Protect your self on public computers

Today let’s talk about security for your email, accessing your email in the library, or on any public computer. You can safeguard yourself by having a long password and, when possible, turning on two factor authentication.

Two factor authentication is a system that prompts you to enter a code gotten either from an app, like Google authenticator, or by text message.

This makes it very difficult if not impossible for someone to access your account even if they do have the password.

One more tip would be to use an incognito tab rather than the normal tab. Here is an extrract from Chromes note about Incognito.

“Pages you view in incognito tabs won’t stick around in your browser’s history, cookie store, or search history after you’ve closed all of your incognito tabs. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be kept.

Going incognito doesn’t hide your browsing from your employer, your internet service provider, or the websites you visit.”

To hide your network communication from being watched you should also make sure to use https, the secure connection, to access your accounts.

This means that you should type https://gmail.com or https://yahoo.com to login. Some providers have a setting that will make https mandatory. It would provide better security to turn on this feature. You can also install add ons for the major browsers to force https if possible, https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere.

Another thing that will help is making sure that you logout of your account when your done. This will ensure that no one accidentally gets into your account. Some computers have software to provide tamper protection that will erase anything done with a reboot. So rebooting your public computer will eliminate what you did from casual public scrutiny.

With the lower cost of computers and tablets you can now get an adequate machine for $200 or less to access your email and type papers. They can be windows 10, Chrome OS or tablets. You could certainly pay more, but you don’t need to.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a helpful page with surveillance self-defense documents to help you, https://ssd.eff.org/.

That is all I have for now, safe web surfing!

About jcoffey

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