Many airports, hotels and internet cafes around the world provide internet access through public kiosks or computers. This is convenient for those who are unable to have internet access while abroad, but you should also be mindful of the security risks.
What are the risks of using public internet kiosks?
- A keylogger is a small device or software that may be installed on the kiosk, which records every keystroke you make. Your personal data may be revealed to hackers in this way. To minimise the risk of keyloggers, use an onscreen keyboard to login.
- It’s also possible for a hacker to download spyware on a kiosk, that will capture and send information gathered from the activities conducted on the kiosk.
- Your browsing history may be cached on the kiosk, which may allow the next user to see the websites you’ve visited. To prevent this, make sure you use “privacy mode” or “private browsing” on the web browser while surfing.
- Many programs or websites include a feature that will save your username and password. Disable this option so that no one can login as you.
- Always logout of a website before leaving, and do not leave with your information still on the screen. It’s not enough to simply close the browser window or type in another web address.
- Erase your tracks. Clear the cache and history once you’re done using the computer.
- Watch out for shoulder surfers. These are people who watch over your shoulder when you enter passwords or personal information on the computer.