You probably have the same problem with the computers at your office - all it takes is one agent visiting a malicious website, clicking on a bad link in their email or downloading some malware program and the login information of all of the agents who use that computer is compromised. Keyloggers are programs that come in through these avenues and sit on an infected system and record the keystrokes of everyone who uses that computer and at intervals, uploads that information to a remote site. That means when you type the address of your email program into a browser and log on with your username and password, you've given that information to hackers. Because many people re-use login information for everything they do online, these hackers start to cross-reference your login information with all of the big online financial sites. You can easily see how this can easily become a problem for many agents - all because someone clicked a link in their e-mail.
If you are using a public system, the safest thing to consider is that the system is likely already compromised. That means anything you type could be sent off to be used by hackers. Now, I realize that in many cases, public computers may be free of keyloggers, but all it takes is one that isn't to create lots of headaches for you. So how do you stay safe? The first step is to make sure you take the same precautions everytime you are on a public computer.
First, keyloggers depend on data strings. For example, when they see a website name in the logs, they can assume that the next string of data after the website URL is a user name, and the string after that is a password. My suggestion to protect yourself from a potential keylogger is to use gibberish. What I would do is open a text file and begin typing random characters into the text file. Then enter your website URL. Then back to the text file for some more random characters. Then back to the website for your username, then more random characters in the text file, then your password. Finally, finish off with some more random gibberish in the text file before you hit submit to log in. If you wanted to be even more safe you could incorporate your username and password into the text file of gibberish - so you would actually type it out in the text file surrounded by radom text. Then you would go to the website and instead of typing out your user name and password, you would highlight your user name in the text file and right click and select "Copy" - then click on the user name field on the website and right click and select "Paste" - do the same thing for password.
Yes, I know this is a pain everytime you have to log in - but it keeps you safe. Just ask yourself, which is easier and less costly - taking the time to do this everytime you're on a public computer or dealing with some hacker stealing your financial information. For me, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this matter.
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