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Keeping Safe: CyberCafes, ATM Kiosks, Illegal Surveillance

March 19, 2014 | By: Wulfwood Kreuz       Tech Buzz

As much as  we want to use modern facilities such as free wi-fi and internet cafes and ATM machines  and credit cards to make our lives as convenient as we can manage, there are people who go out of their way to take advantage of people and these crooks have even gone high tech.

Identity Theft

Be very wary of people at a check out line if you have your credit card or ID card out.  Mobile phone cameras can easily take a quick snap of your ID or credit card and steal your identitiy by replicating your personal information digitally, then take over your life.  Although these crooks will eventually get caught, the inconvenience and loss of assets via their digital shenanigans.  There are even rigged cards that can scan your ATM magnetix strip, and criminals often stick these into the card reader of the ATM machine then pull them out after one or two people have used the machine to pull a fast one.  Check the ATM you will use, make sure there is a working CCTV system in the place so you can get help recovering any loss and in tracking down a crime.

Invasion of Privacy / Stalkers Snooping on You

A new modus operandi by criminal syndicates,  stalkers or busybodies for illegal surveillance make use of an infra-red scanner or several of them to monitor private conversations up to 150 meters away, from various points of observation  by reading the tongue movements of a victim then taking advantage of what one learns from such an invasion of privacy--but you will know when this happens because you will distinctly hear the stalker(s) as the IR beam transmits their voice(s) as if a person were just behind you whispering or even shouting.

Knowing this, you now know how to protect yourself when you sense you are under illegal surveillance.  You can mouth words and hear them reflected back at you from various directions to locate your stalkers and inform law enforcement about the modus operandi, whether it be harassment and invasion of privacy and other nefarious activities by unscrupulous people. 

The police will have the resources and people to track these predators especially because it takes a sophisticated crime syndicate to possess such devices.  BE CAREFUL too because this modus operandi is used to deliberately deceive other pople  and disarm their natural common sense so the crime syndicate can insinuate itself into your confidence and turn you against your friend or whomever the criminal wishes to inflict harm upon.

SAFETY in Using Public CyberCAFEs

Cyber cafés allow people on the move to drop by and check their email, social media, play games, or do some work on-the-fly.  Kids with no home library can go to a cafe and get great mileage out of an hour of research and study for as low as P10 which enables kids today to have equal access to learning.  But there are serious risks too.  Internet security may be compromised even among upscale internet cafes.  You do not know who may be monitoring your online activity once you log into a cafe computer.
Keep safe if you use public wi-fi hotpsots or the internet cafe by using password-protection on all of your online accounts including access to your computer.  Never do anything too sensitive like accessing your bank account from a public place. 

Avoid downloading and installing via public wifi hotspot.  Better secure your browser\\\'s IP encryption by downloading patches, and add-ons while at home on a secure, private connection so your mobile device can withstand any cybercrime attempts while using public wifi hotspots.

Before you use any browser, check its privacy settings. For maximum short-term security: block all cookies, disable search saving, disable login information storage, block all pop-ups, and disable location tracking. 

Unless a CyberCafe Wi-Fi hotspot requires a WPA/WPA2 (not WEP) password, the hotspot is NOT secure; your actions online and the contents of your computer could be vulnerable. If you are using a personal mobile hotspot or laptop stick, protect it with a WPA2 password, as this is most secure.
  • Be aware of misleading links and fraudulent sites. If you are ever unsure, hover your mouse over a link before clicking. The real address of where the link will take you will appear.
  • Do not open email from unfamiliar senders, especially if they have URGENT, IMPORTANT, or are even from a friend but only contain a URL link inside.
  • When finished browsing, log out of any sites you logged into. Double-check the browser’s history, cookies, and cache. Delete anything you find there - remember here that deleting something does not necessarily mean it has been deleted.
  • Make your passwords random, lengthy, and difficult. Use a sequence of random numbers, capitals, lowercase letters, and symbols is safest.  Use entirely different passwords for each of your different logins.  Change your passwords at least every three months, or at the first sign of hacking.

Watch your Belongings in CyberCafes

Thieves in cyber cafes are bold and daring enough to pick up your mobile phone nonchalantly or drag your bag under your chair or table then saunter out of the cafe quickly before you sense anything is wrong.  Be sober and vigilant and know by sight when even seemingly well-dressed and unassuming people might actually be casing for a hit. Especially if they are HANGING AROUND aimlessly, checking their phone. 

Never leave your belongings alone or be distracted by using your mobile device that you think that backpack or bag at your feet is safe where it is. Most crooks\\\' hands are quicker than the eye.  Keep your foot touching your gear so you sense movement when your bag is lifted or moved, some creeps even test for guarded reactions then go ahead and blatantly steal your gear when they see you are too engrossed using your mobile device or the computer.

Knowing how unscrupulous elements work is half the work in keeping safe.  Taking precautions will make it more difficult for anyone to take advantage of you so be armed with common sense, vigilance and a sober attitude towards modern facilities and how to use them safely.


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