How to Stay Safe When Using Public Computers

General Safety Tips for Using Computers

It is very safe to use public computers for tasks that do not require you to log in to your account. For example, check train schedules, maps, or hours of the museum do not pose an internet security risk. The danger lies in accessing personal accounts that require you to enter your login and password (such as email, Facebook, or e-commerce site).

If you are traveling with your own device, try to make the only tool you access your account. But if you are going to rely on hotel-lobby computers or Internet cafes, keep in mind that you do not know who is using the latest computer – or who will be the next ride. public computers can be loaded with destructive malware, such as key-logger programs that track what you’re typing – including passwords.

If you need to access your personal account on a public computer, make sure that you use a Web browser does not store your login information. If you have the option to open the “incognito” or “private” browser window, use it. When you go to any site, look for ways to ensure that the browser forgotten your username and password after you log out: For example, you must click on the “public or shared computer” or unclick each box that says “live in” or “remember me.

‘ It is also a good idea to clear the cache, history of an Internet browser, and cookies after you finish, resulting in fewer artifacts from a surf session you stay – especially if you have access to sensitive information (under “Options” or “Preferences” browser setting, refer to “Privacy” or “Security” category).

Finally, consider asking data center services or setting up two-step verification for your most important accounts. This requires you to include not only a password but the second code every time you log in using a foreign computer (provided by many web-based emails and social networking sites).

Accessing Personal Information Online

When you go, you may be tempted to check the banking or credit card statements online, or to take care of personal tasks-financial. Internet security experts suggested that access these sites entirely while traveling.

Definitely refrain from logging in to personal finance sites on a public computer. But even if you use your own mobile device in the hotspot is password protected, any hacker who is logged into the same network may be able to see what you’re up to (a remote possibility – but it’s possible). If you need to access banking information, it is best to do it on a hard-wired connection (ie, using an Ethernet cable in the room). If not, try to log in via a cellular network, which is more secure than Wi-Fi connection.

Even if you avoid accessing your bank account during your trip, you may still need to enter your credit card information online, such as for booking a museum or theater tickets). If so, make sure that the site is secure. Most browsers display a small lock icon to indicate this; Also check that the URL begins with httpsinstead page of http. Never send your credit card number (or other sensitive information) for a website that does not start with https.

For other accounts, such as e-mail, consider upping your security settings while you’re on your trip (for example, see the Facebook “extra safety features” page).

smart password habits are also important. Above all, do not use dictionary words individual, not the passwords are not reused (or even the same password) on a different site (program password manager is really helpful), and think in terms of using a “passphrase” – the longer your password, the better. Take a few minutes to read online for up-to-date advice password (as this list of top 25 worst passwords).

It is also important to be careful when email personal information. Do not send your credit card number in an email message. It is better to call or fax. Some people send their credit card numbers in two parts, via two separate email messages. For extra security, some banks, such as Citi and Bank of America, allowing their customers to create virtual account numbers, which are one-time or short-term numbers linked to their regular credit card.

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