Who is Watching?

Story by Jeremy Durand

Courtesy: freepic.com

Is your phone spying on you? How would you know? What steps could you take to protect yourself?

 

Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Rhonda Hankins did. After a conversation with fellow LB librarian Jane Sandberg, she did some research on cyber security. What she found left her alarmed.

 

Both Hankins and Sandberg are co-hosting “Let’s Talk Digital Privacy”, a series of free half-hour workshops in the LBCC Library from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays.

 

“I think, like a lot, folks. I just started getting a little bit creeped out just realizing how much data Google happened to be storing about me,” said Sandberg.

 

“That just got me thinking, ‘What is out there about me?’ and that just got me thinking about it and seeing what I can do about it.”

 

The talks, intended to raise awareness for digital privacy in the 21st century, goes over topics from malware to keyloggers, a form of malware that records keystrokes you make.

 

But Hankins tells us there is still hope. “All these things can be pretty scary, however, there are steps you can take…I really transformed my online habits,” said Hankins. “I turned off location services, I checked my privacy settings on my phone, made sure the microphone was off, and I took a hard look at the apps I had downloaded on my smartphone, and deleted those I didn’t use.”

 

The next workshop, titled “What’s Watching You? A Conversation about Webcams and Keyloggers” is scheduled for Feb. 15 at 12:30 p.m. in the library.

 

For those looking to learn more, you are welcome to attend the next two workshops.

 

“We welcome you to bring your device and bring questions, and if we can’t answer them during the workshop, we will help you find the answer,” said Hankins.

 

Sandberg had one final thought.

 

“A lot of the discourse and conversations around digital privacy these days are totally intimidating, scary and overwhelming. It’s really easy to find news articles out there that [say] ‘you have no privacy anymore’ like it’s a lost cause,” said Sandberg.

 

“I want folks to leave our workshops not with a sense of helplessness, but with some concrete steps they can do to actually make a difference and to protect their privacy.”

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