How to Use a Public Computer Safely

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By: freemexy
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Using a public computer is becoming less common. However, imagine needing to access your work emails or your social media accounts – and your laptop’s at home and your phone just died.

A public computer would be a reasonable choice, but it’s risky. Did you know that it could put your private information at risk?

Using a public computer presents similar threats as using public Wi-Fi (find out how to stay safe on public Wi-Fi). That’s why we put together a few tips that will help you protect your data and use a public computer safely.

1: Delete downloaded files
If you need to download anything to a public computer (i.e. your flight tickets or your booking confirmations), always make sure to delete these files and empty the Recycle Bin.

It’s even better to use memory stick for your files. Instead of saving downloads on the computer, just save them on your USB.

2: Delete your browser history
Right after you’ve finished browsing, delete all of your history, cookies, and temporary Internet files.

Usually, you can do this by clicking ‘History’ or ‘Privacy’ tabs on your browser. If you’re using Chrome, click on the three-dash icon on the upper right-hand corner and select ‘History’. From here, it’s easy to clear your browsing data. For Firefox, go to ‘Settings’, click on ‘Privacy & Security’, and then choose ‘Clear private data’.

3: Don’t save passwords
If you need to access a website that requires your login details and/or your password, never click ‘remember me’ or ‘save password’. This might seem obvious, but most people are so used to clicking these buttons that they automatically do so on public computers.

If you do accidentally end up saving your password, don’t panic. You can delete this information too. It is a bit more complicated, but if you ever need to, follow these instructions.



4: Don’t enter highly sensitive information
A public computer is not the best place to check your bank account or shop online, nor should you use it with your work network. Not only could hackers compromise your credentials, they could also get into your work network and access your company’s information.

The same goes for sensitive personal data, like bank account logins or anything that requires your government ID information.

5: Restart the computer
One way to make sure that your private information is safe is to restart your computer when you’re done with it. The next guy in line may not like it, but it might save you from a massive headache.

Restarting your computer will not only clear out temporary files, it will also clear the public computer’s physical memory (RAM).

6: Apply the same security rules as you would at home
Just because you are using a public computer doesn’t mean that you should use the internet carelessly. You should still avoid accessing unknown websites or downloading suspicious files. (If you are unsure how to avoid bad internet behaviors or how to fix them, check out this post)

7: Don’t forget to sign out
You would be surprised to see how many people forget to sign out of their accounts. Make sure you don’t , because the next person to use the computer might accidentally open your account. Don’t leave your data in the hands of a stranger.

8: Watch your surroundings
Watch what’s happening around you. Pay attention. Is someone looking over your shoulder? How about security cameras? Someone might be snooping over you in the physical world and collecting your data.

9: Use your common sense
Lastly, you should always use your common sense. Keep an eye out for things that might feel odd. For example, if your connection speed suddenly drops, that might mean that someone is leaking your data. If in doubt, it’s better to disconnect the internet, or at least to avoid visiting websites that ask for your personal information.
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lisajack76
07/10/20 04:30:46PM @lisajack76:
Yet another interesting comment, thanks a lot. I’ve made a point of reading some other stuff you made and I you’ve got some nice content. Cudos.
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lisajack76
07/10/20 03:36:34PM @lisajack76:
Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained!
lisajack76
06/29/20 07:39:36PM @lisajack76:
Tech has impacted our way of living nowadays big time. There are a lot of benefits we can get from there, but as great as those benefits are, we should also be aware of the danger they bring, no matter how minimal they are.
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lisajack76
06/28/20 01:08:05PM @lisajack76:
I definitely need to challenge myself to be quiet more. I have forte a lot better but there is surely room for improvement! I feel like an old lady shaking my cane at a young whippersnapper when I say this, but what I wouldn’t give to have people in my real, every day, non virtual life who make it necessary not to spend all my time plugged in.
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lisajack76
05/28/20 10:15:20AM @lisajack76:
I can’t wait to strt finding other blogs written by you. I also want you to read what i have written.student laptops
Benson
02/28/20 05:11:05AM @benson:
Using a public computer safely is tough because there might probably be virus of any kind in it and cause you harm in the long-run. He needed to help her with https://hackernoon.com/how-hiring-dedicated-software-development-team-can-help-your-startup-growth-351jn3z3m this week. At times you are unable to make it work like that because of one reason or another.
freemexy
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