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  1. Phil Shirley
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
  3. Wednesday, 30 August 2017
  4.  Subscribe via email
Because email goes through the internet unencrypted (people often say "email is a postcard";), do any libraries out there strip confidential information out of email notices using a print template or some other method? Such an email might be a lot like a voice mail message we would leave, something like "One or more items you have checked out is overdue; use the link below to check your account and renew items."


Phil Shirley
Technology Services Coordinator
Cuyahoga Falls Library
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I think there are certainly valid considerations on both sides of this issue.

In a special library setting, I can say that our organization is constantly trying to train staff not to click on links in email messages unless they are quite certain of the source. We, like many large organizations (and most individuals) are targeted by phishing attacks on a regular basis and are also subject to periodic internal information security audits involving tailor-made simulated phishing messages... all of which is to say that expecting our clients to click through to find out what we wish to communicate to them is a dicey proposition.

If we really wanted to remove private information from notices while still respecting our InfoSec policies we would probably need to ask clients to visit their patron accounts without providing a direct link. I have a feeling that would not be very successful, except perhaps for the wonderful (but not particularly large) subset of our clients who respond immediately to overdue notices more or less regardless of their content. The ones who let 1st, 2nd, and 3rd notices pass without action probably aren't going to find their way to the OPAC without a link... but then again, without fines as a motivator, automated notices tend to have little effect on this group no matter what.

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