Tips On How To Use A Public Computer Safely

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Public computers can be found in a number of arenas such as cafes, libraries and airports and you can use them safely as long as you follow some simple rules.

First of all, make sure to never save your login information anywhere. Make sure that you always log out of the website you are making use of; simply exiting or closing the browser window isn’t going to be enough. A number of programs require logins such as instant messaging; social networking websites and email software’s and most of these include automatic login features which tend to save the username and password. Make sure that you disable this option so that others can’t login using your information.

Make sure that you don’t leave the computer screen unattended while you have sensitive information displayed on the screen. If you are using a public computer and need to leave the screen, make sure to log out of all browser windows so that no sensitive information can be seen by someone else.

It is also a good idea to erase your tracks. Internet explorer makes it possible to make use of InPrivate browsing which allows no trace of web activity to be left behind. This would be a good option to select as it wouldn’t leave any trace of what you have used the computer for. Internet Explorer also tends to keep a record of your password as well as the pages you visit even after you have logged out and closed them. To avoid others getting to know your details, disable the feature which allows the browser to store your password. Apart from this it would also be a good idea to delete any temporary internet files as well as the history of websites that you have visited. This particularly applies to when you make use of a public computer as it would allow you to keep your information private.

When using a public computer, it is also a good idea to watch and keep a lookout of the people around you to see whether or not someone is snooping over your shoulder to get a look at your screen. A number of people snoop in this manner and are able to get a hold of usernames and passwords so make sure that you are careful while entering private details and passwords on a public computer.

Lastly, it is always a good idea to not enter any sensitive information into a public computer as a measure against hackers who use public computers are people have. However some hackers do install software’s into public computers so that keystrokes can be saved. The software then emails the information collected to the hacker which can prove to be dreadful for you. If this happens, it wouldn’t matter whether you have carried out the other steps mentioned above; hackers would have access to your information. Thus, in order to be completely safe, try avoiding typing any important details such as your credit card information or any other data into public computers.


Image credit: Sorbis /

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