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Computer security along the Camino?

SDD.Belfast

New Member
I was thinking I might make the minimum payment on my credit card on-line, but then had second thoughts. How secure would a public computer be in Spain, or anywhere else for that matter?
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Most of the computers I came across along the Camino seemed to be chock-full of spyware. I certainly didn't want to risk using my credit card on them.
Margaret
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
I used my credit card at least twice in May to book a hotel etc, using an internet in an albergue. Of course you have to be careful but don´t worry.
annie
PS. The best is to try to carry cash in Euro in your wallet. I had problems in Pamplona using my cards (VISA, Amex) in ATMs. Fortunately my friend loaned money to me so we could walk to the next city of Logrono.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I would be as suspicious of computer security as I would be of leaving a wallet on top of a bunk bed. I think the computer centers may be the worst since they are operated and patronized by computer nerds. Albergue machines may be less of a hazard since pilgrims and hosts probably are not out to exploit you. I always cleared temporary data before I left a computer (Tools, Internet Options, history, cookies, etc.). At times there would be several weeks of "temporary" files being deleted, so a lot of information was being retained in the computer. Just with history I could see all the places pilgrims had visited since the last data purge.

Password capture programs will be the biggest danger, if you have cleared temporary data after each session to remove the traces of your usage. I did not visit my credit card or bank accounts because of them. I am not sure of a secure way to go to financial accounts. Perhaps stopping at a second computer connection as soon as possible and changing the account passwords would work unless captured data had already been used. There are routines you can store on a flash drive that can be used for password entry. When activated, a keyboard image displays on the screen and you click in the password rather than using keystrokes, which are easily captured. Of course, viruses can be loaded onto your flash drive, then you will infect anything you plug it into later.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
yes falcon, I cleared the temporary data before I left the computer but that´s what I always do with all the computers, even at home, at work etc.
annie
 

SDD.Belfast

New Member
Good advice. Thank you all.
I'll use the credit card to book my flight home, but it's probably safer if my other bank details aren't floating around in cyberspace.
 

Rocknroll

Member
1. How much cost to rent an computer hour (half an hour, quarter) in aubergues on the camino?
2. I understand that is not safe to book a flight and pay via internet by credit card, so... is it better to just booked and anyone back home pay cash?
3. Have you experiences any viruses in those computers? I got a 16 GB memory stick traveller data for storing my photos (camera has only a 1 GB memory data), so I don't wanna lose (erase or smth) those precious memories.

Thank you!
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Rocknroll said:
1. How much cost to rent an computer hour (half an hour, quarter) in aubergues on the camino?
2. I understand that is not safe to book a flight and pay via internet by credit card, so... is it better to just booked and anyone back home pay cash?
3. Have you experiences any viruses in those computers? I got a 16 GB memory stick traveller data for storing my photos (camera has only a 1 GB memory data), so I don't wanna lose (erase or smth) those precious memories.

Thank you!

Hi Rocknroll
The going rate for Internet use is around €1 to €1.50 an hour. those I used were minimum payment of €0.50. I used a USB cable direct off the camera so no memory stick was involved. Open a new folder in 'My Documents - My Photos' transfer all the pics you want over onto the computer then disconnect camera before going online etc. I had no problems whatsoever. I deleted everything when finished, it is suprising what previous users have left on!! You may find that some Hospitaleras/os will let you use for free. I would never use a Credit Card on some-one else's computer, even here in the U.K. Too many key-loggers etc. You can always pay by phone.

Walk well and Safely
Tio Tel
 

Rocknroll

Member
Thank you very much for your answers, Terry.
It helped some.
I cannot pay by phone (I even don't know how), so probably I will call back home to pay what I've just booked over the internet.
 

elzi

Active Member
Hi,

I'm going to horrify people here by saying that I've used my credit card quite a few times on the camino computers (it's been essential generally to book a flight home!) I've also checked my online banking to find out how much money I've got left!

Obviously I consider which computer to use carefully - I'd never do it on one obviously full of spyware or whatever! Some of the computers in the albergues were in a terrible state - in fact one I actually installed a spyware checker myself and cleaned it up i was so annoyed! Obviously I didn't type any details into that one. I also think it's right what is said above about it being more dangerous in the internet cafes etc which are usually full of computer geeks - often watching what you are doing I notice!

I never (even at home) type my credit card number in order, that is, i'd type a few numbers, move my mouse to a different place, type some other numbers all out of order etc. I have no idea whether this works or not but I think it's possible this might avoid most keyloggers as I understand they can't register mouse clicks in conjunction with typing order... maybe?

I'd agree with setting everything up from home as there's no guarantee you'll find a computer that's safe enough to use when you need one - but at the same time if you're careful you may be able to do some online banking - this is the third camino I've survived and so far (touch wood!) no one seems to have managed to steal my details!
 

Rocknroll

Member
Rebekah Scott said:
all this makes me feel sad.

Same here...
We living hard times and have to keep always an eye on. Unfortunately, this is a global matter, but it's such a pitty that we cannot feel 100% safe on this pilgrimage. I'm thinking about what can I leave back home, but I need them all.
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
well well well...
I have been using my cards and on- line banking in the alberques, internet cafes and I am going to continue with it. What else can you do? Carry lots of cash? Better to use cyber money...
Clear the temporary data after using the computer.
annie
 

Rocknroll

Member
Annie, we know that. Is not that difficult to clean temporary data after use the computer. The problem is with those scum programs such as key-logger, or smth like that, who can "read" anything you type on the keyboard. Anyway, I hope that wouldn't be a problem on The Camino. After all, the pilgrims (except those stories that I've been reading about for those "100 km fake pilgrims" starting from Sarria) should be nice people... :roll:
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Rocknroll said:
After all, the pilgrims (except those stories that I've been reading about for those "100 km fake pilgrims" starting from Sarria) should be nice people... :roll:
Rocknroll,
I think many of us longer-distance walkers find the crowds from Sarria onwards difficult. I know that I found it really hard being tolerant of the loud ghetto-blasters, the loud mobile phone convos, the loud crowds in the afternoon as I approached Portomarin from Sarria. I felt so disheartened for a few hours that I nearly wanted to 'give up' and simply catch a bus to Santiago: and that was the only time I felt so 'down' about things on the whole walk from Le Puy. And sure, the nature of the walkers changes, and you soon learn to be quiet about the fact you have walked so far, because it is difficult to take the incredulous praise you find heaped upon you.

But there are other sides to this story. Who knows whether some of these 100km walkers might be just 'dipping their toes' in, testing the waters to see if they can actually walk so far, with plans that they might come back another time. And possibly for many of the summer walkers who are Spanish, this is how they want to spend a week of their summer holidays, but they have other plans for the rest of the time.

I know that we came across several church groups of Spanish students at the Monte de Gozo albergue, who I think had walked the last 100kms. And I know that for them the pilgrimage had genuinely religious aspects. I saw several groups of them up near the altar participating in the pilgrim Mass when they arrived in Santiago.

We all walk the Camino for our own reasons, and not everyone has the time or money available to walk as far as others.
Margaret
 

Rocknroll

Member
Margaret, I hope I wasn't missunderstood...
I was talking about some of the people who hit those 100 km from Sarria, not all of them. I was talking about "those 100 km fake pilgrims", which doesn't means all of the pilgrims who travel the last part of the Camino, because of many, many reasons. One of them it was Stephen Hawking, last year, and I have all the respect in the world for this huge scientific personality of nowadays. Also, I do respect all the good at heart people who can only travel as least as they can. It doesn't matter to me! All is matter (to me) is... to be good! With open heart and... open mind.
All the best,
Marius
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Sorry, Marius, It was just the one comment that sparked me off into that great long verbose reply. I have been teaching energetic 10 year olds all day and I guess my brain is in 'odd-mode'!! I need to go to bed.... :shock:
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Mozilla Foxfire may be more secure than Internet Explorer. There is a version of Foxfire Portable that you can load on a flash drive, then use it on public computers that have a USB port. Your session will download things to the flash drive, not the computer. Keep in mind that it does not keep viruses out of the flash drive, and it does not stop keyboard trackers in the host computer.

http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable

There is another application that I had on the flash drive that I lost that permits entering items in a field by clicking a virtual keyboard on the screen. Key stroke memory programs on the computer cannot detect what is being clicked, so your password is entered in the field without leaving any keystroke history. I have not been able to find the program, yet! If anyone knows it, please post it.
 

Rocknroll

Member
Falcon, many thanks for "Portable Firefox"... 8)
Also, the second application described by you could be extremely interesting. I will try to find out...
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
I will (once I get my broadband set up correctly) to set up a MacBook in my office for those that are interested in booking their own low-cost flights home. Since I am not able to book on all low cost airlines in my "travel agent system", I was thinking of setting it up so pilgrims can stop by the office, get on the mac and reserve their ticket, check in and print out their boarding card right there.

In general Macs are safer than windows machines when it comes to these viruses/spyware/key-loggers.. especially if I set it up so that pilgrims always run as a "limited user".

By the way, the low cost flights are not always the cheapest, especially tickets bought 1 or 2 days in advance. I had two people in today that wanted to go from Santiago to London in 2 days. Best deal? Bus to Madrid and British Airways from Madrid to London. Ryanair, and ClickAir from Galicia to London was a lot more expensive.

Un saludo,
Ivar
 

MikeB

Member
There is a virtual keyboard on Windows XP.

Start - Programs - Accessories - Accessibility - On-screen keyboard.

Whether it is safe from key-loggers, sorry, I don't know.


And Ivar, with Ryanair now charging EUR40 (for bookings made after 21/5/09) if you dare to make the mistake of not printing out your boarding pass before you arrive at the airport, I feel there may be a lot of people quite angry at the airport on the way home.
http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/notices.php?notice=gops&code=090520-Online_check-in-GB
(Perhaps this can be given prominence elsewhere)

Mike
 

elzi

Active Member
Ivar - I wish I'd known that about the cheaper flights! I decided to leave Santiago in a hurry rather than go on to walk some of the Norte as planned and I had to pay a LOT of money for a not-so-nice next-day ryanair flight to London!

A computer available for booking flights with printing would be great! I met a german pilgrim in the albergue in Santiago who was planning to pay ryanair 80 euros as he had two flights with them and didn't know where to print his boarding pass!! (I gave him directions to an internet cafe where he could print!) I must say though in the same internet cafe I noticed a guy jumped on my computer as soon as I was finished (despite there being lots of other terminals free) and I did wonder a bit about what data I may have left behind....
 

Rocknroll

Member
Mike, excellent that "trick" with "On-screen keyboard". I didn't know before and I think maybe could work even with key-loggers...

Ivar, I always booked the tickets with low-cost airlines in advance with at least 2 weeks before departure, for short distances (ex: Santiago - Madrid) and at least 1 month in advance for a trip from Madrid to Budapest (or smth like that)...

About the Ryan Air, anyone should know that you HAVE TO do the web-check in online and print it, otherwise you'll need to pay 40 euro at the airport check in. The low-cost airlines are - indeed - cheaper, but they have a lot of "tricks" and you have to be well informed to avoid them. Like Ryan Air is Wizzair, Blue Air etc. I booked my Barcelona tickets with Wizzair in march for the tickets in june and payed around... 40 euro each ticket from Bucharest to Barcelona, all taxes included, inclusive luggages into... (I don't know the word... :D )
 
I intend to book my return flight on line from somewhere near Santiago.I will use my Visa Electron card,you can only use this card if you have money in the account,I intend to have a small amount to cover my return flight.I will cancel the card when I return home and a request a new account,should mean no risk.

Buen Camino,
stpatricksbhoy.
:) :) :arrow: :arrow: :idea:
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
MikeB said
There is a virtual keyboard on Windows XP.
Start - Programs - Accessories - Accessibility - On-screen keyboard.
Whether it is safe from key-loggers, sorry, I don't know.
Great for many things so I called it up on screen. My firewall flashed a red warning that this application has a key-logger which could track useage, sites visited, key-stokes, mouse movements etc. Not so good!!!! Think I would rely on a file to copy and paste for sensitive info, and then delete everything before leaving the terminal. Terry did and had no trouble, but he said it was amazing what people before him had left for others to read.
Safe walking and equally safe surfing etc
Tia Valeria
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Rocknroll said:
...2. I understand that is not safe to book a flight and pay via internet by credit card, so... is it better to just booked and anyone back home pay cash?

I don't. Today, in my opinion, is absolutely safe.

3. Have you experiences any viruses in those computers? I got a 16 GB memory stick traveller data for storing my photos (camera has only a 1 GB memory data), so I don't wanna lose (erase or smth) those precious memories.

To be absolutely sure, buy a 2 GB memory data for your camera, and ask for a DVD in big cities with your photos. But I don't think it's necessary. Today, a enough antivirus is so cheap that you can find it wherever, even in the Camino Albergues.
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Besides portable firefox, I also carried along this small keyboard program in my usb drive called Neo's safe keys. Freeware of course.

http://www.aplin.com.au/?page_id=246

The XP's keyboard is a great idea too. Never thought about that.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Javier Martin said:
Rocknroll said:
...2. I understand that is not safe to book a flight and pay via internet by credit card, so... is it better to just booked and anyone back home pay cash?

I don't. Today, in my opinion, is absolutely safe.

3. Have you experiences any viruses in those computers? I got a 16 GB memory stick traveller data for storing my photos (camera has only a 1 GB memory data), so I don't wanna lose (erase or smth) those precious memories.

To be absolutely sure, buy a 2 GB memory data for your camera, and ask for a DVD in big cities with your photos. But I don't think it's necessary. Today, a enough antivirus is so cheap that you can find it wherever, even in the Camino Albergues.
I have heard of people that create DVDs of their photos and mailing it home. Then you would have:
1) A backup of your photos
2) Your family will be happy to see your photos!

:)
Greetings from Santiago,
Ivar
 

vinotinto

Active Member
ivar said:
MacBook in my office for those that are interested in booking their own low-cost flights home.

Two questions, Jefe:

1) How is the airport at Santiago? I chose to take a bus from Santiago to Paris to catch my return flight home back in 2007, but others have mentioned flying out from Santiago. I did an el cheapo flight from London to Madrid in 2003, and while it worked out for that scenario I wonder if the trains are easier to deal with on the continent vs. wading thru airline security, baggage fees, and so on.

2) A specific query: If I was to do the Porto to Santiago way, is it possible to fly from Santiago to Lisbon (that's probably my round-trip point of entry from the USA)? I imagine it's doable, but I want to make sure it's not a hassle compared to the train...

Anyway, thanks in advance for whatever info you have, my Norwegian brother from another mother! :)

VT :arrow:
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
?
vinotinto said:
is it possible to fly from Santiago to Lisbon (that's probably my round-trip point of entry from the USA)? I imagine it's doable, but I want to make sure it's not a hassle compared to the train...

I doubt you'll find a direct flight. Other flight options are long and cumbersome, i.e. transit via Madrid or even Barcelona.

My vote goes for bus Santiago-Porto and train to Lisbon.

Cheers,
Jean-Marc
 

vinotinto

Active Member
Canuck said:
My vote goes for bus Santiago-Porto and train to Lisbon

Kind of figured that was the answer I'd get - thanks for the confirmation, though. :)

Ah well...I'm cool with the Euro trains anyway. Plus, it would give me an excuse to hang out in Porto again after the trek...love me that Porto vino, especially with a puro de habana! :mrgreen:
 

Yallah

Camino Guidebooks (Village to Village)
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Finisterre, Portugués, Norte, Primitivo, Inglés
I used a public computer in an internet cafe in Santiago to purchase a plane ticket. I later had several fraudulant charges from Spain on that card. My credit company easily reversed them for me, but I would urge caution with public computers. Personally, I feel it is worth it to carry an iPod Touch or other small tablet for occasional internet. Can also serve as guidebook and library!
 

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