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How secured is my mail when logging in from someone else's computer?

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  #1  
Old 25-04-2012
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 35
How secured is my mail when logging in from someone else's computer?
  

I am here with a serious security issue. Not an issue but a potential doubt which according to me deserves a legitimate and accurate answer. I don’t know how many other users must be wondering with the same doubt. It thus happened that I had to visit a cyber café without because there was no other go to it. I wanted to access my email on an urgent basis and so I was left with no other option. I did log in to my Gmail account there but I did a grave mistake of not enabling the private browsing option. After some time, I realized this and did not know what to do. This place is in some other state and so it is impossible for me to travel all the way till there and check if there is any sort of illegal or unauthorized access happening to my emails. But to prevent any misuse in the issue, I have changed the password. Still, I have strong worries because I realized it few hours later and it took me a day to again have an internet access and change the password. So, the correct password was available for over a day with the cyber café’s browser.

Currently, there are 2 kinds of very commonly used software which is used to download emails to computers. One could be a generic email client which is Microsoft Outlook and the other one would be Google Desktop which I saw is installed in the system. Whatever the case maybe among these, the email id of the person should be properly configured in the system to access to the internet. Now what I am afraid is that does there exist any technology or settings in these software where in the email id and password can be easily grabbed from the browser and can be used to access the email over these clients then which means that by using the data in the browser to access my email on some email client and download all my mail before I could change my password?

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  #2  
Old 25-04-2012
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 384
Re: How secured is my mail when logging in from someone else's computer?

I get your concern. I think, after database if there is something more sensitive to an individual is his mails. However, you should be very careful with such stuffs. Even for a collegian, email has become a very sensitive and important thing. Email notifications from their personal social networking profiles maybe the reason. But yeah, what I am trying to imply is the fact that you should always follow the guidelines that are necessary to be followed when you are using a public computer.

However getting back to the issue that you have been facing I would like to make one thing very clear that both the software that you rightly mentioned is no way related to the browser. So, you can relax on that aspect. There is no possible setting which can retrieve data from the browser. But yeah, if at all you are talking about Outlook Web Access and not MS Outlook, then there might possibly a setting that can access the browser. If not that then is no reason for you care only.

Also, another thing is that the browser generally asks for permission to store a password, if you deny the request, it doesn’t keep the password in its memory. So try and remember if something of that sort had happened.

Do one thing, try all these things on your personal PC too, you must be get a proper solution and answer to what you just asked.
But wait! It’s still not time for you to celebrate, because there are many other things that could have been done with your email account like: any malicious software in the computer that recording keystrokes or imports passwords there is also a possibility of another person using the passwords stored in browser to access your Gmail account.
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  #3  
Old 25-04-2012
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 35
Re: How secured is my mail when logging in from someone else's computer?

Ok! I understand that. Anyways, I don’t think there’s any point in whining about this now. What is done is done and cannot be undone. I would like to move on but yeah, I would be grateful if you please list down the guidelines that are necessary to be followed when you are using a public computer. That would be very helpful for me as well as other users who might end up landing on this thread.
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  #4  
Old 25-04-2012
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 384
Re: How secured is my mail when logging in from someone else's computer?

I would have done that even if you would not have asked. I am glad you are interested in staying careful henceforth. Anyways, going ahead with the guidelines, they are as stated below:

• You should never consider sharing the password of your email id with the Cyber owner or any other individual present there asking them to check your email on your behalf. This might sound unreal to you, but these senior citizens and small kids are still ignorant about the value of data and the amount of information theft active throughout the globe. Always make sure, you only type in the email id and its password. If you are unaware of it, you can easily surf for options to do this, but sharing it should not be a part of the option
• If at all you happen to store or save any data pertaining to your personal self, check and confirm that you have deleted them before leaving
• When you are sitting online on a public PC, always check for the personalized browser security settings so that you are safe from the personal data exposure. Always, uncheck the checkbox next to label reading : Remember my ID on this computer. Also make sure that just like the password, the user id is kept very safe. This is to avoid minimizing the hacker’s work of crashing into your account
• Beware of the spyware termed ‘Keylogger’ which is known to record all the keystrokes happening in the machine and this is reported directly to the hacker or the owner of the website. They may directly get saved into the attacker’s machine or might get collected at a specific interval.
• Always remember that the data on the public computers and shared computers are exposed and available to all the users all the time. So, take care of that and make sure that all the personal details that you enter are deleted from time to time.
• The first thing as soon as you enter a cyber café should be to check if it has the best and an updated version of Anti Virus and Anti Spam software. These software are sometimes efficient to work against these keyloggers and all.
• Don’t go out on call and all without locking the computer
• Always keep the password storage feature disabled in your system
• Finally, Aalways check and confirm that you have logged out properly when you leave Cyber cafe
.
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