Shared Computing

– an opportunity to protect yourself and your colleagues

Shared computing happens all the time. Whether you are signing in to a UCalgary library computer, a lab computer, working alongside AHS or using a ‘hotel’ space, a shared computer is something many of us use on a regular basis.

Specifically, a shared computer is one that is used by more than one person, either at the same time (such as a timesharing system) or at different times (like a workstation in the office or lab).

Security is more difficult to maintain when utilizing shared systems, because the safety of technology depends on people and the trust they have with each other that the system and the computer are correctly configured and secure.

What can you do to help ensure the cybersafety of yourself and your colleagues?


Change your passwords.

As always, change your passwords frequently (every 3 months) and never share them!

Do not use any ‘Keep me signed in’ of ‘Remember my password’ options.

You will remain signed in even after you close your browser and work.

Never leave the computer unattended when you are signed in.

Your account could be easily compromised.

Shoulder Surfers are a risk.

Watch out for others unobtrusively peering over your shoulder as you log in and out.

Be wary of what is installed on your shared computer.

Spyware can easily be installed, and then, criminals can follow your every keystroke. Ask your administrator what protection is installed including antivirus, and how frequently programs and systems are upgraded and patched.

Practice safe downloading.

  • Only download docs from sites you trust and have checked out.
  • Never download files or attachments from people and company emails you are unfamiliar with, especially files that end in .exe

Avoid all personal transactions.

Do not use a shared computer for personal transactions like banking that use and access your confidential info.

Clear your cache (browsing data).

Erase all your browsing history, each time you log off.

Make sure you are 100% signed out.

Close all browsers, shared drives and other programs before you leave the computer for the next person.