5 Safety Tips For Using A Public Computer

Are public computers at libraries, Internet cafes, airports, and copy shops safe?

That depends on how you use them! Take these tips to help keep your personal or financial information private.

  1. Don’t save your logon information.
    • Always log out of Web sites by clicking “log out” on the site. It’s not enough to simply close the browser window or type in another address.
    • Many programs (especially instant messenger programs) include automatic login features that will save your user name and password. Disable this option so no one can log in as you.
  2. Don’t leave the computer unattended with sensitive information on the screen.
    • If you have to leave the public computer, log out of all programs and close all windows that might display sensitive information.
  3. Erase your tracks. Web browsers such as Internet Explorer keep a record of your passwords and every page you visit, even after you’ve closed them and logged out. To disable the feature that stores passwords,before you go to the Web, turn off the Internet Explorer feature that “remembers” your passwords.
    • In Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
    • Click the Content tab, and then click AutoComplete.
    • Click to clear both check boxes having to do with passwords.

    To delete your temporary Internet files and your history

    When you finish your use of a public computer, you should delete all the temporary files and your Internet history.

    • In Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Internet Options.
    • On the General tab, under Temporary Internet files, click Delete Files, and then click Delete Cookies.
    • Under History, click Clear History.

    To delete other files saved by corporate portals, such as Sharepoint Portal Server

    If you’re using a corporate Web site that allows you to view internal corporate documents, you may be inadvertently storing sensitive documents on the public computer.

    • Delete all the files in the temporary folder of your user account which you can find by browsing to C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Temp.
    • If your company uses Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server, empty the temporary folder (My Documents\SharePoint Drafts).
  4. Watch for over-the-shoulder snoops. When you use a public computer, be on the look out for thieves who look over your shoulder or watch as you enter sensitive passwords to collect your information.
  5. Don’t enter sensitive information into a public computer. These measures provide some protection against casual hackers who use a public computer after you have.But keep in mind that an industrious thief might have installed sophisticated software on the public computer that records every keystroke and then e-mails that information back to the thief.Then it doesn’t matter if you haven’t saved your information or if you’ve erased your tracks. They still have access to this information.If you really want to be safe, avoid typing your credit card number or any other financial or otherwise sensitive information into any public computer.

The above article is extracted from Microsoft.

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