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Coleg Llandrillo Cymru Library Blog Wales

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Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

Password Protection or why it can pay to be paranoid!

Posted by LibeRaCe on May 24, 2013

This is the first (of many hopefully!) blog contributions from our Library and Learning Technology Service extended family tree in Grwp Llandrillo Menai. This week Dan, based at Rhos site, wants to tell you a story ….are you sitting comfortably? Now let’s begin…..

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Password security is something that I take very seriously. All of my passwords are undecipherable gibberish and at least 20 characters long, and I don’t use the same password for any two services. Some of you may think I go too far, that I’m paranoid and I’m tempted to agree. It wasn’t always like this though. I’ve been happily reliant on the same 4 (admittedly quite strong) passwords since I first got to log on to a computer. That all changed in April of 2011.

I’d finished work, met up with some friends and we’d headed back to mine to have a quick gaming session before heading to the pub. I got home, switched on the PS3 and started signing in to my account. After an unusually long wait I was shown this message –

Play station message screen shot

Odd. Never mind though, a few offline games and off out we went. Next day I tried again, only to be met with the same message. Now I was a little concerned and I turned to the Internet for help. Very quickly I found out that it wasn’t just me. Sony’s entire online network seemed to be down and they were keeping incredibly quiet as to why. The days turned to weeks and the network stayed down. As more and more details were revealed the extent of the problem came to light and it horrified me.

Sony announced that the personal data of every single one of its 77 million users had been stolen in a huge breach. The hackers had my name, location, email address, gaming preferences and worst of all, my PlayStation username and password; one of the four passwords I ran my entire online life with.

The scariest part of this entire breach was the lack of security surrounding the storage of these passwords. Once the simple encryption was broken, the hackers had a list of usernames and passwords stored as simple readable text. That’s when I started looking at passwords differently. Before the entire Sony fiasco I was confident with my four strong passwords. Nobody could guess them so my accounts were safe. After this I realised that I could be using the strongest password known to man and it wouldn’t matter at all if these sites got breached. If a technology giant like Sony were storing my password in a text file behind a simple, easily breakable encryption, why do I trust that the hundreds of other services I use are storing it more securely?

These kinds of breaches are not unique to Sony. They received huge amounts of publicity due to the scale of the whole incident, but big companies are constantly being breached and a lot of it goes unreported – 96,000 Spotify usernames and passwords were posted online on the 20th March; Living Social announced a breach affecting 50 Million Users in April and back in February, quarter of a million Twitter User’s details appeared online. It’s happening all of the time and, unless you are actively looking for it, you may not even know that you’ve been compromised.  That’s why sites such as www.shouldichangemypassword.com exist.

image of Twitter message from www.shouldichangemypasword.com

Screenshot of tweet from @sicmyp

This is the reason I now take an active interest in my password security.  I am glad to say that nothing happened to my account after the Sony incident. My bank details were swiftly removed and my passwords changed everywhere. Now I try to keep on top of the latest advances in password security and while I don’t consider myself to be a technical whizz, I think I read enough on the subject to offer some sound advice as to how to create some strong and unique passwords to make sure that they are safe from all but the most resourceful of hacks.

This is why I have created the following Password Mastery hand out. Creating strong passwords ensures that they will be difficult to break. Creating unique passwords ensures that should one website get hacked into, you can at least be reassured that the rest of your online life is safe. Most people only start worrying about the security of their passwords when it’s already too late. Be proactive and ensure it doesn’t happen to you.

picture of two giant pairs of underpants

Image from deltamike via Flickr creative commons

Passwords are like underwear.

You should change them often, you shouldn’t leave them lying around and it’s not a good idea to share them with other people.

Posted in Citizenship, Current Affairs, Digital Literacy, Gaming, ICT, Social Networking | Leave a Comment »

Save Libraries Day – 5th Feb 2011 (yes tomorrow!!)

Posted by LibeRaCe on February 4, 2011

Ok – many of these activities are happening in England tomorrow, but don’t think that our services in Wales are immune – referendum or no referendum next month.

Find out how to have your say and help support the communities, families and people who all rely on their libraries by checking out :

CILIP – Save our Libraries day

Twitter by checking out #savelibraries

Facebook and the Save Libraries Events

Voices for the Library blog

Phil Bradley’s Library Posters!

and personal stories like this one on why public libraries are so important….

Posted in Current Affairs, Events, Libraries, Library Online | 1 Comment »

Llandrillo Library and Intro Connect students win CyMAL Information Literacy Grant

Posted by LibeRaCe on January 20, 2011

 Coleg Llandrillo Library staff with the help of the Intro Connect students have won a share in a recent  CyMAL Information Literacy grant award! While the group didn’t win the separate overall student prize, the resources created were well received and their winning entry will help to support other Intro Connect and ILS groups throughout Wales.

The short screencast entitled ‘Think Before You Click’ was created during tutorial sessions with the students and their tutors while discussing e-safety and web awareness. The students shared their ideas for the slides, gave feedback on the draft presentations and recorded their own voice-overs for the final edit. The screencast is part of a wider bi-lingual resource package with powerpoint slides, handouts and a short quiz. These are now also being used on the Llandrillo E-Safety pages for the college.

Information officer Síona Murray said ” the students were a fantastic group to work with, very enthusiastic and full of ideas. We had a great time recording the audio tracks and deciding on the slides. The class tutors were very supportive of the whole project from the start and very generously set aside class time to enable the students to get involved.”

For more information on the project and general e-safety activities for FE, please contact siona.murray@llandrillo.ac.uk or @Llandrillolib on Twitter!

Posted in Citizenship, Current Affairs, ICT, library 2.0, Library Online, Online Learning, PGCE, Social Networking, Web Quest | Leave a Comment »

Fact from fiction online – aliens, time travel and pasta

Posted by LibeRaCe on January 17, 2011

But I saw it on the [insert media channel here] so it must be true!

How to engage with students when sneakily trying to teach them a bit more about information literacy and challenging perceptions? No easy task, but we thought we’d take a different slant so they didn’t just switch off when shown examples of webpages – it’s hard when you’re 16 to not think you know if all and that the oldie (even when they’re not that old!) at the top of the classroom hasn’t a clue.

So – if the Web is their mass media of today, what about before all that technology was developed? Re-discovering old hoaxes and looking at new ones can be a great way to start students thinking about trust, perception and how the technology of the time can affect the masses. It helps to increase their sceptical superpowers and to highlight things to help them decide if a source is reliable, current and relevant.

So we’ve used Three wise monkeys exercise, aliens, pasta and even time travel to get the message across! Any other ideas for hoaxes to use?

Posted in A Levels, Citizenship, Current Affairs, FE Students, GCSE, ICT, library 2.0, PGCE, Social Networking | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Anti-Bullying Week at Coleg Llandrillo

Posted by LibeRaCe on November 17, 2010

 

This week is Anti-Bullying Week nationwide – how are you involved?

Coleg Llandrillo ILS and IT@B students will be selling BeatBullying wristbands in the heartspace today – get yours to support the cause. You can also get them at the Student Union shop on campus.

 Beat BullyingUK has started their Big March campaign – join up to spead the word and get access to some great resources

 Cybermentors is a online support forum when young people can support others who are the victims of bullying

 

 Don’t forget – the College Student Welfare team have specially trained mentors to help you if you are being bullied and also with any other concerns and challenges you might face during your time here.

**You can get more information on E-Safety and Fighting Cyberbullying on the College Moodle pages**

Posted in A Levels, Citizenship, Current Affairs, Events, FE Students, GCSE, HE Students, Library Online, Online Learning, Staff | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

How Will FE Sector Manage in the New Funding Landscape?

Posted by LibeRaCe on October 29, 2010

FeNews.co.uk

FE News highlights the mutliple funding stream cuts that will effect FE institutions and their provision. How will the sector cope with the changes and what effect will that have on provision, on jobsinfrastructure and information services?

Posted in academic libraries, Current Affairs, FE Students, Libraries | Leave a Comment »

New UK Equality Law Act 2010

Posted by LibeRaCe on October 27, 2010

A recent blog post by RSC Wales reporting on the new Equality Act has excellent links to guidance notes and JISC TechDis information on equality in teaching resources.

Related articles we have come across which highlight other far reaching consequences of the Act include those from Emplyment Law Watch on the implications for Compromise Agreements and articles highlighted by BBC Ouch discussing how the act could effect jobseekers with a disability or medical condition.

You can also find more guidance details here through the Government Equalities Office – including interim arrangements.

Posted in A Levels, Citizenship, Current Affairs, FE Students, Health & Social Care, Law, Management | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

World Water Day – Loo Queue, Llandudno

Posted by LibeRaCe on March 19, 2010

Break a World Record to support World Water Day! Join the longest loo queue and raise awarness of a global issue!!

Saturday 20th March – Llandudno town centre, junction of Mostyn St. and Vaughan St – 12pm

WorldWaterdayRecord Poster (pdf)

World WaterDay is on the 22nd March 2010. Thousands are dying on a daily basis due to lack of access to water and proper santitation. Campaigners are tyring to mobilize support and increase awareness of this very important issue through the world record attempt.

You can find out more about this issue at –

 

 – World Water Council

 

 

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 End Water Poverty

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Fresh Water Action Network

 

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Water Supply and Sanitation Council

 

 

Posted in A Levels, Citizenship, Current Affairs, Environment/Green Living, FE Students, GCSE, HE Students | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sustainable Living Links

Posted by LibeRaCe on December 4, 2009

Sustainable Living – Handy hints that work for you….. 

 Bricks and Bread – Sustainable Living Centre

 

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Reducing plastic use at home

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Living life without plastic

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Changing Lives – One Family’s struggle to go green

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Sustainable living and technology

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Tips for reducing household rubbish

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Greenliving ideas you can use in the home and news updates on green issues

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Calculate your environmental impact!

Posted in A Levels, Citizenship, Current Affairs, Environment/Green Living | Leave a Comment »