Try to avoid public devices. It is easier to ensure secure communications on your own devices, and you do not know who used a public device previously or what malware it may have installed on it. If you have to use a public computer, bring with you a bootable USB device. This device will work like a temporary operating system that allows you to work on the public computer without using its own functions. The content will be saved in the RAM, in the short memory of the computer, and is only valid for a single session. When you shut down the computer, there will be no data or activity saved on the public device.
Booting a device is also recommended when you want to use a different operating system. For example, you can install a Linux system on a booted USB device; after booting from the stick on your Windows computer, you will be actually working on a Linux system. But remember, there will be no data saved on your computer. Creating a bootable USB device is not easy, and if you decide to use this method, you should watch tutorials in the web. One example of how to boot an USB device with Windows 10 shows this video:
You should also avoid free, open Wi-Fi connections, as you similarly do not know who is logged-in to the same connection and whether that person is trying to do you harm. When connecting into free Wi-Fi, use VPNs at all times to surf in the Internet. This provides at least minimal levels of privacy.
Secure Alternative: Linux
‘Linux’ is an alternative operating system for computers and smartphones that is mostly used by computer scientists. Specialists have identified it as one of the most secure operating systems available. Modern distributions can be installed and used as easily as other operating systems. Common distribution are ‘Ubuntu’, ‘openSUSE’, ‘Debian’, ‘Mint’ and ‘Elementary OS’.
The particular advantage of Linux is that it is free, open source and flexible to configure. Because everyone can help source code errors and security bugs, they will be unveiled and fixed faster than in other operation systems. And, because the system is not as widespread as Windows or Apple, there are fewer viruses on the Linux platform. Every year, Linux publishes their list of the best Linux distributions.
Links for the distributions can be found here:
- Tails: ranked best security, can also be used for an USB device
- Elementary: best looking
- Ubuntu: popular and good for laptops
- Open Suse: user-friendly
- Debian: good for servers
- Linux Mint: user-friendly