OT: Using internet cafes

Is it safe to make a purchase using credit card, on a computer in an internet cafe?
Specific thing I'm thinking of is being on holiday, say in Germany for instance, and using an internet cafe to book a hotel in advance for the next part of the holiday, whether that be in Germany or a different country.
Will that public computer somehow remember my card details for instance?
TIA
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On Sat, 17 Aug 2013 22:01:35 +0100, Dave wrote:

In theory, yes. In practice, if there's a keylogger ....
Safest bet is take a tablet (or just use a smartphone if you can) and use their wi-fi.
If you *have* to use a public computer, maybe use pre-paid credit cards ....
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Yes I was going to say, I also notice that Paypal are expanding into this sort of area as well recently, where you cannot lose more than is in your account, so you put the amount you will need in and use that in exposed places. Not sure how widespread its used. Brian
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On 17/08/13 22:09, Jethro_uk wrote:

which if it isn't encrypted means anyone sitting nearby will record your keystrokes.
wifi is less safe than a wired computer.

use a public wired computer and wipe the cookies cache and history on exit. And shut down the browser.
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I haven't been to Germany for ages so I can't deal in specifics but I should have thought you ought to be more worried in a third-worldy type of country where the prime purpose of an internet service in a touristy area could be to harvest useable stuff from visitors than in a well-regulated environment in such a privacy-conscious country as Germany. I think though you'll find internet cafes thin on the ground except in countries where the locals can't afford their own internet. It's all wi-fi now and people sip coffee whilst surfing on their iPads or smartphones.
Take your own laptop computer and a live Linux boot program on a memory stick so that each transaction you make is from a fresh boot-up. It's what I do - even at home. Call me paranoid but I can never be 100% certain my computer isn't compromised in some way so I don't keep any passwords stored on the machine and for financial transactions I boot up a live Linux disk in the CD drive and work from there.

It might. Regardless of which browser you are using, before your session, go to the appropriate menu and make sure it is set NOT to remember your user names and passwords for next time and at the end of the session, delete cookies, delete temporary files and completely close all browser windows.
Nick
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On Saturday, 17 August 2013 22:01:35 UTC+1, Dave wrote:

All too easy for a previous user to have installed malware. Use your own device and public wifi.
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Which is also as secure as a chocolate teapot.
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According to reports, there are about 4 million Americans with sufficient clearance to be able to take a detailed look at anyone's Internet traffic.
Which probably means there are about 40,000 Brits with similar access.
Of course most won't be interested, but it's a certainty that there will be some dishonest individuals who might search for people who say in an email 'desperately need to sell it soon' (or whatever).
Ironic that the U.S. authorities pursue persons who try to access American government sites from the UK, when they're snooping into everything everywhere themselves.
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That's what Governments *do*;
“To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, translated by John Beverly Robinson (London: Freedom Press, 1923), pp. 293-294.
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Wifi hotspots always have to be assumed to be insecure, of course.
AIUI, worst to best is:
1. A computer used by other people, in a public place (totally trusting to luck).
2. Using your own machine through a public hotspot (necessary for the machine to be up-to-date with all patches, and well-configured).
3. As 2, but have paid to set up and use a VPN service prior to travel.
Alternatively use the browser in a smart phone for credit card transactions (or set up a smart phone as a hotspot for your machine) - though both of these may rack up some data charges.
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On 18/08/2013 09:43, snipped-for-privacy@gglz.com wrote:

The charges should not be to excessive in Germany, and EU country.
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Michael Chare

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On 17/08/2013 22:01, Dave wrote:

These days I take my laptop on holiday. Even a Welsh B&B I stayed in had WiFi! I actually found that the laptop was quite good at find local restaurants.
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No. Not in any way that anyone reasonable would consider to be safe.
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There's probably a slight risk that whoever runs or maintains the internet cafe's systems might be less than honest, and could record your internet traffic. If you could use wi-fi you could use a VPN (but you're still dependent on the honesty of whoever looks after the other end of the virtual private network, which might be yourself with an always-on PC at your home or workplace, or might be some company providing such a service)
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Dave wrote:

I'd say no. Its too easy to log what is going on on a public computer.
However, your own device should be OK on public WiFi, as long as the sites you use are HTTPS. That will encrypt from site to your laptop, and cracking that isn't trivial. Foil heads will say different.
However, why not ask your credit card company what they think? They might cover you in such a situation.
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On 18/08/2013 05:03, AC wrote:

Is the right answer. HTTPS is no less secure in Germany than here, so foil heads saying differently presumably won't use their credit cards on the internet at all.

No need surely. AIUI you are only liable for fraud if you're negligent. I can't see you being found negligent for using a public internet cafe. Maybe if there's a big sign up saying "ve vill steel ze credit card details you enter".
For me the primary reason to avoid fraud is to avoid the hassle, not the monetary loss (cos there shouldn't be any).
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HTTPS at home, on your own secure network - OK. HTTPS on a fully-patched, well-configured machine on an open network - also not too bad (though I'd be wary of typing in my credit card details).
But reality is that a lot of machines are in a not-so-great state, and vulnerable.
However I suspect the vast majority of rip-offs are of the sort "email from ur bank - pls send us all yus detail and secrets fur "security" - signed the crims".
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On 17/08/2013 22:01, Dave wrote:

Most hotels will make bookings for you, particularly if it is for another hotel in the same group.
Colin Bignell
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On 17/08/13 22:01, Dave wrote:

not unless its programmed to.
which it might well be :-

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Ineptocracy

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if you use a vpn, yes, otherwize i'd not recommend it as it is easy to hack wireless.
hth.
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