Safe Practices for Using Public Computers

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Public computers can be found in many locations across campus. Using one of these computers carries the inherent risk of exposing your personal data. Follow these best practices to reduce the risk of accidental exposure.

Always clear the browser at the end of your session. Clearing the browser’s cookies and cache will eliminate the chance of someone accessing secure content of the websites you may have recently logged into. Follow the steps that refer to the specific browser you are currently using.

Internet Explorer:

  • On the Internet Explorer menu bar, click Tools. (If the menu bar is not present, press the ‘Alt’ key to make it visible.)
  • Click Delete Browsing History from the drop-down menu.
  • Select all the checkboxes on the pop-up menu beginning with Temporary Internet Files, through ActiveX Filtering and Tracking Protection data.
  • Click Delete.


  • Click History from the menu bar (If the menu bar is not present, press the ‘Alt’ key to make it visible.)
  • Click Clear Recent History.
  • Select the appropriate Time range to clear using the drop-down menu.
  • Select the Details drop-down menu and mark all appropriate checkboxes.
  • Click clear now.

Google Chrome:

  • Click the three-bar icon (a.k.a. hot dog, hamburger, or pancake stack) on the upper right of the browser toolbar.
  • Select More tools.
  • Select Clear browsing area.
  • Select all the checkboxes on the Clear Browsing Data menu and the timeframe from the drop-down menu.
  • Click the Clear browsing data button.

Never save passwords on a public computer. Passwords saved in a browser are typically stored insecurely and can be accessed by anyone with access to that computer. To clear any saved passwords, follow the above instructions for clearing browser data and insure that the checkbox for clearing passwords is marked.