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Protecting Privacy While Using Public Computers & Wi-Fi Tip Sheet

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Access to public computers in libraries is convenient and a great resource for library users. Before you use the Internet, the first step is to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.  Take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems. Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear and watch for warning signs. Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard and protect your privacy while using a public computer.

Privacy Tips
  • Delete your browsing history:  Simply use the browser tools available to delete your cookies and  history when you are finished using a public computer. This will help to maintain your privacy and keep your information more secure.
  • Log out: Anyone can access public computers. Close all browser tabs and log out of your accounts (some computers do this automatically but it is good to confirm). You wouldn’t want just anyone to have access to your personal information and accounts.
  • Remember me NOT: Make sure the “remember me” function is not enabled on a public computer.


  • Look for the “s”: Make sure sites are security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
    • Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: To protect your privacy, do not conduct personal transactions on Wi-Fi hotspots or public computers that request sensitive information such as bank account information, home address or your social security number. Wait to conduct these transactions on a private home computer.
If you have additional questions, please ask the librarian.