January 2nd, 2017

Ways to Save at CCPL

Did you give or get a new smartphone or tablet this holiday? Or maybe you’re just looking to save a little after spending a lot? With just your library card and a few quick clicks, you can access a wealth of online, streaming, or downloadable content through Cecil County Public Library. No fines, no fees, and often, no holds.

1. PERSONALIZED READING SUGGESTIONS– SelectReads engages avid readers by offering customized reading suggestions, including monthly newsletters on a wide variety of genres, sent directly to your email. You can subscribe to as many genre and author newsletters as you want. Try it!  You’ll never run out of books to read again.

2. EBOOKS– Finding eBooks is easier than ever on our updated OverDrive website.  It’s also incredibly convenient to transport your books with you — all on your smartphone or tablet!

3. AUDIOBOOKS – If you like listening to your books, we’ve got lots of options.  You can find and download eAudiobooks in our catalog, or you can search and access them directly via OverDrive or Hoopla.

4. MUSIC – Hoopla’s digital music selection has most albums listed on Billboard magazine’s top 100 lists, often on the day the album is released.  It’s a great way to try before you buy, broaden your musical horizons and add festive music to your New Year’s Eve celebration.

5. TEST PREP – need help preparing for the SAT, GED, GRE, PRAXIS, or other tests? We have lots of free online tools that can help you build up your skills and prepare for the exam.

6. ONLINE COURSES– Gale Courses are free, six-week, online courses taught by expert instructors.  Learn at your own pace, risk free.  Choose from hundreds of topics, including computers, health care, finance, business, teaching and more.  Sessions begin every month and there’s no limit to how many courses you can take.

7. 24/7 HELP – Use AskUsNow! to get 24-hour, live online help from skilled librarians.  They are research experts and can provide assistance with all kinds of questions, even when our branches are closed.

Find all of these resources and more at www.cecil.ebranch.info. Stay tuned – there’s always something new to read, listen to or learn at Cecil County Public Library. What service will you try first?

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October 10th, 2016

News You Can Use: 10 Easy Steps to Protect Your Facebook Account


  I love shaking up old stereotypes and telling people how tech-savvy Cecil County Public Library’s librarians are. Our staff uses technology for almost every part of their jobs: from teaching about tablets, downloading apps, uploading resumes or business plans to doing deep research and data analysis to find the best information. One area of our work expertise that sometimes surprises people is in social media. Our Business Librarian and other staff work with local businesses to improve their social media presences and CCPL librarians do social media presentations at the local, state and national level. Not your grandmother’s library anymore, huh?

Here are some of our best, easy tips on Facebook security, because most people don’t have these settings turned on and no one wants to get hacked! Prevention truly is the best medicine as hacks can be embarrassing, but can also expose you to bigger threats like viruses and identity theft.


1. Enable 2-factor authentication, also called login approvals on Facebook. This means when you log in via an unfamiliar device, you use your password, plus a code that’s sent to your phone. The “2 factors” (password + code to the phone) make hacking your account really difficult because a hacker would need to steal your phone to gain entry to your account.

2. Use good passphrases and change them regularly. If you’re not sure about the difference between a password and a passphrase, check out this cartoon from xkcd:

3. Use extreme caution when clicking links. Links are a key way for hackers to hide viruses. People usually know these days not to click on links in spammy emails, but now the threat could come via Facebook – for example, a person pretending to be a Facebook employee and contacting you via chat, trying to get you to click on a link.

4. Turn on login alerts so you’ll get a message if someone logs in to your account from a new device or computer. This is located under account settings, then security.

5. Don’t leave yourself logged in.

6. Log out of devices you haven’t used in a long time. This one can be a bit shocking if you haven’t done it in a while – you may find that you are logged into many devices. You can find this under account settings / security / where you’re logged in.

7. Make sure you’re using good general security practices (and if you’re not sure, educate yourself or ask for help). For example, for your desktop, use good antiviral protection, make sure Java and Flash are up to date and that your operating system is patched. Only connect your devices to trusted WiFi access points and make sure you get necessary updates.

8. Use Facebook’s built in “Security Checkup” tool – this is a new tool Facebook launched recently for iOS, Android and desktop that prompts and reminds you automatically to check numerous security settings. All you need to do is click “get started.”

9. Follow “Facebook Security” on Facebook – this will put regular tips, articles and updates on security into your feed.

10. Start thinking about your other accounts (not just Facebook). Most people have other accounts that are vulnerable such as email, other social media accounts, bank accounts, and more. The steps above can often be applied to greatly enhance their security.

We hope these tips help you to secure your own social media accounts and to start a conversation with a loved one about their accounts.