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Be smart about cybercafes

If your family is traveling this summer and wants to blog or check email in Internet cafes, you’ll need to be careful about logging into your Web accounts like Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo Mail. Public computers can easily have malicious keylogger software on them that logs your every keystroke (such as passwords and other account info). The workaround is simple, though. Take a great tip the Washington Post’s Rob Pegararo picked up from the Lifehacker blog: “Type a character or two of a password, then click elsewhere in the browser [like the window where you type URLs or Web addresses] and type a random character or two before clicking back in the password field to type the next character, repeating this exercise until the entire password has been entered.” Only malicious software that actually tracks your cursor position would “know” which part of what you typed was junk and which characters were part of your password. “But,” Rob writes, “why would the hypothetical criminal bother going to that effort when enough other people will type in passwords without obscuring them?”

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