Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Browsing on a public computer, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety.
- There's a few extra considerations you need to take into effect when you're browsing on a public computer. And by that, I mean at a library or somebody else's house, any computer that's not your own, that other people are going to be using. The first thing is, when you sign into any internet accounts that you have, make sure you look at the Stay Signed In box. A lot of times, there's already a checkbox next to it. So when you fill in your username and password, if you don't uncheck this, then the next person that comes along will be signed in as you.
Or, if the next person to sit down also wants to log in to Etsy, your username can automatically be already populated into here. I'm going to close out of this. There's a special feature that all browsers have called private browsing. When you're sitting down at a public computer, this is something that you always want to turn on. Private browsing is a way of browsing the internet and not saving particular pieces of information along the way. For example, when you start a private browsing session, any pages that you visit will not be saved.
Any URLs in this URL bar will not be saved. Anything you type into a Google search bar or any other search engine, any password that you type in, also any cookies that you encounter along the way and that you pick up from websites will not be saved to track you. It's a great thing to do and it's a very good habit to get into when you sit down at a public computer to always turn on private browsing. So let's do that from a few different browsers. In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon on the top right hand side and select Safety.
In the Safety menu, choose InPrivate Browsing. This is going to pop up a new window, and I'm gonna click the middle button at the top to maximize it. Now that we've started an InPrivate Browsing session, we'll know that we're always doing it because of this blue icon on the left hand side. So now we can type Google, and I can start a private browsing session. Anything I put into the search box is not going to be saved, and any website that I visit from this URL bar is not going to be saved. When I'm done, to close out of my private browsing session, I can simply close out of this window.
So that's Internet Explorer, let's look at Google Chrome. To start a private browsing session using Google Chrome, click the three lines in the top right hand side of the page and choose New Incognito Window. It works the exact same way as Internet Explorer. Also, when you're using Mozilla Firefox, which I've just launched, click the same three lines in the top right hand side, except this time choose New Private Window. It's going to start up a new private browsing window. The last thing that you need to remember is that when you're signed into an account, before you're done walking away from that public computer, even if you're using a private browsing session, because this is just a good habit to get into, is to always log off first.
When you're signed in somewhere, look for the Sign Out button. It's usually on the top right hand side of the page, though not always. This way, it's ready to go for the next person, even if you've forgotten to close out of that private browsing window. Speaking of forgetting, if you did forget to turn on a private browsing session, that's okay. It's a hard habit to get into. But what we need to do before we walk away from that public computer, is to erase all our tracks of what we did while we were there. To do that, we can delete the browsing history, including a few extra options.
In Internet Explorer, I'm going to click the gear in the top right hand side and choose Internet Options. In the Browsing History section, I'm going to click Delete, and in addition to the default items that it wants to delete, I'm also going to check Download History, Form Data, which are things that I put into Google search boxes, and any saved passwords. Also, Tracking Protection. I'm going to talk about that in a later video. This is going to delete everything that was stored along the way while I was browsing.
I can click the Delete button, click OK, once it's done deleting, I can close out of the browser window, and I know that I have left no traces of what I had done while I was sitting at that public computer.
- Installing updates
- Using antivirus software and protecting against viruses
- Enabling Windows Firewall
- Using password-management software
- Encrypting files that contain sensitive data
- Securing your router and protecting the SSID
- Understanding the signs of a secure website
- Checking settings for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
- Unsubscribing from email subscriptions
- Reviewing site privacy settings
- Browsing on a public computer
- Understanding cookies
- Protecting other people's names and locations
- Fact-checking email warnings