In these circumstances the Government are expecting people to go online and access services through public venues such as libraries, community centres and internet cafes.
This brings a whole new set of challenges if you want to make sure your personal information is kept safe and away from prying eyes.
Here are a few pointers for keeping yourself safe in such circumstances:
1. Don’t make online financial transactions that might reveal passwords or personal information such as credit card numbers or bank account details.
2. If you have been using the internet on a public computer, always use the browser tools to delete temporary internet files and cookies on the computer. ALWAYS clear your browsing history before you walk away.
This is really important if you are using a computer online that isn’t your own – such as a libraries etc. Not doing so means someone else using the computer later may be able to reconstruct where you went online and what you did while you were there and potentially view data / correspondence you generated.
If you are unsure how to delete the browser history and cookies on the browser you are using go to the HELP option on the browser and follow the instructions for:
• Deleting browsing history / webpage history
• Deleting temporary internet pages
• Deleting cookies
As each browser functions slightly differently it is not possible to describe here in details instructions for every browser and their various versions.
If you aren’t sure how to do this ask a member of staff to show you how to.
3. Protect any passwords you are going to use by using the browser’s internet options menu.
If in doubt, select the browser help option to find out how to or ask one of the staff to show you how to do this!
4. Consider changing any passwords you use on a regular basis -if you are using public access computers regularly.
5. If you are using webmail as Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo! to read your email, then be sure that the system is using a secure web link.
If in doubt ask a member of staff.
6. Be careful who is looking over your shoulder!