The Cedartown Library is transforming locals into computer masters one step at a time, and the latest weekly lesson was all about website safety. As always, computers and all other necessary materials were supplied for attendees before class began. Those interested in joining in and learning the basics can sign-up for free at 245 East Ave, Cedartown.
“When you actually go on a website, they’ll have a lock in the URL if it’s secure,” class host and library staff Ian Williams said while pointing out the symbol. “Most of the big browsers and websites will have locks- if it’s not secure or has a red one, that’s when you might want to avoid going on that particular site.”
It is possible to go on an unsecured site without problems, but those looking to stay as safe as possible were urged to typically avoid any unsecured connections.
Williams continued to focus on online security and privacy when he taught the group about HTTP cookies.
With them activated, small pieces of data are sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the web browser.
“It’s like a little trail of crumbs,” Williams said. “It maintains data from the websites you’ve been on. Cookies can enable websites to go a little faster, but you can disable them if you’re not comfortable leaving that trail or sharing that data.”
Building off his previous lesson, Williams also spoke on the difference between USB flash drives and SD cards.
While similar in concept, he mentioned that they are less common and typically compatible with fewer devices than the thumb drives he previously taught about.
“SD cards are occasionally in other things, but they’re not as common since they’re smaller and not as many devices can read them,” Williams explained. “They do essentially operate on the same technology, though.”
A question and answer portion closed the course off once again, and hotkeys, shortcuts, and other keyboard tricks were confirmed to be the next topic. The courses are held every Thursday, so those who miss one can still sign up for the next week.