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Siouxland Libraries Fixing Online Security Issue

October 12, 2012, 5:58 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Siouxland Libraries Fixing Online Security Issue
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

If you are going to share a book title from the Siouxland Libraries with a friend online we have a warning for you.

KELOLAND News has discovered that sharing a link while you are logged onto your online library account can give other people access to your information.

If you have an online library account with the Siouxland Libraries you can put books on hold, check if you have any overdue books, or how much you owe on your overdue books. It's all information others could get if you're not careful.

The key for users is they have to log out before sharing links from their library account so that others can’t access your address and phone number and even change the email address on the account or the Personal Identification Number.

"The reason you're logging in is because there's information you want protected on the other side," Kyle Rodgers with Green, Eggs and RAM in Sioux Falls said.

Rodgers is a computer technician and says Internet users need to be aware that they need to log out to protect their information.

"It just has to do with how the computers are interacting with each other. If there's a little piece that's storing that password and that gets sent off to someone, whether it's an email or a file or something, then the other computer that accesses it could have access to the information," Rodgers said.

Siouxland Libraries started working on the issue Friday when KELOLAND News contacted them. The company that provides the web and account services have already shortened the time frame somebody can be logged on to their account so that others can't have access to it.

The company that operates the Siouxland Library site provides similar services to 23,000 libraries. Library officials wouldn't do an interview while the company was working on the issue but say they have changed the settings so library users will be automatically logged out of their account after five minutes; before users could stay logged in for up to an hour.

But Rodgers says people need to be aware that always logging out is the best way to make sure online information stays secure.

"The reason you're putting those passwords in it's for protection, so you also need to log yourself out so no one else can access it."

The same issue occurs if you post the link to your favorite book at the library on your Facebook page, if you are not logged out others will be able to get into your account.

The company that operates the library system is working on a long-term solution.
 

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