Tips for staying safe on public computers

Last Updated on November 22, 2018

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How To Use Public WiFi Safely | Advice

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Public computers are those used by more than one user and not often owned by the user. An example of public computers is the Internet café. Even computers in your office can be classified as public computers because you are not the only person using them, although you may have your own identifiers. You need to be sure when using public computers, as a small mistake can result in your accounts or data being stolen. Here are some tips to stay safe on public computers.

How to stay safe on public computers

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On public computers, you do not know what software is installed on the computer. Although you can browse the program files, spyware or keyloggers can be installed. If the owner of the Internet café is unscrupulous, he could install a keylogger to spy on his customers. He could read chat emails and even sensitive data. If you must use them, be very careful about the data you transmit with these devices and the digital fingerprints you leave. Here are some of the most important practices when using public computers.

1. disconnect correctly

More often than not, we simply close the window out of habit. The next person who opens the URL/site will automatically be directed to your account – whatever it is. You are then completely at the mercy of the person who accessed your account. There is a good chance that the person will disrupt your account – corporate, commercial or office accounts.

Never forget to log out after the session has ended. For example, if you use Facebook, make sure the Remember Me button is not enabled. Several pages have such buttons. Make sure it is not checked before you connect. Log out after the session and close the window.

2 Do not store information on the local hard disk

Use your own pen drive to download the desired information files. You should never download anything to your local hard drive while you are on public computers. Much worse than downloading to such computers is forgetting to delete them before leaving. Even if you remove them, they end up in the garbage and are easy to find. And even if you empty the recycle bin, there are still ways to recover deleted files.

Always carry a USB key with you when using public computers. If you need to download data or information files, store them on the USB stick and never on local hard drives. If you need to save information and do not have a USB stick, you can also send it as an attachment to your own e-mail ID so you can access it later. And after sending the email, delete the information files you saved on the local hard drive.

If you need to download something to your local hard drive and forget to get your own hard drive, make sure you have deleted all those files and emptied the recycle bin, to say the least.

3 Delete navigation tracks

There is InPrivate or Incognito mode in browsers that ensures nothing is stored on local hard disks. You can use it while surfing the Internet. Thus, neither the history of the URLs you visit nor the cookies are stored on the local device after closing your browser. If you forgot to use Incognito mode, you can personally clear the browser history using the Browser Tools option. All browsers have a setting to delete browser history and cookies. People who use the same computer after you can’t tell what you did.

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