County libraries Informative - Verify the workstation before your session ends

Review by Flexanimous Fellow on 2009-12-02
There are several posts along the walls in county libraries surrounding the computer terminals, asking users to constantly save their work. People should also be advised to delete their documents from the work terminal before the session timer expires.

One should NOT rely on the computer to perform a soft reset and remove the documents saved to the hard drive along with the internet browsing history. It's generally not a good idea to save anything on a publicly used PC anyway, but if it's necessary, be sure to delete the file and empty the Recycle Bin after you e-mail your work to yourself or save it on your peripheral device.

I'm pleased that the terminals at my county library DO reset themselves after each session. After the computer reboots, all files saved on the hard drive from the previous session are gone, along with the internet browsing history and cache.

However, I cannot say the same about the computers where I used to live (Orange County, Fla). I still had more work to do after the timer expired one night, and since I had exhausted the two sessions I was allowed for the day, my friend allowed me to use her card to get another 60 minutes of usage. After the computer rebooted, I logged in using her library card. I was almost shocked to see all the documents I had saved to the desktop still sitting there. One such document was my resume, complete with my name, phone number, address, work/education history, etc. The web history also remained, and the computer automatically filled in my usernames on some of the websites after reopening them.

Luckily the computer wasn't reserved for another user once my session ran out, or else my information would have been at the hands of a complete stranger!

I brought this to the attention of the library staff who didn't seem too interested.

Bottom line -- clear your trails before the timer hits zero or risk possible exposure of everything you'd been working on and every website you visited!
Comments:7 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-12-02
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-02:
Nice informative, Flex! (VH)
One can only hope that this will alert certain members here in Oklahoma City, OKlahoma and Scottsdale, Arizona about the perils of using those library CPU's and what all can go wrong on both ends.
Posted by Skye on 2009-12-02:
Good review.

Z, brrrr it got quite chilly didn't it??
Posted by redmx3racer on 2009-12-02:
Good advice for any public computer user. VH!
Posted by Slimjim on 2009-12-02:
Good tip flex.
Posted by qualityappliance on 2009-12-02:
Although I have never used a public computer this information is very helpful to people that do.

Thank You
Posted by Nohandle on 2009-12-02:
I, too, have never used a public computer. We all feel comfortable using our computer at home and might very well forget to delete our tracks when and if we use another. Nice informative. Thanks.
Posted by Pepper on 2009-12-02:

VH X a million!

Back when I was in the Navy, on the ships let's just say the guys had their own way of "teaching a lesson" if someone left their account open. They would send x-rated love letters out from your account. Usually to other men.

Now the navy guys never took it past that.
But imagine if you're checking your bank statement, or doing something involving personal data.

Do you really trust the next person on the computer?

Hell I have to use public computers daily at my school. Believe me I always log out of them when I'm done. Only once did I make a mistake and not log out - I thought I had, but it had an error and hadn't logged out. But someone was kind and pointed it out to me before I walked off.

But not everyone is like that. Some people see the temptation of stealing your data and will take it.

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