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1 Jan 2014

Is this dodgy internet cyber cafe computer boxen safe to use paypal with?

 Generally it's safer to use your own tech when on the road. As we know though things don't always turn out that way.

 We can sometimes work around it.

 Single use, one time passwords. "2 factor security"

Ebay - offers sign in via the credit card verisign security key. You have to buy the thing though and it was £20(!) last time I checked. The problem is that you still have to type your password in and you can reset your password so make sure that email address is secure. Of course there's a risk that you can lose the thing... but for me it's saved my bacon now a few times and it seems worth it.

Paypal - that verisign key also works with paypal. I've used this a few times online in shoddy net cafes. Saved my bacon a few times when I couldn't find find WiFi.

Gmail, Drive etc Google sign in services - Google Authenticator is a cool thing. A shame you need a phone to run it but there's also paper backup codes. Be sure to backup your codes. Another good reason to carry a spare phone. You can also mail yourself backup info.

Your own servers, such as ssh. You can get Google Authentocator working with these but I prefer Perfect OTP passwords. Bit of hassle to setup and you can easily lock yourself out so backup.

LastPass also has Ubikey support and single use password to help you with unsupported sites but last time I checked that doesn't work fully in the cloud so while it's loads better than typing in passwords by hand, it's not great.

I also recommend getting good with telephone banking and have a callback method. That way at least you can access your bank. Calling with VoIP over WiFi is probably not a common threat but it's not a good idea to avoid - better to have a VPN setup for that.

To check the browser the internet cafe offers use: rng.io
I'm sure you know to check for a virus scanner but really we've had so many bypasses of those now that isn't much to go on.
Also you can disable dodgy plugins and addons in one go sometimes with private browsing modes.

Really, without single use passwords you're taking a risk no matter what you do.

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