There maybe times when you may need to access Internet urgently and you might not be near your computer or laptop. In many such cases, we use cyber cafes, shared computers or we borrow someone else’s computer to access internet, check urgent email or do other important tasks. However, using someone else’s computer or a public computer is not good for your cyber security and may lead to security vulnerabilities. Some of the common threats include identity theft, theft of data, compromising of password to name a few. Although you can not be 100% safe when you are using a public or shared computer, but you can follow some simple practices which will keep you relatively safer. In this article, I will talk about the use of private browsing mode or incognito mode.
We will talk about the three commonly used Internet browsers which you will find on most computers – Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox. You can easily start private browsing mode on any of these in two simple clicks.
For Google Chrome, click on the menu button on the top right corner and click on New incognito window.
For Internet Explorer, hold the ALT button to show menu, click on Tools > InPrivate browsing to start a private browsing session in IE.
In Firefox, click on hold the ALT button to show menu and click on Tools > Start Private Browsing to enter the private browsing mode.
In all of the above cases, when you close the browser, the history will be deleted, the cache will be cleared and it will not save any of your password so it will keep you relatively safe of any potential online threat.
But there maybe more threats on a public computer like key-loggers and other malicious software which may still be a threat to security, so we recommend to avoid using public computers for websites which require login and rather use your phone for basic email functionality. It is better to plan in advance for your internet access needs if you are on travel or away from work and home for long time so that you don’t have to compromise on your cyber security.
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