Li­brary com­puter se­cu­rity con­cerns

The Oban Times - - Lochaber Times -

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.’

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