Internet Security & Privacy

The moderator of Track 3 presentations was Dr. James Vorbach, who happily introduced Katherine Shelfer, a DLIS associate professor as she took part in the symposium.

20131116_113609Dr. Shelfer successfully scared everyone in attendance by informing listeners of the everyday online habits that have put our privacy and personal identities at risk. She spoke of the “notion of risks that are out there and the risks that need to be managed.”

Of the multiple instances in which we need to reexamine the information we provide access to online, Dr. Shelfer stressed, “protecting personal privacy is everybody’s problem right now. “ The audience was warned about people that create “identity chum”, taking information Internet users provide and using it to paint a picture of the Internet user, noting habits that could be sold on the black market to people that will compromise your identity.

She also told listeners that the most vulnerable to identity theft are children and the elderly. They are the least digitally literate users of the Internet and do not understand the consequences of their Internet usage. This, in many instances allows thieves to run up bills and collect debt in a child’s name, for

which the child’s parents must assume responsibility. For this reason it is important that librarians become aware of the ways in which information is being stolen and used to educate the public about ways in which they can protect themselves. However, Dr. Shelfer assured the now nervous audience, “it’s not too late.” Constant vigilance about tracking opporitunities, including free smart phone app purchases, can better protect your identity. She reminds listeners that they can develop legal alternative identities that can be used to buy houses, pay phone bills, receive bank statements and credit card records to protect our true identities. Dr. Shelfer prepared her presentation to be taken by the audience via CD-rom. You may contact Dr. Shelfer to obtain a copy via email, shelferk@stjohns.edu

 

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