Be Secure!

Have you ever been hacked? Had your credit card used by thieves half a world away? Had withdrawls made from your bank account by persons unknown? I've been a victim twice, and believe me, it's no fun.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The library has free materials, including booksmarks and other handouts, that provide tips on keeping yourself secure in this wired world we live in. Here's a sampling, courtesy the Federal Trade Commission:

IDENTITY THEFT - Here's how it works...

Someone gets your personal information and runs up bills in your name. They might use your Social Security or Medicare number, your credit card, or your medical insurance - along with your good name.

How would you know? You could get bills for things you didn't buy or services you didn't get. Your bank account might have withdrawals you didn't make. You might not get bills you expect. Or, you could check your credit report and find accounts you never knew about.


1) PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION -- Put yourself in another person's shoes. Where would they find your credit card or Social Security number? Protect your personal information by shredding documents before you throw them out, by giving your Social Security number only when you must, and by using strong passwords online.

2) READ YOUR MONTHLY STATEMENTS AND CHECK YOUR CREDIT -- when you get your account statements and explanations of benefits, read them for accuracy. You should recognize what's there. Once a year, get your credit report for free from or 1-877-322-8228. The law entitles you to one free report each year from each credit reporting company. If you see something you don't recognize, you will be able to deal with it.

3) REPORT IDENTITY THEFT -- if you suspect identity theft, act quickly. Please report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Call them at 1-877-FTC-HELP or TTY 1-866-653-4261. Alternatively, go online at: The FTC operator will give you the next steps to take. Visit to learn more. You may also sign up for scam alerts by visiting

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Harry Potter

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