Internet Cafe Security Tips - Prevent KeyLoggers from Accessing Your Password
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Keyloggers are malicious programs that watch what you are typing or doing. Suppose you are using Locknote in an Internet cafe; keyloggers might be recording your password as you type it.
Some keyloggers are capable of doing screen shots, hooking up with Windows API (to retrieve user information) or even capturing clipboard data. So a classic copy-paste or using Microsoft's on screen keyboard does not offer much protection.
Or much worse, some Internet cafés have hardware-based keyloggers which can be harder to detect, so anything that you type from your keyboard is well recorded/logged.
The good thing is that Keepas offers strong protection against key loggers if you use secured clipboard feature (e.g copying/pasting username and password from keepass to web forms). Please refer to Keepas documentation for details.
Another recommended approach is to use a standalone on-screen keyboard tool that is independent of the main keyboard or does not store information in a clipboard. A good example of this type of tool is Neo Safekeys.
Secure Your Browsing or Use a Portable Browser
One of the most common targets for malware and viruses in an Internet café is the Internet browser itself. Unfortunately, most of these browsers are not maintained or updated by the café administrators, so they are mostly infected with browser hijackers and spywares.
Being secure when browsing the net in an Internet café means using your own portable browser. This browser install should be kept on your USB flash drive; once you're using the services of an Internet café, you'll just need to double click to install it, and you can use it like a local-based browser.
The most recommended portable browser is Firefox Portable.
Installation and usage procedures are beyond the scope of this tutorial. It is suggested that you refer to the official page (link provided above) for details.
Some Internet café have strict rules, and they won’t allow users to install anything on their computers, so a good approach would be to clean the browser's entire history and cache.
To test for hijack infected browsers:
1. When you go a certain website, you're redirected to another website.
2. When you type something in a Google search or any search engine, it provides spammy results.
3. Annoying pop-u[ ads and other unrelated advertisements suddenly show up during your browsing.
4. Other mysterious browser behavior.
If you have noticed any of these four symptoms, you need to report it right away to the Internet café attendant and have it corrected. If they are unable to correct it, you'd better find another Internet café.
The following are the important rules to remember when logging in to any website (Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc). Do not log in using a suspicious or hijacked browser.
1. Always checked that HTTPS are enabled. e.g: https://www.google.com/accounts/Login?hl=en&continue=http://www.google.com/
2. Check for domain misspellings, and avoid any domain that is misspelled.
3. Do not use the keyboard to enter any username and password. Instead, use Neo Safekeys or a secured clipboard paste by Keepas as discussed previously.
4. Some browsers ask you to store a password for particular websites. Always select “Never store password for this website.”
5. Do not enter personal information into a suspicious website.
Disinfect Your USB Flash Drive for Possible Malware or Virus
This section will work best if you have a PC in your home which is fully equipped with reputable, anti-virus software such as Kaspersky.
Suppose you have just completed using an Internet café during your travels and you are coming home. You need to scan your USB flash drive first for possible virus/malware infections.
It is highly recommended that you do not use a free anti-virus to scan, because they are not proven to detect problems at a high percentage rate. If you do not have anything else, then the following are possible workarounds:
1. Block Autorun for USB flash drives and for all devices. You can read the tutorial illustrated here: http://windowssecrets.com/2007/11/08/02-One-quick-trick-prevents-Autorun-attacks
The purpose is to prevent a virus from directly executing in a USB flash drive.
2. Use the DOS command (go to Start -> Run -> type CMD), go to the flash drive directory (F: for example) and then type either of the DIR commands mentioned on this page: http://yhoo.it/akVx6J.
The objective is to check for new and hidden files added to your USB flash drive, which can be viruses. Any suspicious files appearing on your USB Flash drive not created by you, such as an .exe file, you need to submit it to: http://virusscan.jotti.org/en
You can scan any files that were created from the Internet café to make sure they are clean. You can safely delete them if they are indeed viruses. You can follow this tutorial on removing viruses without an antivirus program.
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