The technology revolution ensures that everyone has a use for the internet. Computer costs and casual use have since facilitated the growth of cyber cafes. People mainly use cyber cafes for browsing the internet, checking their mail and chatting.
The first important rule is to never tell the cyber cafe owner (or anyone else for that matter) your email ID and password to check your mail. This may sound dumb but keep in mind that many old folks and small kids have no idea about the risks of spam and information theft. Email IDs and passwords should always be entered by their owners. At most, they should ask for guidance to the log-in screen to enter their details personally. Another important rule is the practice of people coming with their floppies, CDs or pen-drives to send their resumes via email. Usually, the individual computers have neither floppy nor CD drives (and some places prohibit independent use of pen- drives for security reasons). The media is hence run through the server itself before being transferred to the relevant individual’s PC. After sending these documents, the user forgets about deleting the documents on the original server. More than simply emptying the Recycle Bin, you should ensure the cyber cafe has a file shredder program to properly delete the files. Resumes contain many personal details, and you should avoid all risk of these being exposed.
Other options you should be aware of when surfing include disabling the option for “Remember my ID on this Computer” when surfing. Make sure to turn off the autocomplete option in the browser. This can be done by accessing the Tools > Internet Options > Autocomplete tab in Internet Explorer and Tools > Options > Privacy > Password tab in Firefox. There are also options to clear your private history / temporary internet files while surfing in case you don’t want your browsing history known.
Always make sure to logout properly when using messenger software or mail accounts. Some people make the mistake with IM software in simply closing the program, which does not shut it down but minimizes it into the system tray. This should be taken care of to ensure the next user doesn’t use your IM account as he wishes. As specified above, make sure the options for remembering passwords or IDs is disabled. You should also take care to disable options that allow archiving of messages as text files. This helps in keeping conversations private and personal info usually shared online safe. Finally, whenever you go to a cyber cafe, ensure it has the most up-to date anti-virus and spyware definitions. These will help root out Trojan horses and keyloggers responsible for tracking your activity and recording your passwords/IDs.