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Old 02-09-2014, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

If you're at a city public library (mine is pretty huge locally), would it be safe to make online purchases on their public computers?
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

Safe as long you don't leave any information stored on the computer.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

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Safe as long you don't leave any information stored on the computer.
How would you be sure of that?
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

Remember to logout of anything you have logged into.
And don't check the "remember password" option.

Other then that the only real danger is monitoring software.
The domain controller might have some monitoring software installed.
If that's the case the admin could see the information you are typing in.
That will require him to see what you are doing as you are doing it. He might not even be at his office.

The public computer could also be infected with a keylogger... but so could your own computer.

Why would you use a public computer to do your online shopping anyway?
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

IE has InPrivate browsing, Chrome has incognito, and Firefox has private browsing. Take your pick of whatever browser is installed on the computer. It won't save any of your history, information, etc.

That being said I'd not really even use public computers with a public user account unless I wasn't putting in any private info. I login to the domain with my own account at school so I'll save my password info in Chrome because no one else has access to my account. But I'd wait until I got home to purchase something with my card info, but I have a home computer with internet access to be able to do that.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

Libraries and internet cafes are prime targets for keyloggers and are usually rife with malware of all types - including credential stealers - which will happily scrape your passwords and any other form data you enter. It's capable of doing this regardless of whether it is an SSL (https) site you're using or not since the malware is operating with your web browser, not intercepting the traffic after it has been encrypted. These types of threats are known as Man-in-the-Browser credential-stealing botnets.

Whilst I'm not trying to imply that every public computer will steal all your information, why take the chance when you don't need to?

Incidentally, a good way to avoid keylogging software (or hardware) is to use something like www.lastpass.com to manage your accounts for you (thus preventing you ever needing to 'type' your password or any other form data, including credit card details, into a website). You can pre-generate a list of OTP (one-time-passwords) which will be entirely useless to any keylogger since (by definition) they only work once.

If you travel a lot and stay in hotels, airports, train stations and coffee shops then I'd strongly recommend always using the above mechanism to protect yourself from personal-information theft. Lastpass is free for desktop use, but I'd also recommend the $12 per year for the mobile client (includes iOS, android & windows mobile).

Hope that helps.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

I never ever use library computers (Not that I go to one) or public computers. If I do I never purchase anything even over a https connection. I only use my laptop, smartphone or tablet on their guest WiFi network they provide you with which is secured.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

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Originally Posted by BikerEcho View Post
Why would you use a public computer to do your online shopping anyway?
Just checking to see if it was potentially safer than my home computer. Like I thought perhaps public libraries would have their computers managed and protected super well. At home, I just have anti-virus, although I've taken VERY careful pro-active measures (at the recommendation of folks on these forums) to not go to shady sites or do anything stupid online to potentially infect myself, whereas I thought perhaps the computers at a public library would have like super smart tech guys managing them against these types of programs. But maybe my logic is flawed? I"m still learning guys! Appreciate it man!
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

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Libraries and internet cafes are prime targets for keyloggers and are usually rife with malware of all types - including credential stealers - which will happily scrape your passwords and any other form data you enter. It's capable of doing this regardless of whether it is an SSL (https) site you're using or not since the malware is operating with your web browser, not intercepting the traffic after it has been encrypted. These types of threats are known as Man-in-the-Browser credential-stealing botnets.

Whilst I'm not trying to imply that every public computer will steal all your information, why take the chance when you don't need to?
First, you are awesome! That was very helpful. And let me recommend that you need to consider posting videos on YouTube or something LOL. Seriously. You might even be able to rake in some money from them if you get a lot of hits and get ads from people watching them (you just gotta make them helpful, interesting, and enticing to people).

You could do like a series of online security videos answering basic questions (e.g., should you buy anything online from public computer, what virus software to buy, etc.) like these for people who aren't very techno literate (like break it down in simple terms). But, yeah man, thanks! Very helpful info.

And that's scary that people do this sort of stuff. Crazy. I'm on a university library computer right now and already paranoid. ...Definitely not going to buy anything online now! Good info. on the SSL not even mattering in some cases. Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Would You Ever Buy Something Online Via Library Computer?

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I never ever use library computers (Not that I go to one) or public computers. If I do I never purchase anything even over a https connection. I only use my laptop, smartphone or tablet on their guest WiFi network they provide you with which is secured.
Just an FYI, public hotspots aren't "secured" as in it's safe to do whatever you want. I'd still be leary of doing anything important on one.
Why Public WiFi Hotspots Are Trouble Spots for Users
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