April 16, 2014

115  Larger Question MarkAfter doing the Heartbleed post yesterday, I started thinking about all the passwords we use for access to our websites.  Many people still use one password for all their sites.  This is a very bad idea, especially if you have a large number of sites that need this type of access.  I have so many that I have them listed on a large, old fashioned Rolodexes I managed to dig out a few years ago.  Even that method could be improved upon.  I started hunting around and discovered that Life Hacker has done an excellent posting on how password vulnerability has changed and what we need to do to keep up.  As is usual with Life Hacker, the article is so good and so thorough that I cannot improve on it.  I am just going to provide the title with an imbedded link here.  All you have to do is click on it.  I would highly suggest that you do.  It may save you a lot of grief in the future.

Your Clever Password Tricks Aren’t Protecting You from Today’s Hackers


vea/16 April 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net


Heartbleed Bug Vulnerability

April 16, 2014

I first heard about the Heartbleed bug from Thomas MacEntee’s Geneabloggers’ FaceBook posting on April 11th.  This is a serious encryption flaw that was in security software that became available in December 2011 (according to wikipedia.)  What did/does it do?  Names, passwords, and content that went out over the Internet to http sites were easily accessible and not protected. My understanding at this point is that https sites and specially secured sites such as credit card and banking sites were not affected.  It was discovered in March of 2014, over two years later.

I read that as early as 2010 Facebook was supposed to give their users an option to use https.  I tried to follow the directions on my Facebook account and found nothing.  Then I read a 2011 blub that they were dragging their heels on the upgrade.  Looks like they still are, unless I’m missing something.  I was almost convinced that I was being over cautious by never using my name on a social networking site.  Now I’m glad I don’t.   I’ve compiled a list of links that you might want to check out, starting with the one that I got from Thomas MacEntee.

 What the Heartbleed Security Bug Means for You from LifeHacker

Heartbleed Disclosure Timeline: Who Knew What and When  by Ben Grubb of the Sydney Morning Herald

Heartbleed from Wikipedia

‘Heartbleed’ bug undoes Web encryption, reveals Yahoo passwords   from cnet.com

Heartbleed bug: Check which sites have been patched from cnet                                                                                      We compiled a list of the top 100 sites across the Web, and checked to see if the Heartbleed bug was patched.

Heartbleed bug: What you need to know (FAQ)from cnet                                                                                                        The security vulnerability has implications for users across the Web. Here’s what the bug means for you.

Akamai Heartbleed patch not a fix after all   from cnet                                                                                                              The Web infrastructure company’s patch was supposed to have handled the problem. Turns out it protects only three of six critical encryption values.

vea/15 April 2014
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass
Library website:  http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net

MIT Study to Help Unemployed 40 -65 Years of Age — Looking for Volunteers

October 11, 2013

Sign up for the opportunity to receive free job search support made possible by MIT-based research and career coaches and counselors who have agreed to volunteer their time. As part of research focused on effective job search strategies and support, a number of experienced career coaches and counsellors have volunteered to provide for free the same job search support that often costs amounts not affordable to many unemployed job seekers.

Job seekers in the greater Boston area are encouraged to sign up if they fit the study’s focus on:
— workers who are unemployed at least 6 months,
— white-collar workers (broadly defined, to include anyone would might work in an office, from administrative assistants to executives, to engineers or managers), and
— workers between 40 – 65 years old

Please sign up even if you are not sure you “fit” the study’s focus. Please also note that while we seek to provide free support to as many job seekers as we can, due to the number of available career coaches and counselors not all job seekers who sign up will be able to receive support. Everyone who signs up will receive a response, and if they wish, will be on a list to receive preliminary findings as they become available on the most effective job search strategies.

The sign up process should take approximately 10 minutes . The sign up and the research will adhere to the highest standards of confidentiality.
To sign up please click on the following link:

Alternatively you sign up by going to the Institute for Career Transitions website: instituteforcareertransitions.org
If you have any questions please contact us via the ICT website.

Ofer Sharone
Asst. Professor
MIT Sloan School of Management
Institute for Work and Employment Research
100 Main Street, Bldg E62-340
Cambridge MA 02142-1347
(617) 253-7483

Using Twitter to Find a Job

February 11, 2013

Finding a job by typing 140 characters or less sounds too good to be true.  That is the number of characters (including spaces) that the social media site Twitter allows per tweet. And you’re right. It’s a little more involved than one tweet.  Social media is about building a user’s reputation over time.

There is a useful article by Elisha Hartwig from Mashable summarizing a live Tweet chat that took place last Thursday between the human resources people at Twitter and NPR. The topic was finding efficient ways to use Twitter to find a job.  You can find the article below with all it’s useful tips and suggestions.  It’s tips can be quickly applied  by  people who already know how to use Twitter. The problem is that since it is short on specific how tos, beginners can absorb the ideas, but not have a clue how to implement them.

There are different ways to learn how to use various social media sites.  Did you think of books?  For computers! Absolutely.  They flow sequentially which helps the beginner build a solid base of knowledge going from point A to B to C before branching out in various directions.  A book helps you learn the basics. Below I have included several that might help.

Sometimes you just need someone to teach you.  It’s a great opportunity to get your questions answered on the spot.  (No fishing around for just the right keyword.) Although the library does not have a class exclusively on Twitter, we do  have one that is an introduction to social media.  It does cover Twitter, but also Facebook, LinkedIn, Goggle+, Yelp and Foursquare — all in two hours.  If you are interested, the class is being held on Wednesday, February 27th from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Newton Free Library.  There are only twelve computers (PCs) in the training room on the second floor, so you need to call and reserve a place. The number is (617) 796-1380.


How to Effectively Use Twitter as a Job Search Resource
by Elisha Hartwig from Mashable 10 February 2013

Tweet Deals: Using Twitter to Find a Job
New York Post  18 May 2009

Although a much older article, Tweet Deals (above) approaches a job hunt on Twitter from a different perspective. It describes the response of a network of online acquaintances to one of their number who is unexpectedly laid off. It demonstrates the power of social networking on a personal scale.  It also gives suggestions for using Twitter.


The Rough Guide to Social Media for Beginners: Getting Started with Facebook, Twitter and Google+ by Sean Mahoney.  London: Rough Guides, 2012.  006.754 M27R.

140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form by Dom Sagolla. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2009.  808.066 S12O

How to Find a Job on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ by Brad Schepp. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.  331.7 S32H


27 February 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Newton Free Library there will be a class on Introduction to Social Media Online. Call (617) 796-1380 to reserve a place.

Not Near Newton, MA?

If you do not live near Newton, check with your  local public library and your neighboring libraries.  They often develop their own classes for their patrons. You can also get the above books or books like them from your local public library or through its interlibrary loan services.

vea/11 February 2013
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.

Two Hour Revamped Job Searching Class Offered on Wednesday, November 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M.

November 26, 2012

There were two changes that were requested by a number of those who attended the library’s one hour afternoon classes on Applying for a Job Online.  The first was that it should be longer.  One hour was not enough time.  The second was that the class should be offered in the evening when more people could attend. The library listened.

This Wednesday, November 28th, the Newton Free Library will be offering a two hour “Introduction to Job Hunting and Resumes Online.”  It will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 in the evening in the computer training room on the second floor of the library.  If you are frustrated in your search for work and feel you need additional help, please give this class a try.  Even if you have been to one of the earlier classes, you will find new insight and suggestions in this restructured class.  John Walsh, the Assistant Head of Reference, will be teaching the class.  I was his backup in the talk he did on Optimal Resume this past September.  Trust me, it will be two hours very well spent and it will not be boring.  What you take away could just give you the edge you’ve been looking for.

If you would like to attend, please call (617) 796-1380 to register, or speak to a Reference Librarian at one of our information desks.  Pre-registration is required.  However, if for some reason you cannot call, still come. There is usually room for one more.  Often, even when a class is full, one or two people who have pre-registered do not make it. Come. Learn. Enjoy.

vea/26 November 2012
Newton Free Library                                                                                                                                                                                                                          330 Homer St.
Newton, Mass.

How Our (Online) Universal Class Can Help You with Your Job Search

September 27, 2012

The Newton Free Library has recently subscribed to Universal Class. This is an online database with an offering of over 500 courses.  These are not the equivalent of college coursework.   However, have you ever heard of CEUs?  This stands for Continuing Education Units.  Some professions require a certain number of CEUs each year to show that a person is keeping up with developments in their field. Universal Classes are accepted for CEUs.  Whether you are showing your interest in something new or catching up with jobs or careers you’ve had in the past, listing a course you have completed with its CEUs on a resume could add just the leverage you need to get noticed.

Each course consists  of a number of online classes an hour or less in length.  You cannot skip around.  You must go class by class, answering questions or writing essays until you get to the end.  Don’t let this sound intimidating. It isn’t.  The questions I have seen are not difficult.  As in the best of our schooling, each class builds on the next, until you find that you’ve completed a course.  You  have nothing to lose by trying them out and everything to gain, especially if you feel your resume needs a little more substance or currency.  The classes are listed under broader subject headings, making it easier for you to find what you specifically need. Just a few of the subjects listed are Career Training, Business, Computers and Technology, Writing Help, Office Skills, Accounting and Bookkeeping.  There are even a number of  fun classes when you need a break:  Crafts and Hobbies, Cooking, Art and Photography. Curious?  For a complete list of courses click here.

Most classes have a video component and a printout (pdf format so everyone can print it out.)  Personally, I’m at a loss when just confronted with a video.  My brain just doesn’t absorb material that fast.  But give me a handout and a video and I’m good to go. It’s the best of both worlds.  Since I set up my own classes with handouts for everything I cover, I like the way these people think.

If you live in Newton, you can sign in from home.  All you need is a Newton Free  Library card that begins with 21323 connected to a Newton, MA address.  You also need to go in through our website into Universal Class.   If you don’t live in Newton, you can come into the library and sign up.  If you live farther afield, check to see if any of you local libraries offer the service.  Take a look and give it a trial run.

vea/27 September 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide

Newton Free Library Now Subscribes to Optimal Resume

September 7, 2012

The Newton Free Library has recently invested in a new database to help our patrons who are looking for work.  Optimal Resume can help you build both your resume and and your career.  Curious?  Join us next Thursday, September 13th at 7:00 PM in Drucker Auditorium.  You will be introduced to our new database and be able to ask questions.

What can Optimal Resume do for you?

Optimal Resume provides a number of ways to create  a resume.  Once you sign in, you can build it by using subject blocks provided by Optimal Resume.  You can rearrange them at will.  Or you can start with actual resume samples that cover a number of careers,  jobs, and levels of experience. You can take a resume you like and edit it for your own use.  If you prefer starting from scratch, they also provide you with a blank piece of [online] paper.  They do the same for cover letters.  Once you have created your resume or cover letter, you will also be able to further edit it to match specific job openings.  You can then store your various resumes and cover letters under your account at Optimal Resume .

As you do more reading and look for additional help with your job search, you will find that Optimal Resume is one step ahead of you.  They offer help with assessing your skills and with practicing for interviews.  If a job application actually  requires a video resume, Optimal Resume will help you create one.

Did you know you could embed links to your work into your online resume?  Of course you can only do this if you have a web page or blog you can link to. Although Optimal Resume does not help you create a blog, it  does provide help in creating a simple online website as well as a location to keep it.  The link you add to your resume provides an interested employer with a place to quickly check samples of your work without adding length to your resume.

According to an article that appeared in the New York Post on July 4th, 2010 “Today’s workers will run through at least 10 jobs, three careers, and two layoffs between college and retirement.”  To have maximum impact in your job searches, your need to  keep track of prime examples of your work product and experience, as well as your job descriptions and a list of your various responsibilities.  It is a good idea to keep at least one portfolio (or more) of your work where you can find it and easily add to it. Optimal Resume gives you a place to create and keep one (or more) portfolios for yourself.

All in all, Optimal Resume can prove a very useful product throughout your career — both in finding and documenting your jobs.  The Newton Free Library would like to offer you the opportunity to use these resources to both aid in your job hunt and to build your career.   Take a look and join us next Thursday to learn more.

vea/7 September 2012
Newton Free Library
Newton, Mass.
Applying for Job LibGuide