or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

Anti-Scam Literature from FTC.gov

   April 30th, 2015 Brian Herzog

FTC money wiring scam bookmarkTalk about timing - yesterday my coworker received a sample of the FTC's literature packet on how to identify and respond to scams. I wish we would have had these in the library on Saturday.

I didn't know the FTC offered these, but when I checked their bulkorder website, I found a ton of stuff on all different topics.

Good job to the FTC (and other government agencies, for that matter) for making this type of information available free to the public. My coworker already ordered some of these for us to pass out to patrons, and I am going to look through what else they offer to find more that will be useful - they have an entire section on Privacy & Identity.

This is definitely a good resource to bookmark to keep the library stocked with useful information. https://bulkorder.ftc.gov

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Email Scam Competency Testing

   May 6th, 2010 Brian Herzog

SPAM wallHere's something neat - and vital for library staff, both for those who directly provide computer help to patrons and for anyone else who uses a computer in their daily life:

A recent Slashdot post linked to a test to see how well people can identify spam, scam and phishing email messages (which can happen to anybody).

The test is provided by SonicWall, and would be a great for:

  • taking as a group during a staff meeting or training day
  • testing new employees to help protect your network and increase their tech competency
  • showing to students and computer literacy classes to teach them to evaluate websites and email messages

After you're finished, be sure to click the "why" links on the test results to see exactly what looks suspicious and what are the red flags - that is the most helpful part of the test.

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