Following a first set of ideas focusing on using digital tools to communicate your work, our next set looks more at keeping yourself – and your users – safe online.
Already an issue before the pandemic, this is even more so now, with – at least for those with the chance to be connected – more and more of our lives taking place online.
Across this sub-series of five posts, we’ll look both at how libraries can help users stay safe when using third party services, as well as underlining the responsibility of libraries themselves in working with users’ digital data.
But for this first post, we’re looking at the importance of starting with yourself, and improving your own digital hygiene!
Because just as you try to avoid getting ill – especially during pandemic – by taking steps that reduce risks and promote physical hygiene, you can do the same online.
This isn’t just a case of setting a good example to others, but also of keeping yourself safe of course.
It is also empowering to know that you can be active in reducing risks online – while you should avoid being overly trusting of the online world, we should try also not to be scared of it. By developing our own confidence, we are better placed to help others also.
There are lots of small steps you can take, for example to use more secure passwords (and storing them somewhere safe, but easy for you to get to), using two-factor authentication, to turn off settings that gather data about you, your preferences and your activities, or to choose products and services that are more respectful of privacy.
There are fortunately lots of tools available for you to do this, for example:
- The Data Detox Kit produced by Tactical Tech along with Mozilla – this has, for example, been adapted by libraries, such as Friesland Libraries in the Netherlands.
- The Privacy Toolkit produced by the Library Freedom Project can also be a good start – we’ll talk more about these in future posts as they can also be powerful in helping educate about privacy.
- The Australian government, which is very active around Safer Internet Day, has interesting resources which could help
If you know of a good resource, especially in other languages, do share it in the comments box below!
If you are interested in issues around digital safety and privacy more broadly, you should take a look at the work of IFLA’s Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section, as well as our Advisory Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.
Discover our series of 10-Minute Digital Librarian posts as it grows.