Library computer security concerns
QUESTIONS have been raised over the security of computers at Fort William Library, writes Ellie Forbes.
The Lochaber Times was contacted by a reader, who wished to remain anonymous, voicing fears about the security of personal details on the public computers.
The Fort William resident fell victim to a hack on a personal computer three weeks ago, after which she was forced to change passwords and login details for various accounts. The hack left hundreds of pounds worth of damage to the computer, which she couldn’t afford to fix, and so has been using the library machines to update personal accounts and try to buy a new computer.
But the reader questioned the security of the library computers which she did not think had been properly updated. She said: ‘The computer asked me to check the status of the updates and update the firewall. But as an ordinary user of the computers you can’t do the updates, it needs to be the administrator of the account. The assistant came over and said she wasn’t too concerned about it, but with my luck recently I didn’t want to take any chances. Of course my senses are heightened from the personal attack, but it has made me more aware about the security of the computers. ‘I don't know if the computers are safe.’ A spokesperson for High Life Highland (HLH), which runs the library, said: ‘Library computer software is updated monthly with the latest security software. Library computers have antivirus software installed with the latest virus definitions to detect and quarantine any malware, spyware and viruses. Library computers also have software which automatically removes all user activity after every log off. This means any internet history, files created and passwords are all wiped from the computer so when the next person logs on they cannot see the information of previous users.’
The Lochaber Times asked HLH if it is safe for people to enter personal information on the computer. He said: ‘Library computers are protected to a high level.
‘ We will arrange for an IT engineer to check the notice reported on this library computer to ensure it is working correctly.’