One of the many benefits of globalization is the possibility of keeping in touch, via Skype, Gmail or Blogspot among others, with friends or family who may be thousands of kilometers away from us, even on another continent. Internet cafes, Internet cafes or cyberlocutorios, can be found in the coldest and highest mountains (satellite, for example, in the Nepalese Annapurna), on the warmer beaches (as in the, until recently, wild and quiet Koh Li Pe, southwest of Thailand) and in the middle of the jungle (as in Taman Negara, in Malaysia). Between these extremes, the locals dedicated to meeting the growing need of the modern traveler to tell how well one is having fun, and how isolated it is from all over the world, have grown like mushrooms. Or almost.
Although sometimes a single computer is enough for the “Internet” sign to hang on the door of an establishment, and we compare some sites with others based on their price and the speed of the connection, the most important factor usually goes unnoticed: safety.
In a world full of passwords, PINs and passwords, cybercafes can be dangerous places. The globetrotter uses Internet access to access his email account, upload photos and texts to his blog, buy airline tickets, book rooms and check bank accounts. That information is vulnerable and the possibility of someone trying to access it is very great. To avoid this, here are eight simple and easy tips that will help you protect yourself:
1 Use Portable Firefox
The first step to secure your Internet connection is to secure your browser. The best way is to install Portable Firexox in an external USB memory (those small devices, already with several Gb capacity, which connect to the USB port and allow you to take from one computer to another, photos, videos, texts, etc.).
When you sit on the computer, connect the memory to the USB port and launch your own version of the browser from there.
2 Connect securely
Once you have your own version of Firefox running on the cyber café computer, it's time to connect to the Internet. To ensure your online security, it is imperative that you use a secure connection when accessing sensitive sites, such as your checking account information.
In most cases, when Firefox establishes a secure connection, a closed padlock appears to the right of the address bar. If you don't see this icon, try typing the address again using “https” instead of “http”. In this case, "s" means that you are using a special, secure and encrypted connection to the website.
If you always forget to add the “s”, try adding the “https” site to “Favorites” and use that link instead of typing the address. If you use a USB stick with your own Firefox browser, your favorites will be available anywhere you go.
3 Confuse the keyloggers
Once you have established a secure connection, it is time to log in. Thanks to the use of “https” it is significantly more difficult, if not impossible, for people who are “controlling” the connection from another computer to steal your data.
That said, the secure connection does not prevent a program surreptitiously installed on the computer you use, can record everything you type. These programs, called "keyloggers," are especially dangerous when typing names, passwords, and passport or card numbers. Fortunately, there are some things that can be done.
First, when using addresses stored in your portable Firefox browser to connect to sensitive sites, instead of manually typing the address, the common method that keyloggers use to organize data is eliminated. This makes it much more difficult to assign, for example, a password to a specific email.
A simple trick that will fool most keyloggers is to hide your password in a sea of meaningless characters. To do this, click on the password box and type the first character of the password. Then click on any other site on the page, and thus deselect the password box, and type some random characters before returning to the password box and entering the second character. Repeat this process for each character of your password.
This trick works because most programs cannot distinguish randomly from typing in a specific field of the screen.
4 Change your passwords
Changing your passwords regularly is something that should always be done, but in this case it is even more important. Depending on the time you are traveling, the days that pass between your connections and the times you access sensitive sites, plan a routine of changing them. And keep in mind where you are going to be at any moment, in case you have to solve a problem by phone: calling your bank to report fraud on your card is infinitely easier in Bangkok or Wellington than in Yangon or Xi'ian .
Regarding the new passwords, which do not resemble the previous ones and that include random digits and letters to reinforce their security.
5 Check the security of the computer
The own, and generally honest, owners of Internet cafes are the first interested in tourists not having security problems. In quite a few places you will find that when your session is closed, a program deletes all the data from it, theoretically that includes history and cookies.
Likewise, everyone has installed a free antivirus, usually correctly updated, and in most cases it matches the one you can have in your home, the AVG (from the Czech Grisoft) or the German Avira.
6 Encrypt your data
I know it looks like something out of a spy movie, with its code messages and computers, or the brains of some, trying to decipher the key, but you don't have to belong to the CNI to be able to do it in an easy, simple and, Above all, effective.
Keep in mind that, no matter how well you have planned your trip, you can see yourself in the situation of having to send private and sensitive information to a trusted friend or relative. If you find yourself in a situation where you must send your passport number, ID, your credit card details or your PIN by email, it is a very good idea to use an encrypted email.
Encrypting an email encodes your message in such a way that it is indecipherable. When that is done, a special electronic "key" (a key) is generated that can be used to open the encoded message. The easiest way to send encrypted email is with Gmail Encryption a script that is obviously specific to Google's free email service.
If you do not use Gmail and you hold on to Hotmail, Yahoo mail or other service, a Firefox add on called Encrypt this! It will encode any text in your browser.
7 Don't get caught with Phishing
Phishing is a type of scam that is based on emails and web pages that almost perfectly mimic the appearance of authentic people. The best known case would be the email that seems to come from your Bank, in which you are requested that, for reasons of maintaining your database, server updates or other similar technical reason or commercial promotion, access a page website where you have to enter your account number, your password for online banking or the number, expiration date and PIN of your credit card.
If you make the mistake of doing so, when you enter your information on the fraudulent site, it is sent to a third party that, of course, will not put it to good use.
Firefox also comes with some integrated protection. To activate it, go to the "Tools" option and, in the "Security" tab, check the box that says "Notify me if the page I visit is suspicious" and select the option "check with Google".
Examining carefully the address of the web pages you visit, or using the ones you have stored in the "Favorites" folder of your Portable Firefox, is the best defense against such scams. Remember that all banks, serious, have incorporated in the emails that send you that notice that "We will never request your security codes by email".
8 Close your session before getting up
Traveling through other countries, you cannot imagine the number of times I have sat in front of a computer and, before I could look at my mail, I opened a window of the Messenger ... that the previous user had not bothered to disconnect. And the same thing happened to me with Gmail, Facebook or Skype.
Before getting up, make sure that you have closed any applications or websites in which you are logged in.
Also, using Firefox, get used to go to "Tools" and select "Clear private data" when you finish browsing.
With a little preparation and care we can navigate without problems. Taking precautions, you can worry less about your time connected to the Internet and concentrate on enjoying your trip.
As I know that more than one has put his hands to his head ("Exaggerated!" I seem to hear there), if you do not follow the eight points that I have left here, I would be satisfied that at least they would be clear, and They will be part of your routine, five or six of them.
Millions of people connect to the Internet on a daily basis without being subject to any scam, but there is a minority of people who are scammed, what group do you want to belong to?
Via, Brave New Traveler