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Security Tips: Shared Computers


Shared/Public Computer Use

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 everything you did.

Before leaving a shared computer, you should log out of programs and Internet locations – both work-related, such as our network and the finance system; and personal, such as Amazon.com.

Internet browser programs, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, log all the sites you visit.  Exiting browser programs prevent others from viewing your information.  You can also clear the Internet browser history of Web pages you have visited.

Do not install a desktop search program on a shared computer.  These programs index all your computer’s contents for easy retrieval.  While such programs can be useful, if you share a computer with other people, they will be able to access the index that logs all your e-mail and files; and possibly learn your passwords and other sensitive information.

If you can, you should shut down your computer completely to eliminate the possibility of someone breaking into your work.

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