When sharing is a bad thing

Save your online errands—such as shopping, banking, and bill payment—for your personal computer.

Conducting your private business on shared computers, such as the ones available at Internet cafés, libraries, hotels, and other public places, can be very dangerous.

Even if your web browser encrypts your communication (I.E. HTTPS), anyone with access to the public computer can still get your information. For example, someone can install a hardware keylogger between the keyboard and the computer, capturing everything you type before it’s encrypted in your browser. A simpler way to get your information is just to “shoulder surf”, watching you type logins, passwords, and account information—even using their cell phone camera to photograph your screen!

It is more common than you think. It is such an prevalent issue that law enforcement is releasing public notices like one released last July by the US Secret Service warning people not to use publicly accessible hotel business center computers.

RESOURCES

US Secret Service Advisory https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/KeyloggerMalwareInHotelBusinessCenters.pdf