Temporary files frequently left on shared computers

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Better user education needed.

Temporary internet files could leave a business facing a serious compromise as users share computers, according to a training expert.

Randy Abrams, director of technical education at ESET, claimed that when he uses shared computers in hotels he often looks for what has been left in the temporary internet files to monitor the stored information.

Abrams said: “Users also leave things in the temporary files that can be used, such as their name, what company they work for, what their password is, shipping address and a link to the merchant, so this is a way to make building a profile easy.

“I have found details of a enterprise, a ship captain's vessel assignment, and sales figures for a major medical company.”

Abrams explained that a temporary file downloads the script, web page, cookies and images, among other details. He encouraged users to go into the browser settings and delete the temporary files, and also to look in documents and settings, but advised that it is best not to look at sensitive information at all when using a shared computer.

He further claimed that this is an education issue, as many people do not know how to delete temporary files. Indeed, most do not know what they are and how they can be accessed and used.

“This applies to temporary files as well as temporary internet files,” said Abrams.

“This is probably a bigger threat to businesses than consumers. Yes, you can set a policy but it is not entirely viable to trust every user to do this.”

See original article on scmagazineuk.com

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