How To Protect Your Accounts At Internet Cafes
As you travel around the world to various places you may not have or bother to bring a laptop. Still, you’ll likely need to get online at some point to check your email and credit card accounts (which by the is a good way to avoid scams abroad). Internet cafes are pretty common around most of the world but the quality of the security on any given machine in any given cafe can vary quite a bit. Being on unfamiliar digital turf though you can protect your online accounts from cyber-criminals and hackers by using a few good security best practices and by adding layers of insulation online. Let us explain how to do this and help you protect your accounts at Internet cafes.
Separate Your Passwords
None of your accounts online should share the same password. You can use the free program KeePassX (which works on Windows, Mac, and Linux) to manage each username and password. KeePassX is also a great tool to use to create passwords that are randomly generated and complex up to as many characters as you like. Complex passwords contain a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers. Weak passwords are the most common ways accounts are compromised so don’t bother trying to come up with ones based on your spouse’s initials. Use KeePassX to make up the passwords and keep the records on a USB drive with you when traveling. KeePassX also copies and pastes passwords into fields for you without requiring you to type anything.
That’s a great defense against keystroke loggers which are programs hackers put on computers to record anything that is typed in via the keyboard. They are difficult to detect so copy and paste with the mouse is good protection against it. You can also get tricky with your passwords by typing in a bunch of random characters into a text editor and then copying each individual character you need for a particular password. It’s not the ideal method but effective. Below is an example of how you could do this:
- For example -3wivfjL9O5VdjEwMYdsDqqo54aq!$G(iLOVEMYDoG)
You can also use the free program Safe keys which creates a little keyboard on the screen you can use to click on each character of your password.
Use A Linux Portable Drive
It’s not as complicated or difficult as it sounds. A Linux portable drive is a great way to protect yourself from a computer that might have malicious software on it.
Be Weary And Access What You Need
Unless you absolutely need to don’t check your most sensitive accounts, like credit cards or banks, from Internet cafes. Also, if you’ve got a blog you can keep your travel blog safe when you’re traveling. That’s not to be paranoid but a good practice to vary what you access where and further insulate yourself by keeping a different password for each of your accounts online. Use your best judgment and enjoy your vacation offline as much as you can!