Avoid Saving Passwords on Public Computer
Recently I’ve seen a glimpse of my laptop like other people it if I didn’t use. It’s not really a “public computer” but my friends tend to assemble a system or another if the visit at home or when I to visit them. After examining the laptop I came to understand that people freely giving tend their passwords when using browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer. Many Web browsers can be saved a function, to your user name and passwords on the system. But, many people forget that she should never except their user names and passwords on public computers.
The Problem with Public Computers
A true public computer is that in a library, shopping centre, hotel or airport. They are generally of people used to check on your email if it on-the-go, or simply to browse the Internet. The problem with a public computer is that they be – used by anyone the good and the bad guys. Public computers are a welcome convenience for many people, there are some security risks when using a public computer that you be aware before you should.
Saved Passwords: This is the main problem that actually got me started on writing this article. I noticed that several of my friends had inadvertently saved their passwords to my laptop when they were using the system. I have password saving turned on in Firefox, but have it disabled in Internet Explorer. I went through the saved passwords in Firefox and noticed that I had just about everybody’s usernames and passwords for common websites such as MySpace and Facebook.
Keyloggers: There are many unscrupulous people out there. Even if you do not save your password on a public computer, you can still get your password with a keylogger. Though less common, it has happened. A friend of mine in Texas had cracked his world of Warcraft account and in later discovered that he had installed a keylogger on his computer. Since then he has further steps to prevent that from happening again recorded. Keylogger record every single keystroke on a computer system – user names, passwords, chat conversations, documents, and basically everything else.
Prying Eyes: I’m sure you’ve all seen the commercials on TV with McGruff the Crime Dog and the people getting their credit card information stolen at the store. The same thing can be true for public computers – that guy standing behind you may be looking over your shoulder as you type in your personal information. A cell phone camera can record your keystrokes just as easily as a keylogger.
Failing to Logout: If you walk away leave from a computer, multiple browser Windows but it takes only, that someone to gain access to your personal accounts and extract your information. Type just walk away from a computer for a few minutes can someone enough time to get access to your personal information. For example, could sit in a library computer and need to print received an email from a family member. While you walk about the technology are desktop and get paper, could someone simply sit down and access your account.
Be Safe on Public Computers
The best advise I can give someone when using a public computer is plain and simple –
Don’t use a public computer!
However, there are circumstances that may require you to use one despite my best efforts to keep from using one. These same rules can apply when you’re using a friends computer or a computer at work.
Don’t Save Passwords: Don’t save your passwords on a public computer. You’re just asking for trouble if you do.
Don’t Type in Passwords: To prevent from getting burned by a keylogger, don’t use a public computer to access secure websites.
Watch Around You: If somebody seems a little shady, then they probably are. Don’t allow someone to see what you’re typing into the computer.
Logout and Close the Browser: If you did login to a secure website, make sure that you logout of the website and then close the browser.
A Word on Saved IM Logs
Most people don’t even realize it, but many instant messaging (IM) programs have a feature that saves each and every conversation you have with your friends. IM logs are used in all of the common IM programs such as Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and AOL Instant Messanger. You can turn these logs on and off, but you should be aware that your conversations are recorded, just like with a keylogger. When using a public computer, don’t use an IM program or else you could compromise your personal conversations.
Change Your Passwords
After using a public computer, change your passwords in case your information has been compromised. Also, don’t use simple passwords such as “123456″ or “password”. PC Magazine released its Top 10 Most Common Passwords and oddly enough, many people still continue to use these passwords. If you’re using a password from that list, I suggest you choose another one that is not on the list.