How to Safely Use a Shared Computer

Have you been thinking and worried about the time when you may be going to use a publicly accessible computer at some point in your life?

There is a possibility that you may have to use one at the library, in a student computer lab or even in the office.

In any case, you should know that there are some things you should avoid doing since its a shared computer.

Here Are The Major Security Tips For Using a Shared Computer:

Tip 1: Be Aware of Your Surroundings

One risk associated with using a shared computer in a common area with other people watching you is the possibility that someone will ‘shoulder surf” and watch you enter your info.

It’s important for you to be aware of your surroundings. If you find out that someone looks suspicious or you feel like they might be trying to observe you entering your info, the best thing to do is to move to another computer. Also, check to make sure that the keyboard on your computer doesn’t have any mysterious extra attachments between it and the computer. If you see what appears to be a thumb drive in between the keyboard and the computer connection this might be a sign of a USB keylogger used to steal passwords and other data. You should not bother using that computer.

Tip 2: Always Turn on Private Browsing

You should strongly consider using your browser’s private browsing feature when you are in a shared computer situation, otherwise, someone using the computer after you might be able to connect to websites you had logged into using your cached credentials.

When you’re done using private browsing mode, always make sure to close all browser windows so that someone can’t hijack your session before it gets cleared out by closing the window.

Tip 3: Clean Cache Before You Leaving

In any situation you might find yourself using private browsing or not, you should always make it a habit to clear your temporary Internet files, your history and any cached passwords and cookies that might have gotten saved while you were browsing.

Though, if you were using private browsing, these files shouldn’t be present, but there is no harm in clearing these out even if you’re pretty sure they don’t exist. It’s always good to be sure even if it might be unnecessary. If you weren’t using private browsing mode, then it is absolutely necessary to clear these files before you leave your shared computer system.

Tip 4: Know What to Look out For in a Public Setting

Working on a sensitive issue in a public place is sometimes necessary. However, this can involve increased security risks, ranging from others seeing your screen to people using software to try to hack into the shared computer.

  • Sit with your back to the wall. This helps keep people from viewing your work.
  • Turn off Bluetooth, or make sure your device isn’t ‘discoverable’ by others with Bluetooth.
  • Only enter details in web pages that allow SSL connections.
  • Visit websites that use https.

Tip 5: Log Yourself Out

If you’ve logged into any website, whether its an online store, your email account, bank site, etc, BE SURE to click on the log out link on the site when you are done using it, otherwise, there is a strong potential risk that your credentials may be cached by the browser and made available to the next person who uses that computer.

You don’t want someone going on an online shopping spree on your dime, do you? When in doubt, ALWAYS Log yourself OUT.

These are the few major security tips for using a shared computer, always remember to keep it say and clean and also do find time to bookmark this page as I will be updating this article.

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