Do you ever use a public computer? Do you realize that potentially everything you type and read may be public information?
I was checking a hotel business center computer this weekend. I found some interesting stuff. A military document for a local air force base. It wasn’t classified. The confidential test results for a semi-synthetic lubricant, the sales figures for a medical supplier and an aircraft flight log. On the personal side I found a Yahoo email message with a purchase confirmation that included the person’s name, address, email address, a link to their online purchase account and what they bought. There was a letter to “one of the other women”. A picture of a cute young girl she took with her cell phone in a fitting room was amusing. At least she was fully clothed.
When you use a business center computer, a library computer, or any public computer it is safest to assume that all you type and read is public information. For that reason I never use such computers for banking, email, VPN access, or anything with a password.
Anything you do on a public computer is everybody’s business!
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET