Fun with public PCs

Fun with public PCs

Most airline lounges now offer PC's with Internet access, which is great for me. I can check email, chat, shop, even code with those while waiting for a plane. But recently this gets even better for me, definitely more entertaining, when people using these PCs start to leave personal information on those machines.

For example, my last trip I manage to first check "Bob"s Amazon shopping wish list at the Logan lounge. It contained toys (for his kids?), a few CD's, some cookbooks, and two instructional books that offer tips to improve his, well, you can guess. I couldn't help but add to his list a few healthy eating cookbook to see if that will make any difference for him.

It got more exciting at first, as I got to Chicago. "Mike" left his outlook web access browser open. Going thru his email and contacts turned out to be quite boring. He must be a really important guy. Most of his emails are from his assistant talking about company parties and which Jaguar he is to get as a company car. I was tempted to email his assistant for him and order a mini van instead but decided against it.

So, unless you are the sharing kind of person, don't forget to:

  1. Close all browser windows when you are done with these borrowed PC's. Not just minimize the windows.

  2. Sign-out from services like Amazon. Click links like "if you are not Mr Smith, click here" to sign out.

  3. Never check the "save password" checkbox when typing in user names and passwords. It is easy to hit that by mistake.