5 Tips To Boost Your Security When Using Public Devices

24 May 2012

In a recent Securelist blog post, Kaspersky Lab expert Dmitry Bestuzhev warns about the risk of data leakage when using public tab devices that are commonly found in public places such as airports.  During a recent trip, Dmitry examined one such device to demonstrate this.  After performing a quick check of downloaded files, most visited sites and browser history, Dmitry found a huge list of sensitive information including medical files and personal traveler information with full names, IDs and flight information. This is a huge problem since the data is residing on the machine, making it easy for cyber-criminals to access.

Inadvertently leaking data when using public devices commonly occurs because people forget or underestimate the sensitivity of the information they’re accessing, and don’t take proper steps to secure themselves while using the device and after they leave it.

Don't fall into this common trap of forgetfulness, and always use proper internet security when you're on the go! 

Here are 5 tips from Dmitry about how to boost your security when using public computers and tablets:

  1. Check if a physical keylogger is present or not – conduct a visual inspection of the communication port between the computer or tab and the keyboard. If you see any strange device in the middle, stop using the machine.
  2. Use incognito mode when you browse (most of the modern browsers support such functionality)
  3. Try to use only Wi-Fi protected encrypted networks. If it's not possible to do so, use your own VPN connection over Wi-Fi
  4. Make sure you have deleted any downloaded files, even from a temp or downloading directory. Make sure it's permanently deleted and not just moved to the trash. 
  5. Don't use a public computer for accessing sensitive or corporate information. 

-Dmitry Bestuzhev, Head of Global Research & Analysis, Latin America, Kaspersky Lab