Apr 27 2009
Brought to you by: James
If you find yourself stuck at your work computer during breaks, you may be tempted to browse the internet, but I can name two things that are probably keeping you from enjoying your short browse. You’re probably concerned about security, which keeps you from checking your email. And, you probably find it difficult to keep your news feeds and bookmarks in sync between your home and work computers. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult (or insecure) as you think.
The first thing that you’ll probably want to do is pickup your email. To stay in sync and avoid installing any third-party applications, just access your email through a web-based interface (aka “webmail“). Your first priority when accessing webmail on a public or work computer is to confirm that the connection is secure. A secure connection will keep peering eyes away from your password and email activities. If the connection is secure, you will notice a small lock icon at some location in your browser. In safari, the lock icon is at the top-right of the browser window. In Firefox, the lock icon is in the address bar. If you are connecting to your webmail via a URL that has an “https://” header, chances are that it’s secure. Generally, you can get secure access to your webmail through either your ISP or webhosting provider. If your ISP does not provide secure webmail access, and you don’t have a webhosting provider, then ask someone for a Gmail account, or find another free webmail service with a secure login system.
The next thing you’ll probably want to do is check all of your favorite RSS or Atom feeds. To stay in sync and avoid installing any third-party applications, just access your feeds through a web-based interface (aka “online news aggregator“) like NewsGator or Bloglines.
After that, you’ll probably want to browse through your favorite sites. To stay in sync and avoid installing any third-party applications, just access your bookmarks through a web-based interface (aka “social bookmarks manager“) like de.lirio.us or del.icio.us.
If you are paranoid enough to require complete anonymity while browsing at work, then look no further than The Cloak. With The Cloak, you can surf via an anonymous proxy (hiding your identity from the sites that you visit) and optionally encrypt your entire browsing experience. For an added ounce of security, use a browser with which you can easily delete the cookies, cache, and history. Firefox is one such browser. Safari v2 also offers a secure “Private Browsing” feature.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy staying secure and synchronized at the office!