safe computer access of bank account
June 13, 2006 8:45 AM   Subscribe

How would you go about accessing, via the web, your bank accounts and bill paying services while away from home and trusted computers for months at a time? Does anyone have experience with Stealth Surfer and Roboform? Have you been able to use usb drives at public library's and/or internet cafes? (Bonus question: how about downloading mp3s at a library or internet cafe?)
posted by flummox to Technology (8 answers total)
 
Someone asked a similar question once before.
posted by smackfu at 9:47 AM on June 13, 2006


It might be worth noting, if you are a Fidelity customer they have a service on their website called Full View that allows you to login to each of your banking accounts online to get a "full view" of your finances.

Also, if you can keep your computer on at home for that time, check out secure VNC.
posted by blueplasticfish at 10:14 AM on June 13, 2006


On the MP3 front: I don't know about any specific libraries, but here in Oxfordshire (UK) we have a system on our public use internet PCs that gives you a fresh install of Windows, and then lets you install whatever you want and use it for the period you're using the PC for. When you log off it restores the system back to blank windows install, so you can install MP3 file sharers, bittorrent et al to do your downloading for you.

On the trusted PC front: I'm not 100% sure about the security of our PC's however I do know that we have no access to the logs, and IT only have access to URL logs: no cache (to my knowledge) locally of files.
posted by philsi at 11:01 AM on June 13, 2006


Months at a time? Have you thought about getting a cheap laptop? The convenience and security would outweigh the cost.
posted by goo at 11:12 AM on June 13, 2006


You can get a Linux LiveCD and boot from that. It might not be easy to find a place that will let you boot from your own CD, and it won't stop hardware keyloggers.
posted by Sharcho at 11:36 AM on June 13, 2006


Don't most banks have some kind of technique to thwart keylogging? Mine does this, for example:

Please enter the first character of your password
And the third
And the sixth

Please enter the second number of your PIN
And the third
And the fourth

Where which ones it asks for is random each time.
posted by reklaw at 11:37 AM on June 13, 2006


Oh, and the same goes for those accounts where you get some kind of dongle that generates passwords for you.
posted by reklaw at 11:39 AM on June 13, 2006


I'd recommend Cryptainer for storing and encrypting any important/valuable/personal data on a USB Flashdrive that you might use in a public space.
posted by vkxmai at 12:12 PM on June 13, 2006


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