Safety Tips for Using a Public Computer

There are always some risks involved when using a computer in a public setting, be it a library or a free WI-FI hot spot. However, there are some things you can do to help keep your personal information private.

  1. Don’t save your logon information. Make sure that when you are done with your session, you LOG OUT of any website. It isn’t enough to close your Internet browser or application. There are many programs, especially browsers and networking sites, that keep you logged in or have automatic features that save your username and password.
  2. Do not leave your computer unattended, especially with sensitive information available for others to see. If you must leave your seat, make sure you log out of all programs and close all windows.
  3. Do not save your username and password. When you are surfing through the Web, make sure features that remember your passwords are turned off. You can do so in the settings or tools of your browser.
  4. Make sure to always delete your browsing history. These can help protect your private information.
  5. Be alert. Watch for those looking over your shoulder or those beside you. Protect your personal belongings and your private information. Think twice about using a credit card or revealing anything with sensitive information, like your social security number or address.

These may not keep you entirely safe or thwart identity thieves, but it can help keep you alert and deter anyone from stealing your information.

12 thoughts on “Safety Tips for Using a Public Computer

    • Thank you, Margaret! We at the Birmingham Public Library Public Computer Services know that privacy is important to our patrons, even in such a public setting. We hope these tips help.

    • Thank you for you interest in our blog! Yes, please feel free to use our content, just cite our blog as your source. We would also love to check out your Zynga group, since we’re sure many of our readers play Zynga games. (I know I do!) So provide us a link.

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