MHLS Home Public Access Computers
Issues and information

Protecting Computers from Theft and Physical Damage
Protection from Inadvertent as well as Malicious Actions
Managing Computer Time and Sign-up
Blocking patron access to particular software applications
Disabling Automatic Information

Protecting Computers from Theft and Physical Damage

The theft of computers, fax machines, printers, modems, servers, routers and hubs is among the fastest growing and yet most preventable sources of loss to businesses. There are many devices available on the market for preventing the theft of equipment. Provide protection for this electronic equipment when the building is open as well as when the building is closed.

Locks and cables physically tie down equipment such as computers, fax machines, printers, etc... They can usually be either bolted to workstations or held secure with industrial adhesive. Keys to lockdown devices should be kept in the custody of authorized personnel only or, alternatively, placed in a locked safe. Access control devices, such as disk drive locks can be used to prevent the unauthorized use of floppy disks, which may carry viruses.

Property marking must be permanent to be effective and the existence of the marking should be prominently displayed. In practice, this will usually mean either etching, branding or engraving the library name into the equipment casing and the marking should be of sufficient size as to be both noticeable and difficult to remove.

Other theft protection devices include cabinets, alarms, deterrent products such as warning labels engravers, media safes and cabinets.

Follow a consistant building lockup procedure. Use dead bolts on each exterior door and engage the building alarm system.

Protection from Inadvertent as well as Malicious Actions

There is software designed to protect public access computers from malicious or inexperienced users. With Clean Slate or Deep Freeze installed, any changes made to the system vanish and drive returns to its original state upon reboot or log off, while not restricting users’ activities.

Managing Computer Time and Sign-up

There is software available that allows an administrator to control the amount of time users spend on computers. SAM (Smart Access Management) is what most MHLS libraries are using. Also available are: Time Limit Manager and CybraryN.

Blocking patron access to particular software applications

WinU or Deep Freeze or Fortres are all special security softwares that allow you to control what can be done at any particular computer and can be configured to block access to software.

Disabling Automatic Information

Internet Explorer:
The AutoComplete feature saves previous entries typed in for Web addresses, forms, and passwords. To ensure patron privacy, do the following:

 

Updated 2/2006