Some times we need to use public computers at various places such as Internet Cafes, Airports, Hotels, Libraries, College Labs etc. But being not conscious, these public computers may become the reason of compromising your privacy and online accounts. Because Public computers are the places where the power house computer viruses and other malwares are located, where other peoples may spy on you to steal your private data by setting invisible traps.
So the public computers should not be treated as your home computer. They are not controlled by you. You don’t know what exactly there exist. So when you use a computer at public you should be advised with the following tips.
1#: Use Portabel OS if Possible
Using a Portable Operating System(an bootabel OS that can be run from USB) may not be easy on public computers because they can be protected or need to be configured. But If you can use portabel OS, you will be protected from the rest of the things described below. The best portable OS recommended by me is Linux Mint. Learn how to make a portabel linux on pendrive and run it .
2# : Check If an Antivirus is Installed or Not
You must check whether any anti-virus software is properly installed and running on the computer. If it’s not then the computer is must infected with malwares, spyware trojans and other suspicious applications. Ask the admin or assistant why there is no antivirus. If anti-virus is installed then it must be enabled automatic update.
3# : Check Whats are Running Behind
Before doing any sensitive work you must check whether there are spywares or keyloggers are running. You can do it by accessing Task Manager using the hot keys Ctrl+Alt+Delete. In process tab all running processes will be shown. Though malwares are smart enough for hiding themselves, you can get an idea what is running in hidden on the computer.
4# : Use Vertual Keyboard
It’s also called Onscreen Keyboard. Using virtual keyboard will prevent malicious programs from tracking keystroke informations which you use when you fill up fields, forms for login informations such as passwords etc. Though you may feel annoying using it, it’s recommended. It can be found in all programs list. On windows 7 or vista, To quickly find out onscreen keyboard, search it using search bar in start menu.
5# : Don’t Login Important Accounts if not necessary
Only login to your sensitive accounts it’s necessary. Because why you want to compromise your account without any reason where you didn’t have any reason to login that? Also don’t submit finential, banking or any other sensitive information.
6# : Don’t save login informations with Browsers
When you login to your any online account, the web browser will prompt you asking whether to save the login data or not. Simply click “Never for This Site” or “Not Now“. I found 85% peoples not caring it! This will prevent the browser from saving your login data.
7# : Care About Soulder Surfers
Soulder surfers are the persons who will try to see what you are doing or what you are pressing keyboard. Make sure no-one is watching you.
8# : Clear All Browsing Data and History before leaving Browser
You must remove your all web browsing data including recent sites, history, form data, login data from your browser. So no one will able to access or view any thing about what you did.
9# : Clear Recent Document Records of Files and Folders
Before leaving the computer try to delete the records of your all recent documents, files and folders. I described how to clear recent documents on windows and also on Ubuntu and Other Debian Based Linuxes. Also Do this for windows : Go to Run > temp >Delete all files . Run > %temp% > Delete all files. Run > prefetch > Delete all files.
10# : Restart the Computer
When you are finished, before leaving that computer take a second to restart the computer. It will reset the RAM and some other things which will give you more surity about protecting privacy.
In conclusin, there is nothing which will make sure that you are 100% protected at a publick computer. As well as securities are increased, the cyber crimers are also becoming more intellegent to acquire their targets.