Public computers pose online security risks
Although public computers can provide convenient access to programs and websites, they also carry a number of unique online security risks for uninformed users.
Personal computers are obviously the preferred option among consumers, but sometimes public computer are the most convenient - or only - option. From checking email at a hotel kiosk to finishing a term paper in the student computer lab, the need for public computing is at times inevitable. Unfortunately, many of the crucial security tactics deployed by users on their personal computers have not translated to these shared resources.
"My biggest worry when I'm using a public computer is: has someone installed spyware on it?" businessman John Wetmore recently told ABC Los Angeles. "If there's spyware on it, then someone can capture the keystrokes and know my account and my password and then I'm probably vulnerable."
Wetmore may be more informed on the subject than the typical consumer, however, as many remain unaware of the threats posed by keyloggers.
For consumers who routinely use public computers, it may be wise to investigate defensive measures such as a portable password manager. With the right tools, users can be confident that they are not losing data security in exchange for added productivity or convenience.