Using a Public PC? Keep these Things in Mind
Public computers are all around us and a lot of them are not easy to escape. Whether you are trying to wrap up work at an airport care or figuring out the last bits of your thesis at the library, if you are using a public computer then you should also be one step ahead in terms of your own security.
There are simple and easy ways to minimize risk and maximize protection. Of course there are no truly fool proof measures, and never forget that no matter how secure you have made your data.
The information is key
Whenever you use a public computer for any kind of work you can compromise your personal, financial or work information very easily. It isn’t possible to get any work done if you boycott opening up any sensitive information either, so there has to be an in-between trick that you can use. There are super simple things that you can do to make sure no one else gets access to your stuff.
For starters never save your usernames and passwords anywhere. Browsers will give you the option to save this information, you should conveniently press “never in a million years” and then move on. Additionally, make sure that you log out the moment your work is complete. A lot of programs don’t automatically log you out and the next person to open the browser and access the same website may end up with access to your account without ever having to hack you or anything.
Get rid of the cache, history, forms and cookies before you go. That should quite literally wipe clean any evidence that you were ever there and keep someone from accidently stumbling on what you were up to while you were using the system.
Stick to private browsing as often as possible. Chrome lets you surf incognito and firefox and Internet Explorer come equipped with similar options. While you won’t be able to dig up your own history in case you need it 5 seconds after you close your browser, you can take comfort in knowing no one else can use it either.
Try to avoid entering sensitive information on a public computer because it may be rigged with a keylogging software that can trace your IDs and passwords and just about anything else that you Amy have typed while using the computer. There is unfortunately very little you can do to avoid this except simply not using any sensitive accounts on public systems, and change your login details/passwords as soon as you can for the accounts that you do open up.
Our best tip is to stay away from typing in any financial information on any system that you do not trust. At the end of the day just be a bit more careful about the kind of information you are willing to put out through a public computer. You won’t know what hacker is lying in the wait for your data.