Tips on Using Public Computer
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Tips on Using Public Computer
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Tips on Using Public Computer

A public computer is any of the various types of computers available in public areas. In Hong Kong, places where public computers are available include libraries, cafes, restaurants or facilities run by the government.

Many different people throughout the day use public computers, so using them poses certain security risks.

Potential Security Risks

The public computer may have spyware or key logger software installed.
There may be webcams installed or even somebody standing nearby, watching to steal your account and password data.
There may be eavesdroppers on wireless networks that capture your password and read your private email.
Your physical property such as your handbag or your mobile phone may be stolen if you leave them unattended as you surf the Internet.

Safety Tips

Take care of all your personal belongings.
Be aware for somebody watching over your shoulder.
If necessary, consider scanning the public computer using one of the free online malware scanners before use.
Clear all history, cookies, temporary files, your data files, your account name and password etc. from the public computer once you have finished.
Consider checking and configuring the browser properly before going online.
Avoid performing any sensitive operations such as e-shopping, stock trading or e-banking activities etc. using public computers. These activities might reveal your password and personal information such as bank account number or credit card number.
If you use a web mail account to read your email, such as Gmail, be sure that the connection is established over a secure web link.
Select a reputable place for using public computers. Some places may completely erase the hard disk and reinstall the operating system from scratch for each user.
Change your username or/and the password you have used on the public computer when you return home or from another safe computer.