Magazine Articles - 9 - Focus Magazines for Over Wyre and Garstang

Computer Safety no. 8: 01-August-2013

Last month we looked at the importance of choosing good passwords, and looking after them. It’s time to start looking at some of the ways those passwords are used – shopping and banking online.Never, EVER, be tempted to connect to an unknown and unsecured network

secured wireless networkFirstly a few words about connecting to external wireless networks ie. somewhere outside of your own home. If you have a smartphone, tablet, or wireless laptop then you are not tied to your home and can connect to the internet from lots of places. Never, EVER, be tempted to connect to an unknown and unsecured network. If you are at a friend’s house, make sure you really are connecting to their router, and if their router doesn’t ask for a password/key then gently explain to them about the need for security (see article 2 in February)!

fraudstersIf you are using your own laptop etc in a public place, perhaps in a coffee shop or pub which offers free wifi, then be careful what you do after you connect to their wifi. Where possible, please try to avoid doing any sensitive or financial transactions over a public wifi as there is a much increased risk of your details being intercepted.

You may want to use a public computer away from home eg. in a cafe, hotel or library. These present more risks to the unwary user as you have no control over the level of security on the machine and it is possible that the computer could be infected by a virus which collects information about you when you use it. As with using your own equipment on an external wifi, please try to avoid doing online banking or shopping if you can.

Even if the computer is clean, the web browser can still keep a record of your passwords and the pages you visit so start by looking for the ‘private’ or ‘anonymous browsing’ feature in the browser and turn this on.

Make sure that no-one is watching you when you use the machine(looking to see your username and password). Do not leave the computer – even for a few seconds – once you have started using it. When you have finished, log out of any sites you have visited then re-open the browser and clear the cache. If you have viewed any documents eg. on a website or through webmail or even from a pendrive, make sure they are not left on the computer.

If you don’t know how to do any of this, find out before you go on holiday – don’t rely on the café workers telling you that it will all be okay!

Next month – a bit more about safe shopping and banking.

If you have any questions or concerns about security, then please do give me a ring for a quick chat.

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Publication Details

  • Date: August 2013 / September 2013
  • Publication: Over Wyre Focus & Garstang Focus
  • Page: Over Wyre - 30 / Garstang - 20
  • Link: