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Safety Tips For When You Use A Public Computer

Posted on May 22, 2019
internet safety

Like the average urban individual, you may have a number of computing devices at home that connect to the Internet and store personal information. They are part and parcel of everyday life, enabling us to search for information on the World Wide Web, communicate with family and friends, perform financial transactions, play games online, process and store music, photos and videos, as well as, other things.

Public computers in libraries, Internet cafes and airports can be safe, but only if you always follow a few simple rules when you are using one. 

  • Do NOT save your login information.
    -Most websites offer to save your login details, so you don't have to type your username and password every time you visit. While this is convenient on your home computer, you should never do it on a public machine.

    -Remembering your credentials lets anyone who comes along log in without authentication. Obviously, this is a big problem on a publicly available computer.

    -Whenever you log into a website, always make sure to uncheck the Remember me or Keep me signed in box. Once you're done on a site, find the Log out option to ensure you don't stay signed in. Simply closing the browser isn't always enough to log you out.

  • Don’t leave any sensitive information on the computer.
    -This will help prevent against casual hackers who use a public computer after you have.

    -Despite all these security measures, you can never guarantee that a public computer is 100% safe.

    -Public systems are prime targets for keylogging software. If the administrators don't have reimaging software in place, it's a relatively trivial task for an attacker to set up a keylogger.

    -If you really want to be safe, avoid entering any sensitive information into any public computer, especially your credit card number or any other personal or financial details.

  • Clear the Browser History.
    -When you’re finished working, be sure to completely clean the history. You should go nuclear and clear every setting that the browser lets you delete – don’t stop at just the history list, but get rid of the browser cookies, cache, and filled form data too. This resets all login info you might have accidentally saved and ensures someone won’t see your email when they type its first few letters into a text box.

Thankfully, most people rarely need to rely on public computers. When traveling, you probably have multiple devices that can access the web and your accounts. If public access is a concern for you, you may want to invest in an external battery pack so you can recharge your devices anywhere.

Tagged Internet, MSP, Cyber Security, Safety, Computer

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