Free WiFi and other public computers are convenient and great when you need to use the Internet. Although it seems great, there are risks in not using your personal computer and WiFi. Enjoy the Internet with confidence by taking these quick steps to protect your information while using public computers and WiFi.
“S” is for secure
Look for the “s” in the website’s URL. For example, “https://” or the lock symbol mean the site is secure. That website takes extra care to help make sure your information is safe from hackers. For example, “http://” is not secure. If you do not see the “s” or the lock symbol, do not put in sensitive information like your credit card number or social security number.
Please do not remember me
Make sure you do not allow the computer to remember your information. When the box “remember me” pops up, do not check it. Many websites have a convenient box that allows you to stay signed in even after you close the browser. Facebook and other social media sites have this box. If you accidentally do tell the browser to save your info, you can clear your cookies so it will forget it.
Before closing your browser, make sure you log out of all of your accounts. Anyone can access the computer next, and you don’t want a stranger to have access to all of your personal information and accounts.
Leave without a trace
Use the browser tools available to delete your search and website history when you are finished using the computer. There are cookies and other tools that store your information, and the next user could have access to your accounts if you do not delete your history.
Think before you click
Beware of phony websites. The key giveaways are misspellings, bad grammar or low resolution images. Make sure you know what document or website contains before you open it. There could be malware hiding in that link.
To be safe, try not to conduct your banking needs or anything involving sensitive information like your social security number while using a public computer or public WiFi. For best practice wait to do these transactions on a home computer or the Marine Bank secured app.
Written By: Michelle Graven