Stay safe by keeping an eye on these two loose ends that most computer users overlook.
1. Be extremely cautious when you make a decision to sign-in to your personal accounts on public computers — like the ones that are so conveniently provided in hotel lobbies for business travelers. Someone could have easily installed tracking software on the computer and could come along later and spy on what you were doing — or swipe your password information.
2. That goes for open WiFi networks, too. WiFi is becoming so commonplace that it is easy to forget the security risks they pose. When you use WiFi, your information is floating openly in the air. If you absolutely must use an open network, make sure any websites you visit that require login information begin with “https” instead of “http.” The added “s” means the site uses SSL encryption to protect your privacy.
I never used to think much about this stuff, until I read an article by a self-professed hobby-hacker who claimed, “Joe Q. Public doesn’t realize the fact that they’re running around online, buck naked, with their account numbers and pin numbers tatooed all over their body, for the whole world to see.” For this guy, hacking was a “hobby,” but don’t forget there are a lot of bad guys out there who would like to know your password, pin number… or where your daughter lives.