News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently proposed rules regarding net neutrality or an open internet. They are seeking public comments to assist them in making these very important rules.

From the FCC website:

The FCC has previously concluded that broadband providers have the incentive and ability to act in ways that threaten Internet openness. But today, there are no rules that stop broadband providers from trying to limit Internet openness. That is why the Notice adopted by the FCC today starts with a fundamental question: “What is the right public policy to ensure that the Internet remains open?”

Initial comments to these proposed rules opened on May 15 and will close on July 15. Replies to comments will be open until September 15. Comments (termed “filings”) may be submitted on the FCC website.

For further reading:

American Library Association: Network Neutrality
Consumers Union on FCC Plan for New Net Neutrality Rules
Consumers Union: What is Network Neutrality?
New York Times: FCC Backs Opening Net Neutrality Rules for Debate
Washington Post: FCC Approves Plan to Consider Paid Priority on Internet
Washington Post: ‘Net Neutrality’ Puts FCC at Center of Storm
Washington Post: Why the Death of Net Neutrality Would be a Disaster for Libraries

Identity Theft

In 2012, approximately 16.6 million individuals (or 7% of the population) over the age or 16 were victims of identity theft in the United States according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increasing number of security breaches occurring just in the past few months has made it imperative that consumers take precautions to safeguard their private information and to know where to turn and steps to take if they become victims themselves. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website has an Identity Theft  guide which provides useful and detailed information for victims and tips for those who would like to safeguard their identity. Specific sections (e.g. initial steps to take if you are a victim; what to do later in the process; how to safeguard your identity and different types of identity theft) are presented in an easy to understand format with helpful checklists to simplify the process.

Beware Tax Phone Scam

Con artists pretending to be IRS agents call unsuspecting taxpayers and tell them they owe money and must pay using a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Those refusing to pay are threatened with arrest, deportation (many of the targeted victims were immigrants) or loss of a business or driver’s license. Estimates that at least 20,000 of these calls were made and victims have given over $1 million to the scammers, making this the largest tax scam ever. The real IRS  first makes contact by mail, not phone, about taxes due and they never ask for payment via a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. For more info: Tax phone scam ‘largest ever’

Primary Care Doctors

doctors Achoo! This time of year, colds and flu knock many of us off our feet. And while many seasonal illnesses are only treatable with rest and chicken soup, sometimes a call to the doctor is in order. The most important way to ensure you get high-quality health care when you need it is to establish a relationship with a good primary care physician. Checkbook.org features ratings of local primary care doctors, along with tips on how to “check-up” on any doctor, and how to know when it may be time to find a new physician.

Announcing Lynda.com

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The Library now subscribes to a new exclusive web resource which you may have heard about before. It is Lynda.com, an online training library that covers a wide variety of subjects, including many software titles, scripting languages, design, and web development platforms. You can find out how to use Word, Excel, how to take and edit digital photography, create 3D animation, how to use your smartphone, and so much more! There are also business topics such as management fundamentals, communicating across cultures, and how to run businesses.

What makes Lynda.com appealing is that these course are all video because seeing something in action helps to learn new skills, especially when it is a computer skills.

And it’s free to Mount Prospect Library card holders.

All you have to do to get it free is follow this link: https://mppl.org/research/web-resources/?category=lynda-com

And if you want to see what else we offer, here is a link to all our exclusive web resources: http://mppl.org/research/web-resources/?category=Premium