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Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Using Public Computers

Public computers in libraries, Internet cafes, airports, and copy shops can be safe if you follow a few guidelines when you use them.

·      Don’t save your logon information. Always log out of websites by clicking “log out” on the site. It’s not enough to simply close the browser window or type in another address. Many programs (especially social networking websites, web mail, and instant messenger programs) include automatic login features that will save your user name and password. Disable this option so no one can log in as you.

·      Don’t leave the computer unattended with sensitive information on the screen. If you have to leave the public computer, log out of all programs and close all windows that might display sensitive information.

·      Erase your tracks. Most web browsers have a “private mode” browsing option that leaves no trace of specific web activity. If not, delete your temporary Internet files and your history. When you finish your use of a public computer, you can help protect your private information by deleting your temporary Internet files and clearing the browser history.

·      Look out for ‘eavesdroppers’. When you use a public computer, be on the lookout for thieves who look over your shoulder or watch as you enter sensitive passwords to collect your information.

·      Don’t enter sensitive information into a public computer. An industrious thief might have installed sophisticated software on the public computer that records every keystroke and then emails that information back to the thief. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t saved your information or if you’ve erased your tracks. They still have access to this information. Avoid typing your credit card number or any other financial or otherwise sensitive information into any public computer.


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