Public computers are useful for a variety of purposes, such as answering an urgent email, sending a project on a tight deadline, or editing a document before it’s printed from the library. However, some common errors can destroy your privacy, harm your external devices, or cause you financial harm.
So today learn 7 things you should never do when using a public computer.
These tips can help protect your privacy, but they don’t make protection foolproof. Therefore, limit your use of public computers as much as possible and only use them when you have no other choice.
However, when using a public computer:
1. Avoid visiting sensitive websites
No matter how many precautions you take, there are certain websites that you should never visit on a public computer. These range from your financial and social accounts to your business and credit card accounts.
Use your smartphone instead of a public computer whenever you need to visit them urgently. Also, if you have no choice but to access these websites on your computer, you should clear your browsing history, cookies, autofill, and anything else that might pose a security risk. Once your session is complete.
2. Do not connect your smartphone to a public computer
Public computers are fertile ground for the spread of viruses. When you connect your smartphone to these computers, these viruses can access it. In addition to infecting your smartphone, it will also infect any computer or device you connect it to.
Even if you have to, perform a malware scan first to remove any viruses from your computer before turning on your smartphone.
Moreover, when you need to transfer a specific file from the public computer to your smartphone, you should perform a virus scan separately as an extra security measure.
3. Do not use your online accounts on public computers
Logging into your accounts through a browser on a public computer may leak all your saved passwords, logins, and autofill information, including credit card and personal information.
Also, while disclosing such information could put your security at risk, the worst case scenario is for you to leave your computer with your registered account.
So when you use, say, Chrome on a public computer, always use Incognito.
4. Do not connect external storage devices
Viruses on your computer can quickly infect an external storage device, whether it’s a hard drive or a memory card, just by connecting it to your computer.
As such, it can not only put your data at risk, but the device itself can become a vector of viruses. Therefore, it will pose a threat to all the devices connected to it later on. Therefore, never connect an external storage device to a public computer.
If you need to use and access data at any cost, use a cloud storage service as a transmission medium. Whenever you need to access data on a public computer, upload it to a cloud storage service beforehand so you can upload it later instead of putting your external devices at risk.
5. Don’t use your credit card on a public computer
Shopping on a public computer is one way to expose your credit card information online. You may accidentally store your credit card data in a browser, or the browser may keep the data as a cookie that someone else using your computer can access later.
When this is done inadvertently, you may not discover the credit card information leak until the next day when you see purchases made with your card.
With all this in mind, don’t put your money at risk with your credit card on a public computer just because you saw an offer about to expire.
6. Do not leave the computer with login sessions
Although it is best not to log in with a personal account on a public computer, there may be times when this is necessary. Although using your account on a public computer is very risky, leaving without leaving your accounts would be the worst thing you can do.
If this happens, after that anyone who uses the computer will be able to see all your data, which you definitely wouldn’t want to happen. Therefore, you should always check that you are logged out of your accounts.
7. Do not use a public computer that is already connected
When you go to a public library to use a computer and see one already connected, avoid using it because it can be a trap.
Someone might have installed software on your computer to steal your personal data, installed an extension to access your login information in a browser, enabled a remote setup to spy on you, or had a back-tracking program — a plan to record your activity.
You should deal with such a situation by logging out of your account and trying to restart your computer completely. Then sign in again as a new guest or create a new user profile.
When using public computers, believe me, be careful!
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