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Keeping your desktop "clean" is harder than it used to be!

  • Is your inbox filled with junk email from spammers?
  • Do computer viruses put you at risk of losing valuable data?
  • Is spyware insidiously creeping into your computer and slowing it down?
  • Are pop-up windows cluttering your desktop?
  • Do you need help teaching library users how to manage their own desktop environment?

If you have any of these problems now, or you just want to be sure you don't have them in the future, this practical course will show you how to protect yourself and your patrons from common desktop computing hazards and annoyances.

Workshop Description:

In this all-day hands-on workshop you will learn a full range of desktop self-defense tactics, including how to:

  • Stop spam
  • Spot email scams
  • Combat viruses
  • Take control of your browser security settings
  • Understand and cope with adware
  • Understand, eliminate, and prevent spyware

You will learn "good housekeeping" strategies, such as how and why to set up and maintain a webmail account, and how and why to organize your email using folders and filters. You will also receive practical advice and cheat sheets for teaching others - including library users - what to do about spam, viruses, spyware, and adware. In addition to a wealth of useful tips that can be applied immediately, the instructor will provide handouts, a webliography, and a CD containing software that can be installed on your home and/or work computers.

Preliminary Course Outline:

Getting a Handle on Email

  • Using a Webmail Account
    • Advantages (for online buying, personal email, harder to get viruses)
    • Options (Yahoo! MSN, Google Gmail)
  • Organizing Email
    • Setting up folders and/or filters to manage email
    • Archiving/backing up email
  • Good Email Tips
    • CC vs. BCC
    • Forwarding vs replying
    • How to keep from feeling overwhelmed
  • Spam
    • What is it, how do you get it?
    • How do you stop it?
    • Spotting scams (phishing, email spoofing)
  • Viruses
    • How many are out there?
    • How do you get them?
    • How do you protect yourself?
    • Good rules to follow

Surfing the Internet

  • Beefing Up Your Browser
    • Getting control of your cookies
    • How to clear the cache and history
    • Using alternatives to Internet Explorer (Firefox, Mozilla)
    • Browser security settings
    • Pop-up blockers
  • Adware
    • What is it, how do you get it?
    • Is all adware malicious?
    • How do you protect yourself?
  • Spyware
    • What is it?
    • How do you get it?
    • What are the symptoms?
    • How do you get rid of it?
    • How do you protect yourself?
    • Free vs. paid protection
    • Is one browser better than another?
  • Staying Current
    • Good websites for technology updates
    • How to keep anti-virus/spyware software up-to-date

Workshop Instructor: Eileen O'Shea