The Ultimate Guide to Internet CafesPosted April 27, 2020, 9:30 a.m. by Emil S.
Internet cafes are also known as net cafes and cyber cafes. These are establishments that provide computers and Internet access to the public for a fee.
Who Usually Uses the Internet Cafe?
Internet cafes are a blessing for travelers who do not bring along their laptops on their trip. This allows them to communicate, do some work, or just share their travel photos to their social media accounts.
Of course, they are also used by people who do not have Internet connections in their homes or people who do not have their computers or laptops. Some Internet cafes are explicitly catering to gaming now that online gaming is more popular than ever.
They even hold tournaments in their establishments from time to time. Here, gamers meet up where they can play together side by side.
Charges for Using Internet Cafes
Internet cafes charge you based on how long you are using the computer. Some charge per hour while some can charge by the minute. Some would offer payment packages. The rates would vary depending on your location.
You will find that most countries have Internet cafes everywhere. This is why they often offer a small fee for their service. But there are also some remote countries where the Internet is not widely available. Because of this, Internet cafes are very important to them, and they may charge a higher fee for that.
How to Look for an Internet Cafe
It only takes a quick Google search to see the Internet cafes available in your area. Using Google Maps will pinpoint their exact locations. If you are traveling, it helps to research first and print out the results. This can be very helpful if you are going to one of those places where the Internet is not widely available.
Checking the Internet Cafe's Security
You have to keep in mind that Internet cafes are public systems. No matter what they claim, the connection and the computers will be less secure than what you have at your office or home. It is always better to take extra precautions, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information online. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when using an Internet cafe:
Do Not Deal with Financial Matters
As much as possible, do not deal with financial matters if you are using a public computer and connection. Do not check your bank account, do not pay your bills online, and do not do your online shopping. Do these things on your network and your personal computer or mobile devices.
Public connections are easily hacked, and they may steal your bank account information.
In case of emergencies where an online transaction must be done, make sure you clear out all your web browser history, cookies, cache, and temporary files before you step away from the computer. This way, the next user will not be able to see your history or get access to sensitive data.
Always Log Out
We are so used to our home computers or phones automatically logging us in when we access our online accounts. Most of the time, we do not bother to log out when we're done. This practice is dangerous in an Internet Cafe. Always log out of everything when you are done so that the next user will not be able to access your account.
If you are checking your e-mail, some systems will ask if you are using a private or public computer. Select the public when you are in the Internet cafe. This way, the system will also do its part to make sure that your personal information will not remain on the computer when you are done.
Use a USB
If you need to send or receive documents, it helps to bring your USB drive. You can even place portable programs in it. This way, you do not have to rely on the computer's memory to store your document. Just make sure that the USB has an antivirus program and antispyware installed in it. It also helps if you only use the USB drive specifically for public computer use.
Use separate USB drives for your office and home computers just in case. Take note, though, that it is possible for some cafes to not allow you to use a USB on their computers. You may have to go to the counter and ask whoever is in charge to save the documents on your USB. This is also a security measure for their part.
General Information on Using the Internet Cafe
A lot of people have never tried using an Internet Cafe before because they already have their Wi-Fi connections at home. For first-time users, here are some tips to keep in mind to help you have a smooth Internet cafe experience.
Check the rules
The counter will usually have the rules displayed so users can read them before they log in. Some Internet cafe owners make the effort of pasting them on each computer station. Look for time limits in particular. Some Internet cafes automatically log you out from the system when your time is up, and this can be annoying when you are working on something important.
Ask for help
If you are not tech-savvy, do not be afraid to ask for help. It is better to ask for assistance than to guess and try to do your own thing. You might end up destroying something or ruining the computer's operating system.
When you are traveling in a foreign country and need to use the Internet cafe there, you should check in advance if they use foreign keyboards. Some foreign keyboard does not have ampersands and some special characters.
These special characters may be part of your username or password. If this is the case, it will help to temporarily change your username or password just in case you will not be able to get your hands on an English keyboard.
Internet cafes do not offer a lot of privacy. You will be seated next to strangers, and there will be people moving around you. Some would even look at your screens. Keep that in mind when you are entering your login details or accessing sensitive information.
Keyboards have a lot of germs - even the ones you have at home. Public keyboards such as those in Internet cafes are dirtier - they can be a source of bacteria. Make sure to wipe the keyboard first before using it, then wash your hands and use alcohol or a hand sanitizer after using the public keyboard.