Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Tips On Using Public Computers While Travelling

A close family member is heading overseas for 3 months. I contacted the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy for advice in respect of accessing the internet while travelling overseas.

Below are the main points from the response:

  • Don’t save your user name and password – always make sure that you turn off the option to save them when logging into your email account and other websites. Always click “log out” when leaving a website.
  • Make sure no-one is watching you – when you are using public computers, people might look over your shoulder to obtain your personal information.
  • Log out if you leave the computer – even if it is just for a moment. If possible, do not leave the computer unattended.
  • Delete your browsing history before you log out of the computer – internet browsers store information about your passwords and the pages that you visit. Go to the tools menu of the internet browser and select “options” or “internet options”. Make sure that the browser has any auto-complete function turned off, delete any cookies, and clear the history.
  • Don’t type in sensitive information – even if you take the precautions listed above the public computer may have malicious software called a keystroke logger installed on it. These can steal your password, credit card number and bank details. Avoid doing financial transactions that could reveal sensitive information.

To stay informed about e-security risks, the Department recommends that people subscribe for free to the Stay Smart Online Alert Service www.ssoalertservice.net.au

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