Accessing Your Accounts Away from Home

It’s never been easier to check your email, log in to your online banking and stay connected with friends. You can find a computer at your local coffee shop, the airport, the library or a hotel. Although these places are convenient, are they safe? The answer is no.

Because the computer is owned by someone else, you have no way of knowing what software or hardware has been installed. This means you have no way of knowing whether the computer contains something that will capture your username, password or account information. The only way to ensure your information remains private is to avoid using any computer but your own personal computer.

If you must check your email when you are away from home, consider purchasing a laptop or PDA with wireless access. You should use SSL encryption login feature if available. Sites usually indicate whether they have a secure means of logging in by one of the following two statements: "Secure Login” or "Login over SSL.”

Another option for accessing your email if you are away from home would be to use a friend or relative’s computer, but there is still a risk involved with this option. If you opt to use a public computer, change your password as soon as you return to your home computer. And be sure to monitor your email account for any suspicious activity.

You should never use a public computer to check your credit union accounts. Not only could something be installed on the computer to capture your information, someone could also steal your information simply by looking over your shoulder or through a security camera.

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