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Security Tips: Shared Computers


When sharing or using a public computer (whether at home, in the library, in a cyber-café, or in the University’s computer labs), you should take precautions to protect the privacy of your information and that of the University.  Otherwise, those who use the computer after you could have access to your accounts and our systems and data.

Shared/Public Computer Use

Be judicious about which shared use computers you use for services where you must log in. The security of Internet Cafe, hotel business office or a stranger's computer may not be appropriate for you to use for services where you must type in your passwords. It is best to use shared public computers for browsing that does not require you to enter your passwords. If you must enter a password, consider changing it as soon as you can do so on a secure computer or device.

On library or other University public computers use a "private browsing" or "incognito" browser window/tab to log in and access any of your websites. This "privacy" mode of the web browser should ensure that the browser doesn't remember your login information or data once the window or tab is closed.

Before leaving a shared computer, you should log out of all websites that you logged into. Don't simply exit the browser, as login access may persist between sessions. Once you log out, exiting browser programs should prevent others from viewing information cached in the browser, which might be accessed from the disk or with the "back" button on the browser. 

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