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How To Be Safe When Using Browser At The Public Internet Cafe

Updated on March 8, 2012

The Danger of Getting Hacked

Oblivious of the technical terms in computers, an ordinary internet cafe user will use his/her time that can be paid first or later at given time of one hour or more.

At the public net shop, there will be the main computer, being controlled and managed by an attendant, monitoring the allocated time for each slave computer.

Now, if the user is finished already, the vacated computer desktop will be used again by another user. He/She may be an online gamer, social media enthusiast or just an individual who's just passing the time, tinkering popular websites, like YouTube for free movies and the like.

Can you complete this scenario of getting hacked and your account being compromised because some unreasonable or disrespectful user will get into the History section of available browser and scan the pages that you've opened?

My YouTube account have been compromised and I was forced to change the password again.

Now dig this:

  • An unknown user purposely uploaded a Rated-R video that I immediately erased or deleted.
  • Another set of videos from YouTube we're shared going directly at my Facebook account. One of my friends asked if it was really me who liked those entries. I answered him that I didn't and my account was already hacked!

Can I blame it on the browser of the pubic internet cafe operator? The attendant said that the safety of my account lies on my personal accounting with what I do online.

Personally, my getting online these days, mainly focuses on HubPages, Facebook, YouTube and Yahoo Mail.

Since, I am earning passively from the first three sites, respectively because of Google AdSense, I am now more careful when using a public computer.

Learning from that YouTube episode (I hope it stops soon.), I am deemed to report it at the YouTube management and spy on someone at the cafe who's using YouTube. Maybe, I can nail down the perpetrator in due time.

(With writings and personal opinion from travel_man1971 aka Ireno A. Alcala)

Painted by Travel Man
Painted by Travel Man

What to do with the 'History' of your activities online

From what I've done for the past years, when using public computer, I've been too trusting just to leave the browser closed right after my time lapsed.

Little did I knew that once another user opens it, the history of online activities that I've done on that computer will be recovered.

Here's how to be safe when using public computer.

  • One internet shop has its safety net by using a program erasing all the data by the users. It is called Deep Freeze. It is appropriate when you are renting a public desktop computer. The attendant explains that it will delete all the pages and data that's been opened by users. So, there will no option for hackers to exploit your personal account.
  • Be conscious of what you open at the net shop. In my part, I am now very careful when opening my Yahoo, HubPages, YouTube and Facebook accounts. I am making sure that all the pages were closed by reviewing it at the History section of the browser.
  • Ask the assistance of the internet shop personnel if you still have doubts about my first two options.

There's no safe browser, only safe users.

Whether you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer, Maxthon or Opera, there is no "safe" browser. This statement comes from Symantec as part of its twice-yearly Internet Security Threat Report, which showed attackers were no longer primarily focusing on Internet Explorer. (From betanews)

So there, if you really want to be safe and your accounts will never be compromised, always be cautious when using a public computer.

It's better to own a netbook, laptop, desktop or an iPad for documentation. If you can afford it this time, you better have one.

Right now, my laptop computer was damaged already, so, I am using a public computer until it is repaired in due time.

Different Kinds of Browser


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Romano Arnesto: My mind is now open for this kind of online disturbances.

      Good thing, there will be always an alert to change password when it is exploited by other users.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @earthbound1974: You're right; we are prone of being victimized by hackers and malicious users.

      Even government sites are now into hot water.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Arian Rey: There's always danger when using such browsers.

      In addition to that factor, applications or apps are now feared to use our account on Facebook or Twitter.

      Recently, I've experienced being denied on my Twitter account because of a dangerous apps.

    • Romano Arnesto profile image

      Romano Arnesto 5 years ago from Philippines

      It's a must to watch our back when using a public desktop at the internet cafe. Some users will open the history files then use one account they would like to hack or disturb.

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      It's scary to be one of the victims. Those unauthorized users should never exploit other's account.

      They should respect others' privacy, but can we control them?

    • Arian Rey profile image

      Arian Rey 5 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

      It's timely and useful.

      Mozilla Firefox edges out Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.

      I still have to try Opera, but like you said, no safety nets are being able to implement by browsers or its software.