or other forms of authentication. On most current mobile operating systems you have the option to encrypt your data when you have a password turned on. Turn it on!
Secure those devices and backup data. Make sure that you can remotely lock and/or wipe each mobile device. That also means you should back up your data on each device in case you need to use the remote wipe function. Services such as iCloud, OneDrive, and Google offer device location, wipe and backup services.
Verify app permissions. Don’t forget to review which privacy-related permissions each application is requesting, before installing it. Be cautious of fake applications masquerading as legitimate programs by verifying that the application is from a reputable source, such as the Apple Apps Store, Microsoft’s Store, or Google’s Play Store. Occasionally, applications in the official stores can include malware. Read reviews and descriptions carefully. Only install applications that you need. Remove applications that you are no longer using.
Update operating systems. Security fixes or patches for mobile devices’ operating systems are often included in these updates. Just like patching a computer, iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile all need to be patched and kept current.
Be cautious of public Wi-Fi hotspots. When using your mobile device, watch for connections to public hotspots. Many mobile devices will automatically connect to hotspots and prioritize data transmission over Wi-Fi by default. Verify that your settings require manually selecting hotspots if possible. Working with sensitive data while connected to a public hotspot could lead to unintended data exposure. Always ensure that you are using a secure connection.
Plan ahead for a lunch and learn RoadShow. On February 23rd, 2016 ITS-Information Security will be hosting a RoadShow conversation on safe computing practices and phishing avoidance techniques in Lib145 from 12:00 to 1:00. This conversation is open to the entire Middlebury community. All are encouraged to come.
How to spot a phish
Safe download practices and installing applications on your computer
Data classification and sensitive data
Removable media and when to use it
Password management and what to do with all of those passwords
Follow ITS-Information Security on Twitter: @MiddInfoSec
Information Security has a New Twitter feed and other new content on their website. Follow us at #MiddInfosec or visit our website at http://go.middlebury.edu/infosec
You and your information are everywhere. When you’re online you leave a trail of “digital exhaust” in the form of cookies, GPS data, social network posts, and e-mail exchanges, among others. It is critical to learn how to protect yourself and guard your privacy. Your identity and even your bank account could be at risk!
Use long and complex passwords or passphrases. These are often the first line of defense in protecting an online account. The length and complexity of your passwords can provide an extra level of protection for your personal information.
Take care what you share. Periodically check the privacy settings for your social networking apps to ensure that they are set to share only what you want, with whom you intend. Be very careful about putting personal information online. What goes on the Internet¬¬ usually stays on the Internet.
Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going “incognito” and using the browser’s private mode.
Using Wi-Fi? If only public Wi-Fi is available, restrict your activity to simple searches (no banking!) or use a VPN (virtual private network). The latter provides an encrypted tunnel between you and the sites you visit.
Should you trust that app? Only use apps from reputable sources. Check out reviews from users or other trusted sources before downloading anything that is unfamiliar.