Locking down PCs
Privacy protection, legal protection, and computer security are key concerns for libraries. It is important that Public PCs contain security features designed to detect when users have left the station but forgotten to log out and ensure that all their personal files and information are automatically cleared from the station to protect the user's privacy.
Patron Use Management and Policies
Filtering is a contentious issue and is required for E-rate by CIPA. Internet filters can limit end user's exposure to undesirable content, but widely seen as inefective. There are numerous opensource web-filtering programs out there.
Securing Public Access Computers(PACs)
GNU/Linux machine are more secure in their design, and some GNU/Linux distributions will work as they are.
Because of fundamental Windows design aspects,and because it is more ubiquitous and therefore a larger target for crackers, more diligence is required in securing a Windows machine for public use.
Windows 2000 or older
Windows XP and Vista
- Step by step howto for SteadyState.
1.Un-install old security software (if applicable) 2.Install SteadyState as per instructions. 3.Start SteadyState 4.Set Computer Restrictions: a)Privacy Settings: use all defaults b)Security Settings: use defaults plus:deselect “Turn on the Welcome screen” 5.Create user 'all' and remove all restrictions. 6.Give “all” administrative rights. a)Click Start > Control Panel > Users > All > Change account type 7.Click on Home in user control panel and “Change the way users log on and off” a)remove Welcome Screen 8.Log in to 'all' 9.Set desktop background, silver theme, power settings and icons on desktop. 10.Run programs, MS Office apps and OpenOffice to insure installation and Adobe reader for license prompt. Set search options for I.E. 11.Log out of “all” and log back into administrative account. 12.Run SteadyState. 13.Set restriction in SteadyState: a)Windows Restriction : Select high and UNCHECK: Start Menu > Remove the control panel icon General Restrictions > Prevent Autoplay on CD / DVD General Restrictions > Prevent access to Windows Explorer features... this will allow the tabs to function in IE7. General Restrictions > Remove CD and DVD burning General Restrictions > Disable Notepad and Wordpad General Restrictions > Prevent users from saving files to Desktop Hide Drives > Local Disk (C:) b)Feature Restrictions : high but unchecked: Internet Explorer Restrictions > Prevent Printing Menu Options > Remove Help Toolbar Options > Size, Full Screen, Print and Third Party Extensions Buttons. Microsoft Office Restrictions > Prevent use of visual basic... this option will allow wizard templates to run, but could pose some risks. c)Set home page to your library home page url. 14.Set session timers (this is to prevent the screen saver from showing.) a)Log off after 700 minutes of use. b)Log off after 700 minutes idle. 15.Lock profile 16.Reboot 17.Set disk protection to Remove all changes at restart.
Commercial Solutions for All Operating Systems
- Carter, Howard. 2002. "Misuse of Library Public Access Computers: Balancing Privacy, Accountability, and Security." Journal of Library Administration 36, no. 4: 29. Academic Search Elite, EBSCOhost (accessed October 21, 2007).
- Huang, Phil. HOW YOU CAN PROTECT PUBLIC ACCESS COMPUTERS and Thier Users. Computers in Libraries. 27(5).