Often are we aware that we are in grave danger when we access our online accounts outside of our homes through another computer. Many of us fall prey to petty cyber criminals when we fail to take precautionary measures when using a different desktop computer other than our own.
A locked out account, plagarized and vandalized by heartless individuals smearing our most valued reputation in the world wide web. Cleaning up the mess is the hardest part.
How we can protect ourselves then?
What I always do and will always will even if I use my own computer is to make use of the private browsing options that has been made available by various Internet browsers. Because under the private browsing mode, no Internet browsing history is being taken into account; passwords and information entered on web forms are also discarded. As long as you close down all browsers after using it, all of the sites you have accessed will never be opened by anyone even by you. This is the safest way to browse the web from any other device other than your own as far as I know.
Ways to enable the private browsing session on several browsers (through keyboard shortcuts):Internet Explorer 8 and up - Simultaneously press on Ctrl+Shift+P to start browsing in private
Firefox - same way how IE does it
Google Chrome - simultaneously press on Ctrl+Shift+N to start in "incognito" mode
Note: I employed keyboard shortcuts to make it easier and quicker to enable these options.
Advance options for enabling the private session modes of internet browsers to be in effect locally (who ever who may use it) and permanently may be done in the following manner:
- Tinkering on the settings through the browsers' respective settings menu.
- Modifying the parameters of the shortcuts (desktop and start menu) (eg. adding a -incognito at the end of the shortcut of Google Chrome)
|Adding a few parameters to IE's shortcut|
Another good practice is NOT to enable the "automatic log-in" option presented by instant messengers (and some websites) especially if your PC is shared among family members. In this way, you can minimize the chances for other people from making use of your account while you are away. The "remember my password" option should also be DISABLED for this manner.
You can still have the liberty of turning on these automations if you are positive about the following circumstances:
- No other person uses your computer
- You have your own user account that is properly password protected so no other person can access it.
- Your PC has user accounts that is adequately password protected so that people whom you share your PC can use it to logon on to the computer.
- A guest account is available for other people to temporarily use your computer.
- You don't tend to forget to lock your PC while you are away.
So the next time you access your Facebook account from a friend's PC, switch to a private browsing session and have a carefree online experience.