Choose Privacy Week 2018


Choose Privacy Week is an initiative from the American Library Association that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights. It’s a time to engage each other in conversation about “big data” and ensure that your private information is protected. Due to the recent revelations regarding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, and with data breaches becoming more prevalent, this topic is becoming increasingly more important.

Your library is here to help. Take a look at one of these books to learn about how your personal data can be stored, tracked, and utilized, and how you can protect yourself:

Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier – Reveals the unsettling ways in which corporations and governments track and monitor everyday activities, profiling the technological, legal, and social solutions available for enabling better privacy and avoiding cybercrime.

The Aisles Have Eyes by Joseph Turow – Shows readers how merchants use data-mining to track shoppers and predictive analytics to change the way consumers buy, invade privacy, and define shopping reputations.

The Art of Invisibility by Kevin D. Mitnick – A world-famous hacker reveals unsettling truths about information vulnerability while outlining affordable online and offline strategies for maximizing privacy and computer security.

Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz – A former Google data scientist presents an insider’s look at what the vast, instantly available amounts of information from the Internet can reveal about human civilization and society.

Privacy in the Age of Big Data by Theresa Payton – Discusses the benefits of digital surveillance and data collection as well as the dangers associated with collection activities, and identifies the best protection measures against new technologies and surveillance measures.

Dragnet Nation by Julia Angwin – An investigative journalist offers a revealing look at the surveillance economy in America that captures citizens’ actions online and off, putting individual freedoms at risk, and discusses results from a number of experiments she conducted to try and protect herself.

Stay Safe (Online) in the New Year

With all the talk about hacking and internet security recently, we thought we’d highlight some products designed to keep you safe online.

1280px-tor-logo-2011-flat-svgThe Tor Browser is an internet browser that lets you explore the internet without tracking your activity (sites you visit, searches you perform, login information, files you download). Easy to install, this program can be kept on and run from a portable USB drive. It works on all major operating systems and is pre-configured for ease of use.

ddg-icon_256x256DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t keep track of any search that you perform or the location you are searching from. It won’t follow you across sites with ads or remember any personal information. You don’t have to install anything, just go to their website before you search.

signal_blue_iconSignal app (available for iOS and Android devices) is a free messenger app that allows you to send private messages,  photos, and video to your current contacts without a separate login. You can also place calls. All calls and messaging are encrypted and completely protected from Signal as well as outside parties. No call or message logs are maintained by the company.

Go ahead and give any of these a try for a more secure web presence in 2017.